On the latest edition of the HoopsHype podcast, host Michael Scotto is joined by Yossi Gozlan, HoopsHype’s salary cap expert. Gozlan and Scotto previewed the offseason for the Brooklyn Nets and Philadelphia 76ers, including Spencer Dinwiddie’s free agency future, trade scenarios for All-Star Ben Simmons, and more.
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1:33 Spencer Dinwiddie’s free agency
Scotto: Some executives around the league believe Spencer Dinwiddie will not be back with the Brooklyn Nets next year. Specifically, one executive I mentioned in the recent story said, “Dinwiddie seems like he’s leaving. He’ll have a high salary number. I don’t see him staying regardless. I don’t get the sense he wants to be there.” Dinwiddie, in speaking with the executives I polled for the story, gave him an evaluation of earning high teens for an annual salary. I think he can get that and more. Originally, before he got hurt, there was some talk about maybe trying to get over $20 million and try to rival the Fred VanVleet deal of four years ($85 million).
I think pretty much the expectation around the league, and Sean Marks publicly talked about it during his press conference that they’re either going to try and re-sign him or do what they can to help him whether that’s getting a trade exception or getting back an asset for him. It’s pretty clear the writing on the wall appears to be that a sign-and-trade is the most likely outcome for Dinwiddie right now.
7:33 DeAndre Jordan’s future
Scotto: DeAndre Jordan was moved to the bench. Nic Claxton took a lot of his minutes during the season. When they got LaMarcus Aldridge, and people forget about him, and they got Blake Griffin as well, you saw DeAndre’s role significantly reduced. I think for him, that’s a guy that you need to look at as a guy that maybe Brooklyn considers not only for themselves but possibly for him to find a better situation for him.
Gozlan: They’ve definitely gone a long way from last year when Jordan must start to the point where they fired Kenny Atkinson to (elevate) Jacque Vaughn to being in the playoffs and he hasn’t played. He’s basically been out of the rotation since a couple of months earlier.
10:52 How the Nets value Nic Claxton
Scotto: Brooklyn absolutely loves Nic Claxton. I was told he wasn’t going anywhere before the trade deadline to give you an idea how much they like him. To get him, it sounded like he’d have to be in a package that was for a star. When they got James Harden, they were able to keep him, which gives you a bit of a glimpse into how much they value him. As he continues to get stronger and put on weight, this is a guy that can potentially be the long-term starting center for the Nets. He’s everything you want in a big man in today’s NBA. He can handle the ball, block shots, and is a good offensive rebounder.
Gozlan: His potential gave them all the confidence they needed to include Jarrett Allen in that Harden trade. Nic came along this year. He’s extension eligible this offseason. It should be somewhere around $55-59 million. That’s the maximum number.
15:30 Luxury tax implications for Brooklyn
Gozlan: They’re already going to have a very expensive team. They only have about nine players on the roster right now if you include their pick. That’s already close to like a $45 million tax bill. With all their payments (salaries and luxury taxes), they’re already exceeding $200 million with just those guys. That’s before bringing back Bruce Brown potentially or bringing back Jeff Green and Blake Griffin. Maybe they get something for Dinwiddie. It’s going to be expensive, and it’s going to get even more expensive two years from now when they’re in the repeater tax.
19:20 Ben Simmons’ future
Scotto: Daryl Morey said, “We’re committed to this group. This is a really good group.” When he was pressed on Ben Simmons’ future, he also left the door open that something could happen with Ben. “Any move that’ll help our team win the championship or improve our odds we’ll look at, and do it if it makes sense.”
Ben Simmons was asked if he wants to stay with the 76ers and he replied, “Yeah, I love being in Philly. I love this organization. The fans are great people. I had a bad series. I expect that (boos). It’s Philly.”
A lot of people talk about Portland and how maybe they can try and get Damian Lillard and make a package for him or CJ McCollum. To me, there’s no way Simmons is bringing back Lillard even with more things involved there like Tyrese Maxey and the draft picks Philly has as well. McCollum? Maybe to shake it up in Portland and for Philly to get more of a true guard to play with Joel Embiid.
I never got the Bradley Beal stuff. They’ve (Washington) been trying to keep him and Simmons would be a horrible fit with Russell Westbrook.
27:56 Joel Embiid’s supermax extension eligibility
Gozlan: He’s now supermax eligible having made the All-NBA 2nd Team this season. He’ll be eligible to sign the supermax during the offseason. Since he’s got two years on his deal, he can add an additional four and would add $191 million on top of the two years he already has (owed to him).
The Sixers already have a very expensive team. They were in the luxury tax this year. They weren’t too deep, but they’re probably going to be in it again these next few years… The only way they can get out of the luxury tax at this point would be if they were to trade Simmons or Tobias Harris to save some money. If they do trade Simmons, and they get an All-Star back, there’s a good chance they’ll be paying more money on whoever they get back. They’re probably going to be in the tax, and by the time Embiid’s supermax kicks in, they’ll be in the repeater tax by then.
33:00 Free agency futures of George Hill and Danny Green
Scotto: One thing they’ve got to look at, which Morey touched on, is George Hill. He’s got a non-guaranteed deal next year. Morey said, “We really like what George brought. He’s the kind of guy you want on a team trying to win the championship. He’s gone very deep in the playoffs many times.”
I’d like to think given that ringing endorsement, and he’s a good fit around Embiid as a defensive point guard that can shoot threes, that even if they don’t pick it up (guarantee his deal), they’d figure it out and have a wink-wink deal heading into the summer.
Gozlan: They’ve also got to figure out things with Danny Green. I expect they’ll bring him back. He was good for them this year. They won’t really be able to replace him if he leaves.
34:27 Is acquiring Kyle Lowry via a sign-and-trade possible?
Gozlan: One thing they missed out on in trading for Kyle Lowry is it’s going to be a little harder to get a guy like him now given how much money they already have on their payroll. If you’re going to sign-and-trade for a free agent, you’re hard-capped. They’ve got 12 players on their roster right now, including their pick. It puts them roughly $9 million below the hard cap. If they’re going to try and sign-and-trade for Lowry, they’re basically going to have to send out either Tobias Harris or Ben Simmons. They could also get there by instead trading Seth Curry and George Hill. If they get off their salaries, they could give Lowry something reasonable. He could probably still get something more elsewhere, but maybe they can bring him in and re-sign Danny Green. It’s a stretch.