Raptors announce release of McKinnie

Alfonzo McKinnie has been released by the Raptors.

The Toronto Raptors have parted ways with forward Alfonzo McKinnie, the team announced Tuesday morning.

Shams Charania of Yahoo Sports reported the team wanted to make the move before McKinnie’s $1.4 million salary became guaranteed at 5 p.m. on Wednesday.

Toronto is most likely facing a luxury-tax penalty at the end of the 2018-19 season with the re-signing of point guard Fred VanVleet to a two-year, $18-million contract and Norman Powell’s four-year, $42-million extension kicking in, making moves such as will be done with McKinnie necessary to lighten the load as much as possible.

The 6-foot-8, 217-pound McKinnie, out of Wisconsin-Green Bay, averaged 1.5 points in 3.8 minutes in 14 games last season for the Raptors, shooting 53.3 percent from the field.

The 25-year-old played for the Raptors’ Las Vegas Summer League squad, which was knocked out by the Cleveland Cavaliers on Sunday night, 82-68. McKinnie scored 14 points on 5-of-14 shooting, including 1-of-7 from deep, and added six boards and two steals in 33 minutes of action.

McKinnie became a professional basketball player back in 2015, playing overseas in Luxembourg and Mexico. In 2016, he actually paid $175 to try out for the G League Windy City Bulls, for whom he actually earned a spot and began his quest to reach the NBA.