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TORONTO — The sticker shock is going to drive people batty.

On Friday morning, minutes before the Toronto Raptors introduced two of their rookies to the media, The Athletic’s Shams Charania broke the news that the team has agreed to sign Immanuel Quickley to a five-year, $175 million deal. Quickley was poised to be a restricted free agent, but signing him allows the Raptors to approach the opening of free agency knowing precisely how much room they will have before hitting the luxury tax threshold.

It is a lot of money, for sure — more than I thought Quickley would get. He will have a starting salary around $30 million, assuming the typical structure of a contract. On the other hand, here is the list of point guards who will make more money than Quickley next season: Damian Lillard, Stephan Curry, Tyrese Haliburton, Trae Young, Fred VanVleet, LaMelo Ball, Kyrie Irving, Ja Morant, Darius Garland, Shai Gilgeous-Alexander and Ben Simmons (!). Jamal Murray is reportedly nearing a deal for an extension that will take him beyond Quickley. Jalen Brunson is on a steal of a deal that will be bumped up sooner rather than later. De’Aaron Fox and Derrick White are both eligible for extensions too.

So, the Raptors are paying Quickley to be an average starting point guard and have signed him from his age-25 season through his age-29 season. That is reasonable. Quickley has spent just a half season as a starting point guard, but these are the types of bets you make if you are in the Raptors’ position. You have to hope your promising players can become very good players and outplay their contracts at some point.

His contract will likely rise by 8 percent per year, while the salary cap is poised to rise by 10 percent annually. It should take up less room by the year, just as Scottie Barnes’ maximum-value agreement will.

The danger is thinking that, because of that, these decisions have no impact — that this is all silly money, and the deals are free of consequences. In 2025-26, the Raptors will owe approximately $99 million to Barnes, Quickley and RJ Barrett. That is about 63.8 percent of the projected cap for that season. By then, will Barnes be more than an average star, which is what the Raptors are paying him to be? Can Quickley ascend past being an average starting point guard and into the All-Star conversation? Was Barrett’s jump in efficiency at the end of last year real, and can he make a similar leap defensively?

The Raptors need a few “yes” answers there to avoid stalling out with this core in a similar way they stalled out with the previous core of Pascal Siakam, OG Anunoby and VanVleet.

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Raptors lock up Immanuel Quickley and Scottie Barnes. Now, to avoid mediocrity

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