May 30, 2016, 12:51 pm
Bismack Biyombo might return to Toronto after all. With the team looking at some tough decisions thanks to DeMar DeRozan’s upcoming payday, it has long been assumed that Biyombo would depart after a strong season in Toronto, but the man himself might have other ideas.
Sportsnet’s Dave Zarum grabbed the quotes from Biyombo’s appearance on FAN590 radio where he said that he expects to be back in Toronto.
When asked, the 23 year old center said, “Honestly, I do. We still have some unfinished business. It was so much fun to see the team go from last year to this year making the Eastern Conference finals. Be it would be fun to go even further next season.”
Earlier today, GM Masai Ujiri spoke at length about how it would be very difficult to bring back both DeRozan and Biyombo given the realities of the salary cap. With rumors abound about the big check awaiting Biyombo, he allayed concerns that he’d be chasing dollar signs come free agency.
“Things can always be worked out… At the end of the day it’s for fun, not money. It’s not always about money. Money is great, but at the same time I ask ‘how much fun am I going to have? The city is great, the team is great, and we’re winning.”
Biyombo’s agent might have his work cut out for him when he recovers from his heart attack.
Bismack clearly enjoyed his time in Toronto and quickly emerged as a fan favorite. His game developed tremendously and while he has a long way to go on the offensive side of the ball, his rim protection was invaluable to the Raptors, who lack a reliable paint presence beyond Jonas Valanciunas.
The goodwill and high spirits of the team’s conference finals appearance might be enough to get both sides to work something out, though Biyombo leaving in free agency still seems the likely outcome. Toronto would love to bring him back, but they may have to pay a whole bunch of money for someone who will be supporting Valanciunas off the bench. In a league that’s trending smaller and smaller, spending $30 million on two centers who can’t share the floor might not be the most palatable approach.
This is all well and good to hear after locker cleanout day, but there’s a whole lot of money out there waiting for him. Biyombo has always been a very candid guy, so don’t dismiss the idea that there are things more important to him than money. It’s just hard to believe that he could turn down a raise in excess of $13 million from another team.