Are You Serious?
Which teams will be heard during free agency 2013?
PLEASE DON’T OVERSPEND. YOU’LL REGRET IT, I PROMISE.
Phoenix should have some serious dough to play with next offseason, but is far better off waiting for the contracts of Channing Frye, Hakeem Warrick and Josh Childress (they have a combined eight-years and roughly $50 million remaining) to expire while building through the Draft than attempting to score in free agency. Last night they went against my advice and inked Goran Dragic to a $30 million contract despite selecting point guard Kendall Marshall with a lottery pick last week, so to Phoenix I say, “You’ll regret it. I promise.”
Charlotte took on Ben Gordon’s big contract and also have a few others dragging them down in the short-term, but will have flexibility next offseason. But they’re nowhere near success and, like Phoenix, should keep the space open for when they need it (not any time soon).
Detroit is in full cost-cutting mode after moving Ben Gordon and his two remaining years along with a not-very-well-protected first-round pick to Charlotte for Corey Maggette’s expiring contract. They still have their amnesty clause to use on Charlie Villanueva, but they haven’t used it yet, so let’s pretend he’ll be staying on the team. A year from now, they’ll have Villanueva, Rodney Stuckey, Tayshaun Prince, Jonas Jerebko, Greg Monroe, Brandon Knight and Andre Drummond with guaranteed contracts.
That payroll leaves them roughly $20 million under the cap when factoring in other role players and rookies, meaning they’ll have the ability to make a splash next summer. One can only hope that they’ve learned from their mistakes and won’t drastically overpay for someone to attempt to stay relevant the way they did Villanueva, Gordon and Prince. Drummond was taken as a project, and trying to force a big name free agent onto the team makes no sense.
DECEPTIVE CAP SPACE
Tim Duncan’s contract is currently up and both Manu Ginobili and Stephen Jackson are entering contract years. If they let them all walk they’d have big-time space, but they won’t. It seems like a shoo-in that Duncan and Manu will be back, effectively killing any chance for San Antonio to make big free-agency moves.
Chris Paul will hit free agency after this season, and if he were to leave the Clippers would have some money to spend. But it’s impossible to replace Paul and obviously they’ll do all they can to keep him in L.A.
Utah has only Enes Kanter, Derrick Favors, Gordon Hayward, Alec Burks and Marvin Williams (someone remind me what the hell that trade was about) under contract for the ’13-14 season. That leaves them with an incredible amount of flexibility, but they’ll undoubtedly be using most, if not all, of it to bring back Al Jefferson, Paul Millsap and probably Mo Williams. Side note: it would not be at all surprising to see them look to move either Jefferson, Millsap or both during the season.
The Bucks don’t have much money guaranteed for their ’13-14 roster, but that’s just because Monta Ellis and Brandon Jennings hit unrestricted and restricted free agency, respectively, a year from now. Ideally they’ll bring them both back, but that will suck up their available cash.
TOO EARLY TO TELL
The Blazers have a max contract offer out to Roy Hibbert and the chance to match a four-year $50 million offer to Nicolas Batum. They could have neither, both or one of them a year from now, which makes their future financial situation impossible to predict.
The Pacers are currently debating whether or not to match the Hibbert offer while also looking at other free agents. If they allow Hibbert to go to Portland, they could be big players in free agency next year.
I think the internet might explode if there is one more word written about Dwight Howard, so I’ll just say that Orlando’s future is very much up in the air right now, but they have a chance to free-up serious money for next offseason.