With plenty of space left over, dozens of high quality freelancers, a change of champion and a lot of uncertainty, the next three weeks could change the face of the NBA.
With the forthcoming draft and free decision Just behind it are some of the issues being discussed in the league's offices:
How much will the Bucks, '76 and Hornets spend?
The Milwaukee Bucks have not invested in luxury tax once in their history and history since the 2002/03 season.
Behind the scenes, the current owner group has announced that for the first time since purchasing the team, they are ready to go into the tax. To be honest, that was clear when the team signed up with Eric Bledsoe this spring for an extension that would guarantee him $ 54 million over the next three years.
After a season of 60 wins and a year before Giannis Antetokounmpos's chance to sign an extension, the dollars must pretty much go into the tax. But how much can they afford? The team has four major free agents under their belt: Khris Middleton, Malcolm Brogdon, Brook Lopez and Nikola Mirotic.
With so much free play in the entire league, Middleton will likely get top bids for four years and put pressure on the dollars to match or even beat them with a five-year bid. Knowing the position the bucks are in, the opposing teams could test them with an offer sheet for the restricted free agent Brodgon, which has proved valuable to them.
You have limited rights to the upcoming Lopez Tobias Harris and Jimmy Butler are expected to receive maximum contract offers by June 30. Michael Reaves / Getty Images The Philadelphia 76ers Port I have not paid the tax since 2004.
This summer, they face three starters in an unrestricted agency: Jimmy Butler, Tobias Harris and JJ Redick. Given a handful of teams with maximum space and Redick's experience and high demand for filming, meeting all three conditions could cost the 76ers more than $ 400 million in salary commitments. Incidentally, Ben Simmons is also able to apply for a nine-digit extension this summer.
It's just huge money, and although the group has promises, there's no guarantee that the mix will work in the long run. [1
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In fact a lot, the teams have been keeping an eye on Harris and Butler for months, and recently felt that the 76ers are committed to keeping both, even when for maximum deals, but executives from hopeful poachers are preparing pitches to ensure that this is the case.
The Charlotte Hornets are one of two teams who have never paid the tax priori to avoid this during his tenure.
With the remnants of a 2016 shopping spree still in the books, the new signing of Kemba Walker would almost certainly drive the hornets there for at least 2019.
For weeks, it was not just about offering Walker a maximum five-year term, but about completing a Supermax deal and paying $ 221 million after he formed the All-NBA team. If Walker signed for a maximum elsewhere, that would mean spending $ 80 million over the Supermax.
Everyone says the right things. Walker has said that the Hornets are his priority, and he has suggested he would need less than the Supermax to stay if that would help build the team. The Hornets General Director Mitch Kupchak left open the option last week to pay the luxury tax in comments, even hinting that he wanted to move up from # 12.
But the teams are not just watching if they're paying Walker – they're also watching this selection. This asset may be the most valuable and final option to oblige a player to salary before Walker hires the free agency. If avoiding the tax is really a mandate and Walker really gives priority, this could happen on or before the design of the night.
What will happen to the Celtics when / when Kyrie leaves?
Outwardly, the Boston Celtics keep a stiff upper lip, but internally they do not plan for a long time whether Kyrie will sign Irving with the Brooklyn Nets, as generally expected here or elsewhere. The reality is that the Celtics are likely to lose their best player and may not have a chance to replace him immediately.
The most important thing on the doorstep of the Celtics could currently be Al Horford, who can terminate his contract on Tuesday. To be honest, keeping it in a new, long-term business is crucial, and that's exactly what the scenario league executives are watching more closely than Irving.
When Horford hits the market, he would be a highly desirable player for a contender. The teams could even be prepared to cut off parts to make room for him. But if Irving leaves and stays Horford – perhaps on the basis of a contract that lowers his $ 30 million salary for the coming season – Boston would have some leeway to gain some more talent.
Then they could exceed the limit to re-sign free agents Terry Rozier and Marcus Morris if arrangements could be made (both do not seem to be anxious to return, but Rozier is restricted and Irving's decision could change the entire environment) ,
Maybe you have seen how that number is buzzing around here Season: The Celtics were 12-3 when Irving did not play. In the raw data, the Celtics have won more in the last two seasons without Irving than with him. They were 26-11 when he did not play, a win rate of .704 and 78-49 with him, a win ratio of .614. And of course, they went without him for the seventh game of the Eastern Conference in 2018 and retired in the second round of this year with four defeats against the Milwaukee Bucks in five games.
Not to play, the Celtics are better at defense and Rozier's production blossoms. Some of the best games we've seen of Jayson Tatum are also without Irving. So, Irving bolts and everything should be fine, right?
Eh. Despite all these numbers, Irving's value is undisputed. They were far better off in the offensive with Irving, and their net score, which for some is the mother of all team statistics, drops by more than half from plus 5.9 points per 100 possessions to plus 2.7 points if not in play
Using Real Plus minus data, Kevin Pelton of ESPN estimates that the Celtics would have five fewer wins next season if they returned their entire squad minus Irving. That would mean a record of 44-38, which would have given them the number 6 seed in the past season. Not exciting.
But you can say this: you would probably be happier than a team without the Irving-Off-Court drama and ball control on the court. This reality does not always appear in the analysis, but in their records, and if you've seen the Celtics when Irving was not there, you sometimes felt like you were kids during the break.
Many Boy Scouts believe Tatum and Jaylen Brown has much more to show. In addition, President Danny Ainge can help with three tips and other tools from the first round. It would be an interesting scenario to observe this.
Will Kawhi make a short deal and return it?
The place is clearly the most important. But the contract period that Kawhi Leonard may sign will be discussed throughout the league.
We're going to go through the numbers the same, but nobody's going to lose that Leonard could split the difference in his priorities Take a one year contract with a player option on the Toronto Raptors and try to undo that contract without the rest of his prime to commit. There is also a financial incentive for this scenario.
The following reasons speak for themselves: If Leonard stays with the Raptors, he could sign up to five years and 190 million dollars. If he goes elsewhere – for example to the LA Clippers – he could earn 140 million dollars over four years. However, the cap rules would mean that he could potentially earn tens of millions if he signs a long-term contract in 2021, if he has 10 years of experience, than 2019.
So why not consider a one-year contract? $ 33 million plus a player option for $ 36 million? Especially with Kyle Lowry, Serge Ibaka, Fred VanVleet and Pascal Siakam under contract for next season. Marc Gasol would also be included in this group if he picks up his player option as expected.
The answer to the question, why not? Kawhi just saw two free agents with serious injuries on Kevin Durant and Klay Thompson, and Leonard already had a serious injury that cost him a season. But it's something that's on the board.