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 each Western Conference lottery team. The duo shared intel on the free agencies of Kelly Oubre, Kent Bazemore, and more notes on the Warriors. The pair also discussed Gregg Popovich’s future, DeMar DeRozan’s free agency, the futures of Lonzo Ball and Josh Hart in New Orleans, Richaun Holmes’ value in free agency, and more.
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0:45 Golden State Warriors offseason: Kelly Oubre and Kent Bazemore free agencies, James Wiseman as a trade chip, and Stephen Curry extension
Scotto: A league source told HoopsHype that while Golden State is not looking to trade James Wiseman, they would listen if an All-Star player was on the table and one becomes available this summer in potential trade talks.
Scotto: Recently, Steve Kerr touched on Kelly Oubre saying that Klay Thompson was going to start for them when he gets back next year, and there was a question of whether Kelly would be interested in coming off the bench, and only he can answer that. Both sides will weigh their options. With that said, the sense I’ve gotten from a league source is that Oubre and his camp think they can get over $20 million (annually), and he ideally wants a long-term deal. The two-year, $30 million deal that he did when he was with the Suns is not something he’s looking to do. I don’t get the sense that while Golden State is open to keeping him, to pay him $20 million or more, I don’t get the sense that’s something they want to do. In that case, you could look at them being open to a sign-and-trade scenario.
From what I’ve been told, he was good in the locker room for the Warriors and they had no issues with him there. Would they be open to a return? Yes, for the right price, though. That’s going to be the key.
Scotto: Kent Bazemore this year shot a career-high 45 percent from the field and 41 percent from three-point range. Golden State would like to bring back Bazemore, I’m told… A source close to Bazemore told HoopsHype that he wants to get a multi-year deal, two years sure, but ideally a long-term three-year deal.
Gozlan: Bazemore is going to be a non-Bird free agent. They can give him a raise that pays him like $3.2 million in the first year. They can give him three to four years off that. If that’s a little too low for him and he’s getting bigger offers elsewhere, then they’ll probably have to dig into their MLE (mid-level exception). The taxpayer MLE is projected at about $5.9 million.
Gozlan: Stephen Curry this offseason will be eligible for four years, $215 million. It would start him out at $48 million for the 2022-23 season and then pay him $59.6 million in the 2025-26 season.
15:45 San Antonio Spurs offseason: Gregg Popovich’s future, his eventual replacement, and DeMar DeRozan’s free agency
Scotto on Will Hardy as an eventual Popovich replacement: I’ve heard some whispers on that from an executive or two around the league. This is a guy who has interviewed with the Knicks, Pacers, and the Thunder. He’s knocking on that door to be a head coach at some point in his career.
Scotto: The big guy for them (in free agency) is DeMar DeRozan. To me, I could see them bringing him back partly to be somewhat competitive next year (while Popovich chases the all-time wins record).
Gozlan: They’ve got $50 million in cap space, so they can bring back DeRozan. Let’s say they bring him back at $25 million. Then you’ve got another $25 million to spend. I don’t know if you want to tie that up in Rudy Gay and Patty Mills. They definitely need some frontcourt help and more upside. They’ve been linked to Lauri Markkanen. That would be the type of move I’d try to pursue if I were them. Maybe even John Collins.
21:20 New Orleans Pelicans offseason: Futures of Lonzo Ball and Josh Hart
Scotto: The noise about Chicago being in the mix for Lonzo (Ball) seems to have some legs to it depending on who you talk to around the league. There is a belief Lonzo can get around $20 million. I don’t know if New Orleans is going to value him that much, especially as they experimented with the point Zion (Williamson) role towards the end of the season.
Gozlan on Ball and Hart: I think both of them combined could be around $35-40 million. Right now, the Pelicans have kind of a luxury tax crunch. They’re projected to have the 10th pick after the coinflips. They’re going to be like $37 million below the tax already with that pick. If they bring them both back, they’re basically at the tax.
Gozlan on Chicago as a potential sign-and-trade partner: Chicago can offer some of their players. They can offer maybe another pick. They’ve got Coby White. They could try and send back Lauri Markkanen in a double sign-and-trade.
Scotto: I think Eric Bledsoe is a name you’re definitely going to hear this summer in trade conversations. I also wouldn’t be shocked if Steven Adams came up because they’ve got Jaxson Hayes, who they want to eventually be the long-term guy ideally after drafting him in the lottery. Adams can still be a valuable piece to more of a playoff contender.
26:15 Sacramento Kings offseason: Free agent Richaun Holmes
Scotto: They have one key player that’s going to be a free agent this summer that seems like they’re making a priority based on comments publicly from GM Monte McNair, and that’s Richaun Holmes. There was a report about the $20 million (annual) range that he’s trying to go for. I don’t know if he’s ultimately going to get that, but I think what’s going to be interesting is what Jarrett Allen gets. Though (Allen) is in restricted free agency, if you compare their numbers, they’re decently similar.
Gozlan: They only have Holmes’ early Bird Rights because he only signed a two-year deal with them. They can only re-sign him to about a four-year deal close to $40 million. I think he’s going to get more than that. They kept him past the trade deadline knowing about the risk that they’re going to have some challenges in re-signing Holmes. If they’re going to pay him more to re-sign him, they’re going to have to create cap space.
Right now, they do not project to have any cap space. But, they can get there by reducing some salary. You mentioned Marvin Bagley, he’s the most logical candidate to help make that happen. He’s going to make $11 million next year. I did some calculations and if they were to salary dump him and then they have some non-guaranteed players to cut in Damian Jones, Justin James, Chimezie Metu, they can generate around $17 million in cap space. That includes their pick if it stays at No. 9.
31:13 Minnesota Timberwolves offseason: Power forward search and draft pick trade
Gozlan: If they keep their pick, that means it fell in the top three. If you’re Minnesota and you keep the pick, you haven’t made the playoffs in three years, you haven’t made noise as a contender since 2004, and you want to show to your franchise player this is a team where you can contend for many years to come, I think they’re going to make a major splash. I expect them to try to get aggressive and get a really good impact player.
34:50 Oklahoma City Thunder offseason: Al Horford trade
Gozlan on potential Horford trade possibilities: There are some teams I can see being a good fit. The Warriors or Washington to name a few. I think he’s rehabilitated his trade value well enough this season that somebody will want to acquire him.
Gozlan: Shai Gilgeous-Alexander is up for an extension. I think it goes without saying he’ll be getting the max.
Gozlan: I just look for them to do more salary dumps for other teams. There are always teams looking to shed money, and OKC will probably want to help them out in exchange for more draft picks and just bottom out for one more year.
Scotto: (Svi Mykhailiuk) is a guy who’s expected to get a qualifying offer.
38:50 Houston Rockets offseason: Futures of Kelly Olynyk and Avery Bradley
Scotto: Eric Gordon is a guy I think for playoff teams could have value.
Scotto: Kelly Olynyk, in my opinion, is one of the guys who really helped his value if you look at his numbers with Houston.
Gozlan: Olynyk has been so good for them. Regardless of what kind of team Houston is going to be next year, they’re not going to be a very good team next year, but I think he’s still worth bringing back at a reasonable number.