cameroncrazies02
Nets trade Allen Crabbe, #17, 2020 1st (lotto protected) to Hawks for Taurean Prince, 2021 2nd rd pick

For BKN-this was a straight salary dump and one that was somewhat predictable from BKN.  Crabbe's contract is worth around $18M next season and it cost them essentially two first round picks.  That's the kind of value being seen around the league right now as salary dumps aren't nearly as cheap as they were in the past.  BKN now has opened up two max salary slots for this summer with a core of Jarrett Allen, Spencer Dinwiddie, Caris LaVert, Taurean Prince, Rodions Kurucs, Dzanan Musa and Joe Harris.  That core is a perfect complimentary piece for two max guys to come to.  They have playmaking, shooting and defense to surround a pair with, the question is who will BKN go after.  It's still very possible the Nets just sign D'Angelo Russell to a max deal and pair him with another, but it seems as though they're going to move on and go after Kyrie Irving and one other player like Durant or Kawhi.  I've said all along I don't like bringing in Kyrie over Russell, Kyrie may be a better player in theory, but his locker room antics last season with BOS would scare me off quite a bit.  But with the race for Anthony Davis heating up, BKN is making a big play to steal one of those free agents those teams chasing AD are looking to pair with him.

For ATL-they've stockpiled assets in a re-build for years and I would've thought this would be the year they try to pull those assets together and make a move, but it's clear ATL doesn't like the prospects they have, will continue to build their war chest of assets and wait for an opportunity to pounce.  ATL now owns the 8th, 10th and 17th picks in the draft and rumors say they're looking to trade up in this draft.  But to move up, the only real move would be to get to #3 as #1 and #2 are locks for their teams selecting there and beyond #3, the prospects are a bit of a crapshoot, so I'd think they're targeting RJ Barrett.  They could help NYK get to an AD trade if NOP isn't interested in the #3 pick and instead would want other picks back.  The Hawks also own CLE's 2020 1st (top 10 protected), OKC's 2022 1st (top 14 protected), and a plethora of 2nd round picks.  

This makes for an interesting scenario.  If the Pelicans and Knicks could work out an AD trade with ATL involved it'd look something like:

NYK incoming-Anthony Davis
NYK outgoing-#3, DAL 2021 1st, Mitchell Robinson, Kevin Knox, Dennis Smith Jr

NOP incoming-#8, #10, #17, DAL 2021 1st, Mitchell Robinson, Dennis Smith Jr
NOP outgoing-Anthony Davis, Solomon Hill

ATL incoming-#3, Kevin Knox, Solomon Hill
ATL outgoing-#8, #10, #17

The Knicks would keep their same offer that's on the table for AD while just shuffling their package around.  NOP would, instead of getting #3, take back 8, 10 and 17 and also dump the Hill contract.  ATL would move up to #3, take back the Hill contract, but get Knox.  NOP is said to not be high on Knox and would prefer other assets.  Those assets would be the extra picks and dumping the Hill contract.  ATL could feasibly have a lineup of Trae Young, Barrett, Knox, and John Collins.  I'm not sold that that's the best offer for NOP, especially if they want top end talent like Jayson Tatum, but it's more of a collection of assets for them.  I'm also not sold that BOS pulls the trigger on Tatum, Smart, #14 and MEM 2020 1st considering it'd decimate their assets without a guarantee Davis even re-signs.  That BOS offer trumps the Knicks offer, the question is whether BOS pulls the trigger on it.

There are four teams said to be in the AD race-BOS, NYK, LAL and BKN, but with BKN dumping Crabbe's contract for max salary slots, I think they're out of the AD race because it'd cost them the roster of their roster to get it done and wouldn't have much in terms of draft picks to offer.  I think they're targeting a landing spot for Kyrie and Durant.  So that leaves BOS, NYK and LAL.

As stated, NYK's offer is some form of #3, DAL 2021 1st and/or DAL 2023 1st and some combination of Robinson, Smith Jr, Knox and Trier.

BOS's offer is similar to #14, MEM 2020 1st, Tatum and Smart

LAL's offer is some combination of #4, Ingram, Ball, Kuzma and Josh Hart.

All of the offers are flawed in some sense-BOS may not do that deal, NOP would have a hard time taking on Ingram and Kuzma while fitting in Zion, plus Ball in NOP seems like a disaster considering his want for a brand and NYK's deal doesn't have top end talent.
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cameroncrazies02
My Free Agent Predictions-

It's June 9th, less than a month from the beginning of free agency.  Will be fun to watch how this changes over the next 3 weeks.

Kawhi Leonard-LA Clippers-with the way the Finals is going, it's so hard for me to see Kawhi winning a championship there then leaving in free agency.  But Kawhi is a different dude.  He was asked a postgame question, in front of a bunch of Toronto fans, after the game 4 win about how he thinks this is helping Toronto and his response was, "I don't do this for the fans."  I don't think he cares about what people think about him, but I also don't have a clue what he's looking for.  I don't see it being a money or brand thing, the dude has a New Balance contract, rocks corn rows and doesn't promote himself.  The one VERY telling thing was Kawhi's sister (I think) posted a video on Instagram talking about Kawhi and his uncle, in the background shouted something about, "ya'll know he's still leaving your (butts)."  His uncle is his brand promoter and has been the voice, and vice, between Kawhi as his handler and caused a major rift between Kawhi and San Antonio.  If Kawhi leaves, I think it's to go west and probably end up in LA, but that's not to go to the Lakers and play next to Lebron.

Kevin Durant-Brooklyn Nets-the Nets, over the last two weeks, have been rumored to be the front runner for Kyrie Irving in free agency.  It's no coincidence in that time frame, they opened up two max salary slots.  Now they are competing with the Knicks with those two max salary slots.  Brooklyn absolutely has a line on Kyrie's thought process that he'd sign there, but only if Durant comes too.  Brooklyn didn't dump two first round picks to clear out an expiring contract for this summer just for the heck of it.

