On this episode of the HoopsHype podcast, Michael Scotto is joined by colleague Yossi Gozlan, our salary cap expert. Scotto and Gozlan discuss what’s next for the Nets, Rockets, Pacers, and Cavaliers after the James Harden four-team blockbuster trade. The duo also examines Harden, Kevin Durant, and Kyrie Irving will mesh in Brooklyn and what potential extensions could look like for the Nets and their luxury tax bills. They also look at the trade market for Ben Simmons, Bradley Beal, and Andre Drummond, and the upcoming free agency of Victor Oladipo. Listen to the podcast above or check out some snippets of the conversation in a transcribed version below.
2:45 What could an extension look like for James Harden with the Brooklyn Nets?
Gozlan: If he (Harden) wanted to maximize his money, the best thing for him would be to sign an extension where he opts into his $47 million player option for 2022-23 (season) and then adds an additional three years. Because he’ll have two years after this, including the player option, he can add an additional three more years starting this summer. That would be for about $161 million. Then, Kyrie and KD can both sign extensions as well. KD can add four years, $198 million. Kyrie can add four years, $165 million. I have both of them in those extension numbers declining their options for 2022-23 (season), but just replace it with a slightly higher raise than what those player option amounts would be. So about $160 million basically for Harden and Kyrie each and almost $200 million for KD. Those extensions put all of them through 2026. Just so you get an idea how expensive it’s going to be to keep these three, and I’m going to go ahead and say they’re going to get the maximum extensions… Next year, they’re already combined about $15 million below the luxury tax, just them three, alone. Let’s say they sign these max extensions that put them through 2026. KD would be making $55 million in 2026, Harden would be making $58 million, and Kyrie would be making $45.5 million.
6:15 Luxury tax implications and future revenue for the Brooklyn Nets
9:15 What assets do the Nets have to make a trade?
Scotto: A younger guy like Nic Claxton. I know that teams around the league from when I was at the arena last year would always come where opposing scouts and executives when Claxton would warm up. He was a guy that drew some interest from teams around the league because he came out a lot of people felt he came out maybe a year early. If he would’ve stood another year in college, he would’ve been a lottery pick. I think that’s an interesting guy that’s a trade chip they still have if they want to flip down the line.
10:20 Brooklyn had interest in acquiring Bradley Beal if he was ever made available before trading for Harden
Scotto: Internally, there were some members of the Nets organization who coveted Bradley Beal. A similar package of Caris LeVert, Jarrett Allen, some salary fillers, and draft pick compensation that they gave up for Harden would’ve been on the table for Beal with the Washington Wizards too. However, members of the Wizards organization weren’t as high on LeVert or Allen, to my knowledge. Washington still wants to hold onto Beal, and they want to make it work with him looking ahead long term.
11:45 Did the Nets give up too much for Harden?
More: Five most likely candidates to sign with Nets after James Harden trade
16:00 What the small mass on Caris LeVert’s left kidney could mean long-term
Scotto: The Pacers could’ve voided the trade, and they didn’t. Hopefully, that signals from their medical staff and the doctors who did the physical that I’d hope there’s some optimism for his health moving forward long-term.
17:50 What the 76ers failing to trade for Harden means for Ben Simmons
More: NBA executives sound off on Simmons and 76ers for failing to trade for Harden
22:45: Is Bradley Beal the next All-Star who will be moved by the trade deadline?
Scotto: He’s the guy that I think a lot of executives around the league are keeping a close eye on. That’s really the next star player that could be on the move and a guy that can make a difference for a franchise.
More: Six potential free-agent replacements for Thomas Bryant
26:25 More teams who could have interest in trading for Beal
33:55 Which teams could make sense to trade for Andre Drummond?
36:10 What’s Drummond’s value as of now?
40:45 Victor Oladipo’s future
Scotto: Ryan McDonough, the former GM of the Suns, tweeted Oladipo was offered an extension of about $25 million (starting annual salary), there was fear he’d walk away for nothing, and that was part of the reason why Indiana moved him and got Caris LeVert back. He’s a younger guy, less expensive, and under control.
A league source that I spoke to with knowledge of Indiana’s thinking said that Oladipo was available since September on the trade market.
Gozlan: With Houston getting Oladipo, I’m guessing Oladipo was open to the possibility of a future in Houston. I don’t know why else Houston would’ve taken him instead of keeping LeVert.
Scotto: You could make the case that maybe Houston wasn’t fully enamored with LeVert, and maybe they still want to compete. That said, I don’t think you give up a young guy like that for a guy that’s a free agent that’s going to walk. I think the optics of the situation there’s a possibility Houston thinks Oladipo is a better asset that you can flip at the trade deadline and get more back. If they keep Oladipo past the trade deadline, then there’s pressure from an optics standpoint that you just traded for this guy, and you can’t let him walk. This is a guy that’s in the prime of his career. That would give Oladipo and his camp leverage going into free agency.
Related: Art of the smokescreen: The thought process behind execs and agents leaking info
Related: How NBA players ask for trades: ‘It does get vicious. It’s a divorce’
You can follow Michael Scotto on Twitter: @MikeAScotto
Basketball, Business, Free Agency, NBA, Nets, Pacers, Podcast, Rockets, Sixers, Trade, Podcast, Top, Andre Drummond, Ben Simmons, Bradley Beal, Caris LeVert, James Harden, Jarrett Allen, Kevin Durant, Kyrie Irving, Nicolas Claxton, Victor Oladipo, Brooklyn Nets, Cleveland Cavaliers, Houston Rockets, Indiana Pacers, Miami Heat, Philadelphia 76ers, Washington Wizards