A Look to Next Season: Montreal Argonauts (2020-2021)

Free Agency
Profile Photo of Sennet Beaulieu

Sennet Beaulieu

Published Jun 23, 2021  •  Last Updated: Aug 2, 2022

After tying the series with two games a piece, the Montreal Argonauts and the Philadelphia Silverbacks faced off in a new best-of-three series in last season's playoffs. Jason Thomas and Ales Hare dominated both Games 5 and 6, leading the Silverbacks to the next round and causing the Argonauts to suffer another first-round exit. They faced a first-round exit last year versus the Columbus Barons.

I caught up with the team a few days after Game 6. Returning Montreal with little to show for their effort was difficult. Willie Favors, starting shooting guard, expressed his frustration: "We played like [explicit] Game 5. We gave them points, easy buckets on the line." Head coach Mike Wallace expressed similar sentiments: "We were careless with fouls and seemed a bit scatter-brained." Yet, he remains confident that playoffs are still a part of the plan for this upcoming season.

I am curious as to where the front office, led by General Manager Brittani Avery, will go this off-season in order to keep those playoff dreams alive. Earl Thompson, starting small forward, signed an extension for three years worth around $84 million. With that big payout and the salaries of Willie Favors, Lance McIntyre, and Jack Murray, Montreal finds itself $18 million over the cap. One of the more expensive salaries comes from Lance McIntyre, who was originally acquired by a trade with Kansas City and just picked up his player option worth $14 million. Jack Murray, the essential point guard pickup in free agency last season, has a salary of $12 million. Building up their team cost precious funds that may lead them to be unable to sign other important pieces to their team.

Rodney Hightower, who has enjoyed playing with his older brother Jake, finds himself entering free agency. When I spoke with him, he mentioned that he loved the dynamic with the team and the organization as a whole. "I can't really say what's gonna happen with free agency," he said with a shrug, "It's a business and usually the best offer wins." Avery has stated that she wants to keep the Hightower brothers together. These were not empty words for it was just announced that the Argonauts have placed a qualifying offer on Rodney.

Another impactful player hitting free agency is Jim Kerr, a promising 21-year-old forward. He was a major part of the second unit and even started some games due to an injury to Jake Hightower. The summer league starts this week and it'll be interesting to see how free agency plays afterwards.

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