Kyrie Irving-Brooklyn Nets-again, Brooklyn is out for blood this summer, opened up two max contract slots, has a fantastic core to surround two stars with, a great front office, a seemingly well respected head coach and is still a fairly large market and just outside of New York.  This summer is going to be bad for the Knicks.

Kemba Walker-New York Knicks-Kemba's going to be 1b on the free agency radar, whatever happens with Durant and Irving will likely trickle down to Kemba's decision.  If NYK can't land Durant/Irving, they're probably going to target Kemba.  Kemba's from Harlem so he has that connection to NY.  NY also has better future prospects than Charlotte does.  The difference could be that CHA can offer Kemba a bigger contract than NY can, but he can absolutely recoup that in the larger market.  I think Kemba's free agency comes down to NYK or returning to CHA.

Klay Thompson-Golden State Warriors-no matter what happens in the Finals, GSW isn't going to blow up their core.  Klay has grown as a player to be an excellent all around two way player, has been a fan favorite for a long time and compliments the team well.  They'll offer him the max and move on from there.

Jimmy Butler-Philadelphia 76ers-it's already been rumored Butler is going to be offered a max contract from PHI, far more than another team can offer and I bet he takes it.  If there's any real moving or shaking in PHI, it's going to be trading Ben Simmons.  Butler had a really good tenure with PHI and will only get stronger as he finds his role.

D'Angelo Russell-Indiana Pacers-this one's tough.  Clearly, BKN is looking for a different combo than Russell + Durant/Kawhi/etc.  So that leaves Russell looking elsewhere and with BKN and NYK nabbing other top PG's, the top 2 markets are off the table which leaves Indiana, Dallas, Chicago and Phoenix as the other four likely suitors.  IND would provide Russell with the best chance at winning amongst those four.  Chicago would provide the biggest market.  Dallas's situation is complicated with Porzingis pending free agency and Phoenix is such a mess I'm not sure he considers them.  I left it with IND as they have a great team culture and the best chance at winning.

Tobias Harris-Philadelphia 76ers-this one's really tough too.  I can't imagine PHI trading a ton of assets for Harris for only a few months of work and letting him walk for nothing.  PHI is also in a similar situation to MIL with Middleton.  If they don't re-sign Tobias, it doesn't open up cap space for them.  If they max Butler, it puts them at the cap anyway.  I suppose they could sign someone else first, then max Butler going above the salary cap, but again, it'd be punting on that Harris wasn't a great trade to begin with.  Harris won't get maxed and I think his free agency will play out longer than most, but ultimately I see him returning to PHI and them trying to work out the kinks.

Kristaps Porzingis-Dallas Mavericks-KP won't have a lot of options.  He's restricted so DAL can and will match any offer he gets.  The question will be, will he take the contract DAL offers or will he sign the qualifying offer and become unrestricted next season?  That's a huge risk coming back from a torn ACL, if he signs the QO, he loses out on around $30M this season, risks re-injuring himself or not being the same and losing out on even more money in the future.

Khris Middleton-Milwaukee Bucks-I expect this to be a quick free agency for Middleton.  I think the have his contract done in pencil already, they just need the clock to strike and put pen to paper.  They're not going to toy around and let him look at other offers.  The only hang up would be if Middleton wants a different/bigger role somewhere else which I just don't see happening.

Nikola Vucevic-LA Lakers-if the Lakers strike out everywhere else like it's looking could happen, I think they panic sign some guys.  Vucevic would be a perfect pairing with Lebron as he can stretch the floor and score in a variety of ways, it's just not the monster signing they're hoping for.  If the Lakers can nab Anthony Davis though, Vucevic will be off the table.

Demarcus Cousins-Houston Rockets/Milwaukee Bucks-Cousins played 30 games for GSW, has looked out of shape and inefficient.  His market isn't going to be very big this summer and these two picks are purely 'just in case,' predictions.  If the Rockets do blow it up by trading Capela, they'll need to fill in the cracks.  Cousins would be a good pick and roll partner for Harden.  The Rockets can't offer much though, in terms of contract, but could probably get him for the mid-level exception.  As for Milwaukee, it'd probably be something like their 5th resort.  Brook Lopez obviously is the #1 choice at center, but if it can't be worked out or he gets more money elsewhere and takes it, the Bucks would probably look to the next pool of centers that fit a similar mold-Dewayne Dedmon, Frank Kaminsky and Cousins falls into that group.

Malcolm Brogdon-Phoenix Suns-it's becoming more and more of a possibility, looking at these scenarios, that Brogdon could get a huge offer that the Bucks can't match.  A $22.5M per year contract would do it, and I see Phoenix offering that up.  PHX lost out in the lottery by dropping to 6th where Morant and Garland likely won't be their and they need another guard pairing next to Booker.  Brogdon fits the role that he won't take the ball out of Booker's hands entirely, but can also defend multiple positions that Booker cant.  

Bojan Bogdanovic-Indiana Pacers-short of a sign and trade or something similar, I see IND bringing him back.  A rumor floated around that the Spurs were trying to unload Demar DeRozan to target Bogdanovic, which is a weird move, but those two swapping spots would be interesting.  But in this scenario, IND uses it's cap space to sign Russell and then re-signs Bogdanovic to round out their roster to include Oladipo.  Bogdanovic would be a perfect third banana on that team.

Paul Millsap-Denver Nuggets-Millsap has a team option fo $30M that DEN will decline, but then work to bring him back.  Declining the option though, makes him unrestricted.  DEN has a full roster so their only priorities will be to bring back Millsap and fill in around the edges of their team.  He's 33 years old, but still a great defender and passer.  I see them bringing him back for something like $12M per year.
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cameroncrazies02
Some Anthony Davis trade ideas-

BOS incoming-Anthony Davis, Chris Paul
BOS outgoing-Al Horford, Jayson Tatum, Marcus Smart, #14, 2020 MEM 1st

HOU incoming-Al Horford, Marcus Smart
HOU outgoing-Clint Capela, Chris Paul

NOP incoming-Jayson Tatum, Clint Capela, #14, MEM 2020 1st
NOP outgoing-Anthony Davis

For BOS-this would be the absolute most BOS would have to throw in to try to get Davis, but it'd give them Chris Paul, Jaylen Brown, Anthony Davis, and a good amount of cap space if they renounce their free agents.  That CP3 contract though, is pretty rough and if AD leaves after next season, they'd be in a world of hurt.

