NBA AM: Trade Situation Watch – Part 10
VIDEO OF THE DAY - Hassan Whiteside
HOOPSWORLD catches up with free agent center Hassan Whiteside at the IMG Academy. He talks about improving as a player and getting back into the NBA.Watch More Video Here
The Final Three: About three weeks ago we started looking at each NBA team and the various trade scenarios to watch as training camps approach. Today we’ll knock out the last three:
Fairly Set And Content: Golden State could have been like many teams in the NBA and rested on their laurels after finding a modicum of success last year. They could have played the “we’ll get better through internal growth” card, instead the Warriors leveraged some of their future in giving up draft picks to move off the contracts of center Andris Biedrins, forward Richard Jefferson and guard Brandon Rush to the Utah Jazz in order to sign free agent swingman Andre Iguodala.
The Warriors are all in.
That’s not to say Golden State doesn’t have options. The Warriors have $67.254 million in salary commitments and are under the luxury tax line. The Warriors also hold a couple of hefty Traded Player Exceptions — $11 million from Biedrins and $4 million from Rush — to dangle in the trade market.
The Warriors also have the ending $14 million contract of center Andrew Bogut to shop, should they feel the need to make a bigger deal and that is before you get into the rookie scale players they have like Draymond Greene, Klay Thompson, Festus Ezeli and Harrison Barnes.
Despite long-term deals to Iguodala, Curry and forward David Lee, the Warriors are well positioned to make midseason adjustments if they are needed. They have a fairly flexible cap situation going forward and the assets to make deals.
For an organization that was handcuffed to bad deal after bad deal two seasons ago, they are in great shape today and the success they had last season serves as fuel. Don’t expect the Warriors to get silly, but they do have the ability to be a player and remain under the luxury tax line if they choose to.
The Warriors are extremely high on the construct of their roster, so massive change is unlikely. But, with two significant TPEs and room to breathe under the tax don’t be surprised to see Golden State do a little shopping at the trade deadline, especially for an ending contract veteran that can help in the postseason.
A Lot Of Bigs In Milwaukee: The Milwaukee Bucks re-made themselves this offseason, adding new faces in new places, but as camp for the Bucks gets set to open in roughly three weeks, the biggest question surrounding the Bucks is what will they do with all those bigs?
As the roster stands today Milwaukee has center Larry Sanders, who was just extended, center Zaza Pachulia, who signed a $15 million deal this summer, 6’10 big man Ekpe Udoh, 6’11 big man John Henson and 7’0 center Miroslav Raduljica and that’s not even putting 6’10 small forward Ersan Ilyasova into the discussion.
Of the Bucks’ 15 guaranteed contracts, six of them belong to players 6’10 or bigger.
No matter how you slice it, Milwaukee has an excess in the frontcourt and at some point they are going to have to thin the herd a little, if only to create real playing time for some of their guys.
As things sit today the Bucks have $56.823 million in salary cap commitments, putting them under the cap by roughly $1.85 million.
With excess frontcourt help and some room under the cap to absorb contract differences, Milwaukee is in a good position to be a midseason player — especially as new head coach Larry Drew starts to sort out roles and rotations.
Sources close to the situation say that virtually every team in the league has called at one point this summer about Ilyasova, so if the Bucks struggle to get Ilyasova back to the form that earned him his current long-term deal, don’t be surprised to see him and his three years and $24.2 million remaining dangled around, especially if the rumored plan to play Henson and Sanders together becomes the norm in Milwaukee.
The Bucks have a ton of size and some cap flexibility to be a player at the deadline. So they are absolutely a team to watch, especially if they struggle to stay competitive in the Central Division.
Two More Years: To say last season’s trip to the NBA Finals emboldened the San Antonio Spurs is something of an understatement. The Spurs entered the offseason with tons of salary cap flexibility and rather than go shopping with their free agent money they opted to keep last year’s squad together.
Tiago Splitter got a hefty four-year deal, making him the longest contracted Spur. They re-signed guard Manu Ginobili to a new two-year deal at a more manageable price, that now lines his contract up to expire when forward Tim Duncan and guard Tony Parker’s deals are up.
The big offseason acquisitions were the signings of free agent two guard Marco Belinelli and forward Jeff Pendergraph to reasonably priced two-year deals.
Outside of that, the Spurs have re-loaded for another run with basically the same cast of characters.
