So, I posted this on the RealGM boards. Wanted to see what you guys might think.
So depending on the draft pick and Hickson we could essentially have 12-13M in capspace.
I've been running idea's forever in my head (it's not healthy) but tell me what you think of this for next year.
We lose the '13 1st rd pick to CHA, hopefully the draft is weak at the 13-20 range this year. IMO, there is still good value there. Rookie contracts around that range are only something like 1.5M/yr give or take, so having the pick is not bad either to gamble on a prospect but the Front Office should think long term with it. A project type pick, perhaps.
Please correct me if I'm wrong:
Hickson is pretty much playing his way out of our pocketbooks considering he is not the complementary defensive Center we need next to LMA. From that, a couple ways to maximize salary by using him in a sign and trade. Portland fans can recently look to Raymond Felton last year as an example of Portland using an expired contract to gain assets. Felton/K.Thomas to NY for Jeffries, 2 Euros and i forget what else. Oh yeah, Jeffries remaining salary paid in cash by the Knicks (I think $3M). Again, correct me if I'm wrong.
I see JJ earning something like $6-8M in Free Agency. He can garner us at the very least a TPE (Traded Player Exemption) that can allow us to go over the cap if necessary next year for a single player with a salary equal to or less than the TPE's value. In this case, JJ's new contract, $6-8M. Or we can get a player we value back, maybe some assets, who knows. It can be a good position to be in if he wants to sign with another team.
Our capspace opens up trade possibilities, especially 3+ team trade possibilities. Not to mention our 2nd rd draft picks can be used as sweetners.
If there is no luck with trades, in Free Agency, I'd currently consider two players. Emeka Okafor and Devin Harris. Wash outs right? We'll if I assumed based on what most people say, Portland isn't particularly seen as an appealing FA destination. Okafor and Harris could be likely to come over. Okafor can be had for something around Perkin's contract value. ~$8M-ish a year. Devin Harris at this point in his career would probably take the MLE (I'd only offer him $4-5 though), especially considering his play hasn't been that astounding this year for the Hawks (IMO, he does not fit well next to Teague or Lou Williams)
Reason for Devin Harris: Combo guard with good handles, good in ISO, can pass, and decent defense for the position. Could fit next to either Damian or Wes. The reason why we see lineups with Damian and Ronnie Price, is because the offense needs another ball-handler that can make plays to put more pressure on the defenses so the offense doesn't stop when teams double Damian. Both Wes and Nic aren't great ballhandlers. Nic is getting better at play-making but his handles are limited and Price can't create for himself. I'd love Iggy in the starting unit but I'm not sure what he will do in Free Agency. His price will probably be too much and unrealistic. And we don't need a chucker 6th man, a la Nick Young, Lou Williams, Jamal Crawford and etc. Someone that can also defend well enough at either position. Some think Heinrich would fit but his mid-range/driving game is not comparable to Devin's. Devin can relieve Damian at the PG spot as well as play next to Wes in a defensively capable back-court that can still score. This does two things, gives Devin good minutes to play (which he'll want) and with those three you can slowly sprinkle in Barton at the SG spot in his second year as he progresses.
Reason for Emeka Okafor: To put it simply, we are mostly likely going to have to spend most of our cap-space at the Center position in Free Agency. In order to keep our flexibility we go for Okafor. Pardon the rhyme. There are not many options at the C Spot this summer. We need a defensive Center, who can rebound, defend and block shots... Like most teams. A healthy Oden would be spectacular but... sigh. Most other Center's in our price range don't fit. Howard and Bynum are expensive and are not coming here (pretty certain of that). That leaves who? Nikola Pekovic? Restricted FA, would be a waste of time with offersheets. Robin Lopez? Maybe. Larry Sanders is climbing the list but is a bit unproven aside from shot blocking. Timofey Mozgov? Maybe, put him on a list with Lopez. Sam Dalembert? He's getting a bit old and not quite the presence he used to be (but could maybe had cheap). Tiago Splitter? Spurs will hold onto him. Other high valued FA centers are not defensive minded, e.g. Al Jefferson and Chris Kaman. And most others are scrubs starting with Zaza Pachulia and Kwame Brown as the leading guys. Although, Kevin Seraphin looks to be doing well, he's a bit undersized and I'm pretty sure Washington will keep him. End Center's rant.
Okafor is 30. He will be looking for a new scene and contract out of Washington. He is very likely to exercise his ETO this summer to extend his career. Which with injuries can be an uncertainty for him. Give him 4 years, probably at most $8M/yr and he might call it good. 3yrs @ 8M or 4yrs @ 7 would be best/better, obviously with insurance and team incentives.
He's a good one on one post defender, can block shots, rebound decently and can actually kinda score down low or with a little jumper. Though you don't want him to, that little bit of offense will be needed to help keep defenses honest against LMA. IMO, Okafor's offense is better than Perkins which hurts OKC's front-court scoring and spacing. When LMA plays in the low post, Okafor can space a little with his jumper. Okafor can also post up low, while LMA is up top with his smooth J. Okafor's Per36 based on this years numbers are 12.05pts/11.15rebs/1.96blks His career Per36 are 13.95pts/11.14rebs/1.91blks He's looking pretty consistent. Injury concerns are there but he is basically what we need. He's a a good veteran defensive center which this team can use if/when/once the other useless vets go.
Our team could look like this:
That's 13 players. Devin Harris is our 6th man. Depending on how things shake, we could have 3-4 2nd rd picks and also we can use the mini-MLE if we are over the cap or full MLE if we are under. Hell, even a TPE if we get one for Hickson. Looking over that lineup, I'd really wish we could keep Hickson though. Him on our bench with Harris could give us a some pretty good scoring since our bench is still pretty anemic. Him and Okafor in spurts could be tolerable. That would look something like this:
I don't know, what do you guys think?