For HOU-this would probably be a no-brainer for them.  They'd shed the CP3 contract and take on one year of Horford remaining with the ability to extend him.  Horford would be a deadly fit in the pick and roll with Harden and Smart would take on defensive duties and the spirit of the team.  This would also shed some salary for HOU to give them wiggle room this summer and for the future.

For NOP-this is far and away the best package NOP is probably getting for Davis.  They get their top target in Tatum, a rim running, defensive big in Capela on a fair contract and two pretty valuable picks.
--------------------------
BOS incoming-Anthony Davis
BOS outgoing-Jayson Tatum, Al Horford, #14, MEM 2020 1st

NOP incoming-Jayson Tatum, Steven Adams, #14, MEM 2020 1st
NOP outgoing-Anthony Davis

OKC incoming-Al Horford
OKC outgoing-Steven Adams

For BOS-this is the parameters of their deal to begin with.  A Davis/Horford frontline would be terrifying defensively, but would also be a bit clumsy offensively, I think any BOS trade for AD has to start with Horford being included.  BOS again, would nab a ton of cap space in this deal, shedding about $12M allowing them to go out and get another free agent PG.

For NOP-a similar deal to the one above, Adams is a fantastic teammate and locker room guy and would be a great mentor for a young, re-building team that could still be ultra-competitive with Holiday, Tatum, Zion and Adams.

For OKC-it's a script-flip for them.  Horford would be a much better fit as a floor spacer around Westbrook and with Horford expiring, they'd open up the ability to be flexible in the future.
--------------------------
NOP incoming-Lonzo Ball, Brandon Ingram, Damantas Sabonis, #4, future LAL 1st
NOP outgoing-Anthony Davis

LAL incoming-Anthony Davis
LAL outgoing-Lonzo Ball, Brandon Ingram, Kyle Kuzma, #4, Future 1st

IND incoming-Kyle Kuzma
IND outgoing-Damantas Sabonis

For NOP-the toughest part for NOP is taking back Lonzo in any scenario.  A LAL trade means Ball is available, as is #4 where Darius Garland is the prize.  You could play both together, so it's possible they take back Ball, draft Garland and still have Holiday, but that's a lot of ballhandlers, so this trade is tricky.  In this deal, they take the stash anyway and fill out their roster.  The other tough part is Kuzma, Ingram and Zion are all similar size and position, so taking back Kuzma isn't really an option either.  They flip Kuzma to IND for Sabonis in better fits for both teams.  NOP runs with Ball, Holiday, Ingram, Zion and Sabonis with Garland off the bench.

For LAL-this is the parameters of any AD trade.

For IND-Sabonis is nearing an extension and they just extended Myles Turner who isn't a great fit with Sabonis, so Sabonis should be sent out to maximize their assets.  Kuzma is a much better fit next to Turner.
--------------------------
NOP incoming-Jarrett Allen, Caris LaVert, Mikal Bridges, #6, #27
NOP outgoing-Anthony Davis

BKN incoming-Anthony Davis
BKN outgoing-D'Angelo Russell (sign and trade), Jarrett Allen, Caris LaVert, #27

PHX incoming-D'Angelo Russell (sign and trade)
PHX outgoing-#6, Mikal Bridges

For NOP-a varying mix of talent for NOP that doesn't exactly reach top end, but gives them flexibility.  At 6, they take Coby White.  White, Holiday, LaVert, Zion, Allen with Bridges off the bench.

For BKN-they essentially wiped their slate clean, bring in Davis and can sign two max free agents.  Say they pick up Kyrie Irving and Kevin Durant, they could have Irving, Dinwiddie, Prince, Durant, Davis with Joe Harris and Rodions Kurucs off the bench.

For PHX-they nab their PG they've been searching for but it comes at a high cost.  In this scenario, they then re-sign Kelly Oubre Jr and try to trade Josh Jackson.  They bring back a similar roster, but with Russell running the point moving Booker to his more natural SG position.
-------------------------
NYK trades Mitchell Robinson, Kevin Knox, Dennis Smith Jr, #3 to NOP for Anthony Davis

For NYK-they too, clear out almost their entire roster having just Frank Ntilikina and Alonzo Trier back, bring in Davis and have room for a max contract (Kyrie, Kemba or Durant) and fill in the gaps with a host of cap space remaining.

For NOP-this is probably the lowest level of talent they could get back, but they get #3 and take RJ Barrett, pairing Barrett with Zion.  Robinson has a ton of potential as a rim running, athletic center and would greatly benefit from high level guards.  Smith Jr has been passed around a bit lately, he's inefficient and has an issue with health, but would almost be a throw in in this deal and could play off of Holiday.  Knox is a project, he has a long way to go but he's very young.  Smith, Holiday, Barrett, Zion, Robinson and Knox off the bench.
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oldballcoach1
Cameron - I am intrigued by the couple of Bucks moves you referenced.  First, Boogie Cousins.  This surprises me.  Cousins just seems like a 4 playing the 5 spot and he isn't really a rim protector.  I know he has been injured, but he just seems like a shell of what he was and he doesn't seem like a fit for the roster - either position wise or personality wise.  The one guy I am intrigued by would be Frank Kaminsky.  The obvious connection to the state, and he does seem to fit offensively.  He can space the floor and hit the 3 and is a pretty good pick and roll guy.  He would be a huge fan favorite.  Even if Lopez returns, I would love to see Frank the Tank in Milwaukee.  