If last season taught us anything, it’s that the Spurs, even in their advanced age, are still one of the NBA’s elite and they stayed committed to the core that got them to the Finals, despite a lot of reason to consider other options.
The Spurs feel like their chemistry, system and of course continuity give them an advantage. And, if Duncan and Parker can pick up where they left off in June, the Spurs may very well have a point.
The one thing the Spurs are counting on this season is continued development from forward Kawhi Leonard. The word from San Antonio is that he’ll have an even bigger role in the offense this year and he’ll be counted on to shoulder more responsibility on defense.
Overall, the Spurs might be one of the teams to cross off the trade list. They have the ending contracts of forward Boris Diaw and center Matt Bonner, but neither are going to return in trade more than they mean to the Spurs.
San Antonio proved this summer they are running with the same guys, unless something tragic happens, it’s doubtful San Antonio is a player in the trade market. Its seems they are giving this squad two more years.
We have now covered all 30 NBA teams, if you missed on click on the team name below:
The Cleveland Cavaliers, Orlando Magic and Toronto Raptors, the Philadelphia 76ers, Memphis Grizzlies and Boston Celtics, the Houston Rockets, Minnesota Wolves and Phoenix Suns, the Dallas Mavericks, Denver Nuggets and Detroit Pistons, the New York Knicks, Miami HEAT and New Orleans Pelicans , the LA Lakers, Sacramento Kings and Charlotte Bobcats, the Chicago Bulls, Atlanta Hawks and Portland Trail Blazers, the Washington Wizards, Utah Jazz and Brooklyn Nets and the Indiana Pacers, LA Clippers, and Oklahoma City Thunder
We Want To Know:
Looking Like No Deal For Deng: The Chicago Bulls were hoping to get a new contract extension done with forward Luol Deng in advance of training camp. The thought process was to remove that question from the equation and keep the circus about Deng’s future out of the media and out of the locker room. Unfortunately the Bulls and Deng appear to be at an impasse on a deal according to Comcast’s Aggrey Sam.
Citing an unnamed source Sam says Deng wanted to reach a deal:
“We were optimistic,” the source said of the mentality Deng’s camp had heading into the late August meeting, approximately two weeks ago. “Our goal was to get an extension done this summer. If that’s not what they want to do, so be it.
“We’re not upset, Luol isn’t upset. We’re just looking forward to this season and next summer,” continued the individual, who acknowledged that Bulls management expressed how much they value the two-time All-Star, even stating their desire to see him retire in a Bulls uniform. “They were willing to wait and risk losing him next summer as an unrestricted free agent.
Deng is often referred to as head coach Tom Thibodeau’s “favorite” player. Others in the Bulls locker room call him ‘the glue guy’ that holds a lot of things together.
Failing to reach a deal with Deng does not necessarily mean anything more than the Bulls could lose Deng in the offseason. The Bulls still have the ability to offer him a bigger financial package in July than any other suitor. The issue here is the Bulls want to reduce what they are paying Deng, who is slated to earn $14.275 million this season and his camp seems to want his next deal to be dictated by market value.
The Bulls believe they are a legitimate title contender as they sit today, so don’t expect them to do anything rash with Deng because they couldn’t get an extension.
What’s likely to happen is the dialogue on a new deal will continue, but the Bulls now have to weigh their own options especially if the season does not go as scripted.
The Bulls got a tremendous effort from swingman Jimmy Butler in Deng’s absence during the playoffs last year, so it’s not as if they don’t have guys if they decide to move Deng. The general thought all summer has been that the Bulls’ injury history requires them to maintain depth and as long as the Bulls are in the contender’s chair they will keep their core together.
That could change at the trade deadline, but for now not reaching a deal doesn’t mean Luol Deng will be traded, but it does increase the odds that it has to be explored more seriously than maybe the Bulls wanted when the Bulls and Luol Deng started the process.
Did You Miss Something: Every offseason we end up with more video interviews than you can possibly have seen so here are a couple more in case you missed them.
While a lot of attention is being put on the 2014 NBA Draft, high school standout Myles Turner could be one of the top prospects in 2015. Myles talked with HOOPSWORLD about his college decision making process and what he's been trying to work on this summer.
Oklahoma State's Marcus Smart could have been a top 5 selection in the 2013 NBA Draft but opted to return to OSU for another season. Marcus talked with HOOPSWORLD about his summer, his decision and what he expects this year.
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