The Raptors just shed an overpaid, too-often injured wing in DeMarre Carroll.
Now, they’re getting a cheaper, more effective replacement in C.J. Miles.
Adrian Wojnarowski of ESPN:
At that price, Miles would have fit into the non-taxpayer mid-level exception. Though using that exception would have hard-capped Toronto, so will receiving someone in a sign-and-trade.
So, why deal Cory Joseph here instead of signing Miles outright?
Perhaps, the Raptors plan to use the mid-level exception on someone else. The hard cap will limit their ability to use the whole exception. Precisely how much they can spend depends on Kyle Lowry‘s and Serge Ibaka‘s contract structures. But there’s still flexibility for Toronto to add another productive player.
On one hand, I’m somewhat skeptical the Raptors will pay to add another player, because they could easily go the other way and dodge the luxury tax altogether. On the other hand, again, trading Joseph for only Miles seems illogical if not preserving the mid-level exception for someone else.
Joseph is a solid player who will compete with recently signed Darren Collison for minutes at point guard in Indiana. The Pacers refuse to tank, though acquiring the 25-year-old Joseph’s Bird Rights – he likely opts out next summer – could prove valuable long-term.
At a $7.63 million salary, Joseph was probably more of a luxury than Toronto could afford. Delon Wright was waiting in the wings, and he’ll ascend into the rotation as Lowry’s backup.
But Joseph is a relatively young high-end backup on a reasonable contract. I’d think the Raptors could have gotten some return, at least a second-rounder, by trading him somewhere. Again, the Raptors had the means to sign Miles outright rather than trading with Indiana. Maybe the Pacers are sending Toronto an asset that hasn’t yet been reported.
Miles will help the Raptors, especially because they had Wright ready to assume Joseph’s role (and Fred VanVleet ready to assume Wright’s as third point guard). Instead of relying on a smallish wing combination of DeMar DeRozan and Norman Powell, Toronto can start Miles with DeRozan. Like Carroll, Miles can also play some small-ball four.
This deal probably won’t become official until Toronto completes its trade with the Nets, which can’t happen until the Wizards pass Otto Porter on his physical and complete matching his offer sheet.