Then Brogdan to Phoenix.  I think you are right if Phoenix offers that up, there is no way the Bucks can match it.  And for that matter, they shouldn't.  That is just a huge number for a guy that has struggled to stay on the floor physically.  Hate to see young guys that were drafted moved on, but in this case, there isn't much choice.  
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cameroncrazies02
Cameron - I am intrigued by the couple of Bucks moves you referenced.  First, Boogie Cousins.  This surprises me.  Cousins just seems like a 4 playing the 5 spot and he isn't really a rim protector.  I know he has been injured, but he just seems like a shell of what he was and he doesn't seem like a fit for the roster - either position wise or personality wise.  The one guy I am intrigued by would be Frank Kaminsky.  The obvious connection to the state, and he does seem to fit offensively.  He can space the floor and hit the 3 and is a pretty good pick and roll guy.  He would be a huge fan favorite.  Even if Lopez returns, I would love to see Frank the Tank in Milwaukee.  

Then Brogdan to Phoenix.  I think you are right if Phoenix offers that up, there is no way the Bucks can match it.  And for that matter, they shouldn't.  That is just a huge number for a guy that has struggled to stay on the floor physically.  Hate to see young guys that were drafted moved on, but in this case, there isn't much choice.  


Cousins is still recovering from a torn achilles which he may never fully recover from fully based on his body size.  But once he healed, he came back and played right at the time line given.  His cardio is clearly in the tank and a full summer of working out will do him wonders.  Cousins is a far better defender than Kaminsky is.  He may not be very good laterally, but neither is Brook.  Bud put Brook in positions to not get him isolated and will do so moving forward with any center.  I threw Cousins on the list even with the caveat that it's a long shot, but looking at the free agent centers that are attainable with the MLE, the three I mentioned are the only ones with the ability to space the floor.  Don't get too excited about Kaminsky.  He has some terrible weakspots, particularly defensively.  He gets absolutely abused on defense in all facets, he shouldn't be a 30 MPG guy.  We were very spoiled by Lopez this year, he was a top 5 defensive player this year and just didn't get the recognition because of Giannis genius ability as a free safety and Bledsoe's lock down perimeter defense.

I think PHX signing Brogdon would be a last resort.  I see them going after D'Angelo Russell first, then possibly getting involved with a Lonzo Ball trade and even trying to get into the Kyrie/Kemba sweepstakes before they looked at Brogdon.  But the connection has been floated around and if PHX gets to the point where Brogdon is their answer, they're going to overpay to ensure they don't lose out on him in an offer sheet which would be a $20-22.5M per year contract offer.
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cameroncrazies02
With Kevin Durant likely tearing his achilles, this summer's free agency is going to get really whacky.  BKN, NYK and LAL cleared two max contract spots to try to pair Durant with another guy.  Now Durant's market is going to be markedly smaller.  I have no idea what happens with him now.  I'd guess he gets a 2 year deal at $25M per year knowing it's going to take almost a full year to recover, but taking a 2 year deal will put him at 32, almost 33 when that deal is up.  That's a tough spot.  It's still likely he could be fine by then and still be really good and get one last massive contract, but it's just as likely he's never the same and never gets a max deal again.  I think you can take LAL out of any conversation for Durant, I also don't think they were that big of suitors for him to begin with, but they're not going to want to wait for him to recover for a year with Lebron aging.  

With the Anthony Davis saga essentially boiling down to LAL and NYK, now the Knicks offer is going to skyrocket seeing that they won't necessarily have the fallback if they fail on the Davis trade to just sign KD and Kyrie or Kemba.  They could still do that, but that's a huge gamble on a bad injury.  It's not like the Knicks were holding back any assets to include in a Davis trade, but now their offer probably increases to include Alonzo Trier and an extra 1st round pick to ensure they get something.

I'd be surprised if KD is signed anywhere than back with Golden State now.  My guess is they offer him a 2 year deal at a much smaller salary than the max which makes bringing Klay and Draymond back more feasible.
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cameroncrazies02
OFFICIAL TRADE:

Lakers incoming-
-Anthony Davis

Pelicans incoming-
-Brandon Ingram
-Lonzo Ball
-Josh Hart
-#4 pick in 2019 Draft
-2021 1st round pick (top 8 protected, unprotected in 2022)
-Pick swap in 2023
-2024 1st rd pick (unprotected with option to defer to 2025)

For LA Lakers-

They got their man and kept Kyle Kuzma, but it cost them.  The Lakers opted to offer up draft capital in lieu of Kuzma which was what LA was holding back on since this began.  While the road has been windy and found a ditch this season, the Lakers transformed their team of lottery picks into Lebron and Anthony Davis.  This was the Lakers summer to go all in and they weren't going to miss out.  Now they have two of the top 5-7 players in the league when healthy and cap space to work with.  The Lakers will enter the season with Lebron, Davis, Kuzma, Mo Wagner and Isaac Bonga under contract.  They have a max salary slot available to them, but only for a player in the range of 0-7 years as there are gradual increases with years experience.  While they won't be able to offer Jimmy Butler or Kemba Walker the full max, they offer the biggest market with two of the best players in the league.  Now it comes down to whether a player wants to play there for less money.  The Lakers other option is to nab two lesser free agents to fill out their roster better and then fill in the cracks with minimum contracts.  This is still a huge gamble.  Anthony Davis is not going to re-sign this summer and will enter free agency next year, but at least they get a full audition year to convince Davis to stay.  The track record looks pretty good thus far in trades for superstars in the final year of their contract to this point and I'd expect Davis to stay barring some turn of events.

For NO Pelicans-

While they didn't get the top end talent they were looking for (Jayson Tatum), David Griffin did what he does best and collect every draft capital he could.  Lonzo Ball has had some chronic soft tissue injuries that he'll certainly need to get over, but the Lakers medical staff doesn't have a great track record.  He is wildly enigmatic among NBA circles regarding the thought of his playing style, but there's no doubt he's talented.  He will be surrounded by far better and more fitting talent than he played with in LA.  Ingram came along quite well last season.  He's become a mid range assassin, but he needs to add strength and a consistent outside jumpshot to take his game to the next level.  Josh Hart was somewhat inexplicably out of the Lakers rotation for much of last season considering his shooting ability, while Luke Walton opted for Caldwell-Pope and Lance Stephenson far more, but he's a talented scorer and shooter.

