The Toronto Raptors will enter the 2017-18 NBA season looking to fulfill their goal of winning an NBA championship. Just one year removed from their first Eastern Conference championship appearance, key players on the Raptors still believe they have the tools to edge out the rising powers (Boston and Milwaukee) in the East and end the Cavs’ three-year stranglehold in the conference. However, things could get a little bit tricky for the Raptors over the next few months after making another big-money commitment last week.

A potential blockbuster deal

Toronto signed Norman Powell to a team-friendly 4-year, $42 million contract extension. The deal doesn’t seem onerous at first glance, but Hoops Rumors writer Luke Adams explained why Powell’s extension could trigger a major player movement in a foreseeable future.

Adams noted that Powell deal has a rippling effect on the Raptors’ flexibility for the upcoming seasons. Toronto’s book currently stands at $110 million, and next year’s set of commitments (options on Pascal Siakam, Delon Wright, and Jakob Poeltl) along with Powell’s $10 million cap hit will put the Raptors over the tax limit.

The Raptors aren’t a traditional tax-paying team; hence, it’s almost guaranteed that general manager Masai Ujiri will be getting angry phone calls from the team owners if he doesn’t make moves that will alleviate their payroll.

Adams predicts the Raptors executive will explore options in the trading front, and the Jonas Valanciunas trade appears to be the most intriguing deal out there.

“If staying out of the tax – or even just creating more cap flexibility – is important to the Raptors, Masai Ujiri and the front office may push to eventually find a taker for Jonas Valanciunas, who is set to earn $16.5MM+ in 2018/19,” Adams added.

More out of Raptors newswire:

Toronto coaching staff likes what they have in G-League standout Alfonzo McKinnie. According to Mike Gardner of the Toronto Sun, McKinnie is making a good impression because of the forward’s ability to stretch the defense with his 3-point shooting and versatility to play different positions.

McKinnie is the perfect bench complement.

At 6-foot-8 and 215 pounds he’s athletic, versatile and more than able to hold his own in the specialized departments like three-point shooting,” writes Gardner, who believes the Raptors will likely keep the prospect on the 15-man team.