Johnson exercises player option with Raptors, first piece of business in busy week

Toronto Raptors Stanley Johnson

TORONTO — Seldom-used Toronto Raptors forward Stanley Johnson exercised his player option for the 2020-21 season on Monday.

Johnson is slated to make just over US$3.8 million next season.

The 24-year-old averaged 2.4 points and 6.0 minutes in 25 appearances off the bench for Toronto last season.

The minor move was the first in what should be a busy week for the Raptors. The league’s trade moratorium ended at noon ET on Monday. The Raptors have the 29th and 59th pick in Wednesday’s NBA draft.

Free agents can start negotiating with teams on Friday. The Raptors’ key free agents are Fred VanVleet, Serge Ibaka and Marc Gasol.

The biggest question for the Raptors however is where they’ll play the season that opens Dec. 22. While Raptors president Masai Ujiri wants to stay in Toronto, rising COVID-19 cases in Ontario and the closure of the Canada/U.S border for non-essential travel presents a massive hurdle.

Training camps open Dec. 1.