As for the draft picks, the #4 pick is obviously the prize and there's going to be a lot of chatter over the next 5 days pre-draft whether they keep the pick or not.  If they keep it, Darius Garland is surely the pick, but with Lonzo and Holiday under contract, Garland would play a 6th man role which would fit him nicely.  Garland has worlds of potential.  He is probably the best pure scorer with the ball in his hands in this draft, but the injury issue and lack of experience are a question mark.  The Pelicans will also pick up a 2021 1st rounder.  That's two seasons from now, one year beyond a Davis extension. If Davis leaves and the Lakers are struggling, they've protected themselves into the top 8 where it defers to unprotected in 2022.  More than likely, this is a pick in the 20's.  They also own a 2023 pick swap which is after the final year of Lebron's contract when he'll be 38.  That pick swap could be huge for New Orleans.  And being an ultra-fan of trades, I've never seen a traded pick like the one in 2024/2025.  The Pelicans will have the option to grab the 2024 pick or defer to 2025 which to my knowledge has never been done.

The Pelicans have a roster thus far of Lonzo Ball, Jrue Holiday, Brandon Ingram, Zion Williamson (#1 pick) and bench depth of Josh Hart, Jahlil Okafor, Christian Wood, E'Twuan Moore, Kenrich Williams and Solomon Hill.  The Pelicans also own the 4th pick which they could take Garland, and would still have about $20M in cap space.  The Pelicans have been a treadmill of a roster for years, constantly plugging and playing with various roster formations around Davis, have made some horrendous signings like Omer Asik and Solomon Hill, traded for Demarcus Cousins which depleted their assets and now completely transformed their roster into one of the best asset treasure chests in the NBA.
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cameroncrazies02
My Free Agent Predictions-

It's June 9th, less than a month from the beginning of free agency.  Will be fun to watch how this changes over the next 3 weeks.

Kawhi Leonard-LA Clippers-with the way the Finals is going, it's so hard for me to see Kawhi winning a championship there then leaving in free agency.  But Kawhi is a different dude.  He was asked a postgame question, in front of a bunch of Toronto fans, after the game 4 win about how he thinks this is helping Toronto and his response was, "I don't do this for the fans."  I don't think he cares about what people think about him, but I also don't have a clue what he's looking for.  I don't see it being a money or brand thing, the dude has a New Balance contract, rocks corn rows and doesn't promote himself.  The one VERY telling thing was Kawhi's sister (I think) posted a video on Instagram talking about Kawhi and his uncle, in the background shouted something about, "ya'll know he's still leaving your (butts)."  His uncle is his brand promoter and has been the voice, and vice, between Kawhi as his handler and caused a major rift between Kawhi and San Antonio.  If Kawhi leaves, I think it's to go west and probably end up in LA, but that's not to go to the Lakers and play next to Lebron.

Kevin Durant-Brooklyn Nets-the Nets, over the last two weeks, have been rumored to be the front runner for Kyrie Irving in free agency.  It's no coincidence in that time frame, they opened up two max salary slots.  Now they are competing with the Knicks with those two max salary slots.  Brooklyn absolutely has a line on Kyrie's thought process that he'd sign there, but only if Durant comes too.  Brooklyn didn't dump two first round picks to clear out an expiring contract for this summer just for the heck of it.

Kyrie Irving-Brooklyn Nets-again, Brooklyn is out for blood this summer, opened up two max contract slots, has a fantastic core to surround two stars with, a great front office, a seemingly well respected head coach and is still a fairly large market and just outside of New York.  This summer is going to be bad for the Knicks.

Kemba Walker-New York Knicks-Kemba's going to be 1b on the free agency radar, whatever happens with Durant and Irving will likely trickle down to Kemba's decision.  If NYK can't land Durant/Irving, they're probably going to target Kemba.  Kemba's from Harlem so he has that connection to NY.  NY also has better future prospects than Charlotte does.  The difference could be that CHA can offer Kemba a bigger contract than NY can, but he can absolutely recoup that in the larger market.  I think Kemba's free agency comes down to NYK or returning to CHA.

Klay Thompson-Golden State Warriors-no matter what happens in the Finals, GSW isn't going to blow up their core.  Klay has grown as a player to be an excellent all around two way player, has been a fan favorite for a long time and compliments the team well.  They'll offer him the max and move on from there.

Jimmy Butler-Philadelphia 76ers-it's already been rumored Butler is going to be offered a max contract from PHI, far more than another team can offer and I bet he takes it.  If there's any real moving or shaking in PHI, it's going to be trading Ben Simmons.  Butler had a really good tenure with PHI and will only get stronger as he finds his role.

D'Angelo Russell-Indiana Pacers-this one's tough.  Clearly, BKN is looking for a different combo than Russell + Durant/Kawhi/etc.  So that leaves Russell looking elsewhere and with BKN and NYK nabbing other top PG's, the top 2 markets are off the table which leaves Indiana, Dallas, Chicago and Phoenix as the other four likely suitors.  IND would provide Russell with the best chance at winning amongst those four.  Chicago would provide the biggest market.  Dallas's situation is complicated with Porzingis pending free agency and Phoenix is such a mess I'm not sure he considers them.  I left it with IND as they have a great team culture and the best chance at winning.

Tobias Harris-Philadelphia 76ers-this one's really tough too.  I can't imagine PHI trading a ton of assets for Harris for only a few months of work and letting him walk for nothing.  PHI is also in a similar situation to MIL with Middleton.  If they don't re-sign Tobias, it doesn't open up cap space for them.  If they max Butler, it puts them at the cap anyway.  I suppose they could sign someone else first, then max Butler going above the salary cap, but again, it'd be punting on that Harris wasn't a great trade to begin with.  Harris won't get maxed and I think his free agency will play out longer than most, but ultimately I see him returning to PHI and them trying to work out the kinks.

Kristaps Porzingis-Dallas Mavericks-KP won't have a lot of options.  He's restricted so DAL can and will match any offer he gets.  The question will be, will he take the contract DAL offers or will he sign the qualifying offer and become unrestricted next season?  That's a huge risk coming back from a torn ACL, if he signs the QO, he loses out on around $30M this season, risks re-injuring himself or not being the same and losing out on even more money in the future.

