I was reading the comments in Lassiie's Fanpost about the Spurs losing possibly giving the Blazers a better chance in resigning Aldridge. One of the comments about Houston being able to afford him got me thinking to look up whether Houston could actually afford to offer him the max salary or not. We can all debate whether which team is the best fit, best chance for a championship, etc., but when it comes down to it, it is all about who can afford to offer him the max salary or not. It is already a given Portland has the ability to do so and the willingness to resign him, but can the Texas teams?
According to Spotrac, next year's salary cap is projected to be $67.1 million which is about a $4 million increase from 2014. Aldridge's max salary starts at about $20 million per year. So how do the Texas teams stack up?
- Projected salary: $60.7 million
- Cap holds: $15 million
- Total salary/holds: $75.7 million
Houston is roughly $8.6 million over the projected cap for 2015 which makes it difficult for them to offer a max salary to Aldridge but not impossible. First, they would need to renounce all of their cap holds which equals letting go Jason Terry, Patrick Beverly, Josh Smith, and KJ McDaniels. This would get them about $7 million below the cap, but they would need to cut an additional $13 million in salary. They could do this by trading Ariza ($8.2 million) and a combo of two or three other players without taking any contracts back. Also, they would probably have to trade their first round pick too, if they have one (didn't look).
Let's take a look at the other two Texas teams. First up, Dallas.
- Projected salary: $42.6 million
- Cap holds: $43 million
- Total salary/holds: $85.6 million
Dallas is projected to be about $18.5 million over the upcoming cap, so Dallas doesn't seem likely, right? But as it turns out, Dallas can get below the cap very quickly. If you take a closer look at their cap holds, most of it comes from two players, Tyson Chandler ($20.6 million) and Rondo ($16.4 million). If the reports are true, then Rondo will not be back which means they would have to decide to bring Chandler back or not.and convince Aldridge to play center (which we know how much he likes to do that). They would still need to free up another $1.6 million or so to sign Aldrige, so they would just have to renounce the rights to two of the following players: Bernard James, Barea, Richard Jefferson, Greg Smith or A'mare. And really is anyone going to lose sleep over losing any of those players, if you can get Aldridge? The move that would hurt them the most is losing Chandler. For Dallas to succeed at getting Aldridge will depend on how much he wants to play for his hometown, and whether they can convince him to play center.
Now, for everyone's favorite Boogeymen, San Antonio.
SAN ANTONIO SPURS
- Projected salary: $35.3 million
- Cap holds: $50.4 million
- Total salary/holds: $85.7 million
Like Dallas, the Spurs are projected to be $18.6 million over next season's cap, but unlike Dallas, they may be interested in retaining most of their free agents. A lot is going to depend on whether Duncan and Ginobili retire or decide to resign for significantly less. Their combined cap holds are $26 million (Duncan $15.5 million, Ginobili $10.5 million). If they both retire, then the Spurs would be $7.4 million below the cap and would need to free up about $12.6 million. They can get there by renouncing the rights to Belinelli, Joseph, Baynes, Ayres, and Bonner.
What about Kawhi Leonard, you say? Well his cap hold is small at $4 million, and they could wait to resign him (especially since he is a restricted free agent), until they signed Aldridge. They can do the same thing with Danny Green too.
Besides Duncan and Ginobili possibly not retiring or wanting near what they are making now, the big hitch in their plans to pursue Aldridge could be Leonard's restricted free agency. Another team could really screw with the Spurs by offering Leonard a max or near max contract, and Leonard agrees to it, then that amount would go on the Spurs cap until either the Spurs matched it or decided to let Leonard walk. If that happens, then another team could swoop in and sign Aldridge, or he could decide to remain in Portland.
Personally, I believe Aldridge will either resign with Portland or give the Spurs a chance to get everything in order, so he can jump ship to them.
What say you? On to the poll!