Khris Middleton-Milwaukee Bucks-I expect this to be a quick free agency for Middleton.  I think the have his contract done in pencil already, they just need the clock to strike and put pen to paper.  They're not going to toy around and let him look at other offers.  The only hang up would be if Middleton wants a different/bigger role somewhere else which I just don't see happening.

Nikola Vucevic-LA Lakers-if the Lakers strike out everywhere else like it's looking could happen, I think they panic sign some guys.  Vucevic would be a perfect pairing with Lebron as he can stretch the floor and score in a variety of ways, it's just not the monster signing they're hoping for.  If the Lakers can nab Anthony Davis though, Vucevic will be off the table.

Demarcus Cousins-Houston Rockets/Milwaukee Bucks-Cousins played 30 games for GSW, has looked out of shape and inefficient.  His market isn't going to be very big this summer and these two picks are purely 'just in case,' predictions.  If the Rockets do blow it up by trading Capela, they'll need to fill in the cracks.  Cousins would be a good pick and roll partner for Harden.  The Rockets can't offer much though, in terms of contract, but could probably get him for the mid-level exception.  As for Milwaukee, it'd probably be something like their 5th resort.  Brook Lopez obviously is the #1 choice at center, but if it can't be worked out or he gets more money elsewhere and takes it, the Bucks would probably look to the next pool of centers that fit a similar mold-Dewayne Dedmon, Frank Kaminsky and Cousins falls into that group.

Malcolm Brogdon-Phoenix Suns-it's becoming more and more of a possibility, looking at these scenarios, that Brogdon could get a huge offer that the Bucks can't match.  A $22.5M per year contract would do it, and I see Phoenix offering that up.  PHX lost out in the lottery by dropping to 6th where Morant and Garland likely won't be their and they need another guard pairing next to Booker.  Brogdon fits the role that he won't take the ball out of Booker's hands entirely, but can also defend multiple positions that Booker cant.  

Bojan Bogdanovic-Indiana Pacers-short of a sign and trade or something similar, I see IND bringing him back.  A rumor floated around that the Spurs were trying to unload Demar DeRozan to target Bogdanovic, which is a weird move, but those two swapping spots would be interesting.  But in this scenario, IND uses it's cap space to sign Russell and then re-signs Bogdanovic to round out their roster to include Oladipo.  Bogdanovic would be a perfect third banana on that team.

Paul Millsap-Denver Nuggets-Millsap has a team option fo $30M that DEN will decline, but then work to bring him back.  Declining the option though, makes him unrestricted.  DEN has a full roster so their only priorities will be to bring back Millsap and fill in around the edges of their team.  He's 33 years old, but still a great defender and passer.  I see them bringing him back for something like $12M per year.


It's been 8 days and this list is completely upside down.  Updates here.

Kawhi Leonard-Toronto Raptors-it's getting harder and harder for me to see Kawhi leaving Toronto.  They played to his wants, resting on back to backs, and building a solid team around him.  Their pitch to him is they're bringing everyone back and getting healthier with Anunoby coming back so they can run it back and after next season, they'll have max salary space to build around Kawhi entirely.  Moving to LA Clippers would mean a new environment around a young team without a lot of proven winners.  It'd be a huge risk, especially with Anthony Davis pairing with Lebron with the Lakers.  I'm about 50/50 on whether Kawhi leaves.

Kevin Durant-Golden State Warriors-apparently the Warriors are planning to offer Durant and Klay both 5 year max contracts even with their injuries.  His injury changes everything.  I don't think there will be a shortage of teams still knocking at his door any longer even with the injury, but going to a new team and recovering from a torn achilles and having a solid plan for next year AND the future is going to be a weird combination for any team.  There's clearly some issues in GS-Durant's teammates kind of called him out for not playing, there was pressure from the front office and there was midseason on court drama with Draymond Green.  I still think it's very possible he returns and it might be most comfortable to just re-sign and take the supermax.

Kyrie Irving-Brooklyn Nets-book this one in blood.  Irving fired his agent earlier this week and signed with RocNation, represented by Jay-Z, part owner of the Nets.  I think it's all but done that he signs there and they let D'Angelo Russell walk.

Kemba Walker-Charlotte Hornets-without a feasible place for him to go and pair with another star, I think Kemba stays where he started his career and just takes the supermax.  There's a very, very small chance he goes to the Lakers, but because of the timing of the trade for AD, the Lakers fumbled cap space in doing so and can no longer offer a max contract which certainly will cause some players to shy away.  Charlotte isn't headed in a good direction, but his other suitors have issues-Lakers can't offer the max, the Knicks are probably in a worse position than Charlotte and can't offer the same years and money that CHA can.

Klay Thompson-Golden State Warriors-this is probably my second or third most confident prediction.  He tore his ACL in game 6 which is going to cool his market.  He's a phenomenal player, but isn't the transcendent superstar KD is that will cause a team to offer him the max and have the flexibility to allow him the year to recover and the team still be good when he gets back.

Jimmy Butler-Philadelphia 76ers-much like Kemba, I would've penciled Butler to LA in but they can't offer him the max either anymore.  PHI seems prepared to offer him the full 5 years and I bet he takes it and stays in PHI.

Khris Middleton-Milwaukee Bucks-with the market filling in here and not a lot of teams left to willingly offer Middleton a max, the Bucks will likely do just that and keep him in Milwaukee.

D'Angelo Russell-Phoenix Suns-with Irving likely headed for BKN, that leaves Russell a true free agent.  PHX is so desperate for a PG and with a trade for Lonzo Ball now off the books, I'd bet the Suns offer up probably the best remaining FA PG on the market to run their offense alongside Booker.  The one caveat is the Pelicans will likely put the 4th pick up for sale and the Suns could offer something like the 6th pick, the Bucks 2020 1st and a future 1st to move up to 4 and they take Darius Garland.

Tobias Harris-Philadelphia 76ers-if the 76ers keep Butler, it's likely they also re-sign Harris.  They're not going to punt on that trade where they gave up so many assets for Harris to only let him walk after a half of a season.  PHI will have some serious competition for Harris's services like Brooklyn, so it's going to come down to whether they're willing to max or near-max him out.

Kristaps Porzingis-Dallas Mavericks-this remains the same, Porzingis can either re-sign with DAL, take an offer sheet from another team which DAL will promptly match or sign the qualifying offer to become unrestricted next summer.  I doubt he takes the QO and gives up a full year of a max contract.

Nikola Vucevic-New Orleans Pelicans-the Pelicans will have some cap space this summer and with so many teams set at center or not in the market for one, Vucevic may be gotten for a bit of a bargain.  There's about 5 teams that could go after him so this is a shot in the dark, but Vucevic on the Pelicans will be an awesome fit.

Malcolm Brogdon-Milwaukee Bucks-in this scenario, PHX is off the table for Brogdon as they picked up Russell.  The Lakers could chase Brogdon but it'd cost them almost all of their cap space.  He'd fit their timeline and be a great fit for them, but I think they have bigger plans.  CHI is likely to take Coby White in the draft, knocking them out of contention for him.  The Hawks, Knicks, 76ers, and Mavericks are probably the biggest in contention with the Bucks.  It'll come down to whether MIL lets him go get an offer sheet, what that offer sheet looks like and what MIL is willing to match.  There are a number of teams that could outbid Milwaukee for him, but I'm going to stay positive and say he stays.

Bojan Bogdanovic-Indiana Pacers-like Middleton, the suitors for Bogdanovic that fits the timeline of his age (30) are dwindling.  He was great for them last year and will be even better with a full year of Oladipo back.

Paul Millsap-Denver Nuggets-I still think DEN brings him back.  He would fit a lot of teams needs, but DEN can offer him a similar amount he'll get on the open market.

Demarcus Cousins-LA Lakers-if the Lakers go with a plan to sign two free agents at lesser deals, I could see them targeting Cousins.  Anthony Davis has notoriously preferred to play PF, but with a Lebron/Kuzma/Davis frontcourt, he'll likely be slotted as a starting center.  But a competent backup big man like Cousins would offer the opportunity for Davis to slide to the 4.  Cousins and Davis had a great relationship the one year they played in New Orleans together and Davis could recruit him there and try to get him to take less money.

Julius Randle-Brooklyn Nets-it'll be interesting to see what the Nets do to fill out their second max contract slot, they'll have plenty of players to choose from, but in this breakdown, the players dwindled quickly.  BKN has a massive need at PF and he'd be a great fit with his increasing ability to stretch the floor.  Irving would have field days running around pick and rolls of Jarrett Allen and Randle.

Al Horford-Sacramento Kings-there's a big caveat here...Horford has a $30M player option.  His opt out date I think is June 30th.  The Celtics struck out on the AD deal and are set to lose Irving.  Will Horford decline his option to get one last big contract and if he does, will BOS offer it?  BOS very well might let him walk considering their timeline appears to be slowing down drastically.  If he declines the option and BOS lets him walk, BOS suddenly is in play for some of these free agents with cap space.  I could see SAC breaking the bank for Horford to open a window to build a winning team.  He'd be phenomenal next to Marvin Bagley and running pick and roll with De'Aaron Fox.


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cameroncrazies02
Al Horford declines $30M player option for next season-

While that's a fat contract to decline, it makes sense for Horford.  He should get something in the range of 3 years, $75M.  Now the question will be what do the Celtics do.  I think Horford's priority will be to stay with BOS, but since they didn't get Davis and Kyrie is leaving, what other options do they have to acquire talent unless they package 14, 20, 22 and/or MEM 2020 1st for a player?  And who is that player?  
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cameroncrazies02
Al Horford declines $30M player option for next season-

While that's a fat contract to decline, it makes sense for Horford.  He should get something in the range of 3 years, $75M.  Now the question will be what do the Celtics do.  I think Horford's priority will be to stay with BOS, but since they didn't get Davis and Kyrie is leaving, what other options do they have to acquire talent unless they package 14, 20, 22 and/or MEM 2020 1st for a player?  And who is that player?  


This was developing as I posted it and moved on pretty quickly.  Horford apparently is on his way out of Boston.  He's seeking a 4 year deal in the range of 4/100.  He just turned 33 so you're signing a guy that when he's 37, will be getting around $30M per year.  4 years is a big asking price.  3 years would be perfect for any team looking for his services.  My guess is someone offers 3/80 and he takes it.  Now who those teams are will be interesting.

Sacramento Kings-with the Kings having a load of cap space, and a hole at center with Willie Cauley Stein entering free agency, Horford would be a perfect fit there.  He doesn't fit their time frame, but if they wanted to accelerate that time line, he'd be great next to Bagley, Fox and Hield as a high post passer and all around defender.  The Kings were also recently gifted Harrison Barnes declining his $25M player option to open up more cap space.

LA Lakers-I'd put them at the bottom of my probable list, if they get enough money to acquire someone like Horford, they're going to go after a PG or wing, but if it all fell through, he'd fit well next to Anthony Davis who prefers to play the 4.  The problem is, they have Kuzma, Lebron and Davis, so one of them wouldn't start which would be an odd fit.  But it's not out of the question yet that Kuzma is traded.

New Orleans Pelicans-the Pelicans, like the Kings, have a young core and Horford doesn't fit their timeline, but if they wanted to bring in a guy who's a proven winner and a great locker room guy, Horford would be a great fit around all those playmakers.

Atlanta Hawks-similar to those above, the Hawks have a young core and Horford doesn't fit the timeline, but he too would be a great fit.  I think the Hawks look to bring in a young center in the draft instead of signing 33 year old Horford, but he played in Atlanta before, got them to 60 wins previously and would make ATL a conversation piece in the East.

Dallas Mavericks-Horford would be a great fit next to Doncic and Porzingis, but the question is whether DAL wants to blow their cap space they've built up on signing Horford at 33, then maxing Porzingis after a torn ACL.  That's a lot of risk for two guys on different career trajectories with their own concerns with a long term contract.

All this to say, it still would surprise me quite a bit if Horford left BOS.  There isn't a great fit out there regarding teams with the requisite space to sign him.  But BOS too seems to be striking out big time and they may panic sign Horford.
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traviswilson
Middleton on a max deal scares the crap out of me. To me, he's not that kind of guy. I'd rather have Brogdon at something like 4/80 and let Brogdon and Bledsoe play together and off of each other.
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cameroncrazies02
Harrison Barnes declines $25M player option, becomes UFA-

It was thought all along Barnes would easily accept the option, but he swerved and turned it down for a long term contract.  He fit in well for SAC as a knock down shooter and primary defender.  I don't think he declined his option blindly, I'd bet there's a handshake deal with SAC to extend him to something like 3/60 or 4/80 which would be very Kings of them to do so.  They now have something ridiculous like $50M in cap space and could really flip the West if they did this summer right.  But I'd bet they re-sign Barnes to a big contract, try to find another center who fits the team better with higher upside than Cauley-Stein and desperately try to get into the playoffs.

Chris Paul Conundrum-

A report came out yesterday that CP3 demanded a trade and the relationship between he and Harden is not going well.  CP3 answered to some of that on Instagram saying it was all news to him.  This didn't come from nowhere, where there's smoke there's fire.  Daryl Morey has said all along they're not trading CP3, but if a trade came along that worked for them, there's no way they turn it down considering his MASSIVE contract, age and bad injury history.  Along those same lines, allegedly there was recent talk of the Rockets discussing a Clint Capela to BOS trade scenario.  This would make a lot of sense for BOS.  He fits the age parameters of the rest of their team.  BOS doesn't have a lot of contracts to work with, but could certainly eat up some of that salary into cap space.  But they could do something like Baynes, Robert Williams, #14 and #22 for Clint Capela.  BOS would retain the 20th pick yet and get their center of the future while HOU would cut some cost (about $8M) off their books, get a young big with potential in Williams and two 1sts.

Along that thinking, if BOS really wanted to go for it, they could do a Hayward and Baynes for CP3 trade.  CP3's contract runs for one more year than Hayward's, would give HOU another scorer and bench big man, while BOS gets a PG to keep the train chugging along.  If I was BOS, I'd rather see what I could get with the MEM pick.  That pick, if it conveys next year, will be around 10-15, or may not convey until 2021 at which time BOS may have a completely different team and MEM could be far better by then.  Offer up some of their expirings and MEM pick and #14 for something big to regroup.
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cameroncrazies02
Khris Middleton opts out of player option, becomes UFA-

While this was expected all along, a report came out yesterday Middleton intends to re-sign with MIL for 5 years and slightly less than the max.  This is probably best case scenario.  A max contract is in the realm of 5 yrs, $190M.  If he takes 5/170, that would ease the burden a little.  This is good news that Bledsoe and Middleton have taken less than what they probably could've commanded.  It may not give the Bucks any additional flexibility, but it may make retaining some of our own that much easier.  I still think we bring back Middleton and Lopez for sure, with Hill as a possibility depending on how the exact contracts work themselves out and Mirotic likely left out.
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oldballcoach1
That is a good sign if Middleton will take less.  That does say something about the organization.  It would really help to being back Lopez that is for sure.  The more I see, the more I think someone is going to make Brogdan an offer.  Phoenix is talked about a lot, maybe the Lakers if they are not able to go get Kemba or one of the top guys. 

Lets say this - what if Middleton does leave??  Wouldn't that mean a return for Lopez, Brogdan, and Hill and then someone like a Bobby Portis, Wilson Chandler, or Kelly Obure??  Not sure that isn't more value.  I just hope they don't go to 5 years for the max with him.
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yzerman1
This is how ESPN analyzes the trade of Snell:

Milwaukee Bucks: A-

[image]

Every dollar may count this summer for the Bucks, who will now head into free agency with between $71-72 million committed to eight players -- assuming they waive guard George Hill, whose $18 million salary is just $1 million guaranteed through July 1.

Based on the current luxury-tax projection of $132 million, that would give Milwaukee about $60 million to re-sign Malcolm BrogdonBrook Lopez and Khris Middleton plus fill out the rest of the roster while staying under the luxury tax threshold. Given Middleton alone is likely to command a starting salary of $30-plus million, that could be difficult if Brogdon gets a big offer sheet as a restricted free agent.  The Bucks could increase their 2019-20 savings by waiving Leuer, who played just 402 minutes last season in Detroit, and stretching his $9.5 million salary. That would create an extra $6 million and change in 2019-20 payroll for Milwaukee at the cost of keeping Leuer's salary on the books the following two years. Still, the 2020-21 payroll would be far lower without Snell's $12.4 million salary.

ESPN front office expert Bobby Marks points out another interesting benefit for the Bucks with this trade. If they renounce the rights to their non-starter free agents (most notably Nikola Mirotic, who started in place of Brogdon much of the postseason before falling out of the rotation late in the Eastern Conference finals), they could create about $14 million in cap space -- more than $20 million if they do waive and stretch Leuer -- to use re-signing Lopez.  Because Lopez was on a one-year deal, Milwaukee has non-Bird rights to re-sign him only while exceeding the cap. That would allow the Bucks to pay him a maximum of $4.1 million, surely not enough. Milwaukee could use the non-taxpayer midlevel exception on Lopez, but that's still a maximum of an estimated $9.2 million and would hard cap the Bucks at the apron, approximately $6.6 million greater than the tax line.

If there's a robust market for Lopez on the strength of his key role in Milwaukee's league-best record, creating cap space would give the Bucks the ability to make a more competitive offer. They can then use their Bird rights on Brogdon and Middleton to go over the cap by re-signing them while also retaining the projected $4.8 million room midlevel exception to use adding to the bench.  Given first-round picks are the easiest way to add cheap talent to an expensive roster like Milwaukee will soon have, I'm never a huge fan of using them to dump salary. But in this case, if it makes the difference in retaining Lopez, the deal would be well worth it for the Bucks.

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