Ducklett wrote: ezzzp wrote:
PrimeThyme wrote:I'm really starting to think that Weltman may decide to let Vuc walk this summer, resign Birch, and either resign Ross or renounce him as well and use that money elsewhere. If he commands anything more than 20 mill from us which is pretty likely, I think Weltman has made it clear he is not at all opposed to letting him walk (if he belives thats too high of an asking price).
Weltman has already stated multiple times that re-signing Vucevic was a priority. BUT he has stated that he would not pay a penny more than anyone else. He has also stated that he has to balance the now with the future. To me that says he wants to retain Vucevic, but within reason.
But what is that reasonable amount?
Weltman gave Aaron Gordon a 21.2% of salary cap contract (with 8% decreases). That was after he had drafted Jonathan Isaac. Gordon's contract was scaled that size mostly based on "potential" as he would be on his prime ascent (23-27) during that deal.
Vucevic's contract should be scaled similarly because of actual proven production; and that his deal would be at his peak plateaux for 3 of its 4 seasons. Most of that production should hold through the majority of that contract.
This summer, a contract similar to Gordon's would be a $22.9m contract. I think the FO's acceptable range is somewhere in that range, my guess would be $25m as the highest they go. A 4yr/$100m deal is well within the Magic's capacity short term and in their long term cap projection.
I think having 25 mil a year for Vuc with no superstar on the team is the definition of screwing up long term cap projection.
The Magic won't be able to add a "superstar" even without Vucevic on books.
Lets say Magic renounce everyone of their FA's. The Magic would have $18m in cap space, but only 10 roster spots filled (2 of which are a rookie and Frazier). Not only is that not anywhere nearly enough to get a "superstar," but if you use it, it impacts the future cap space.
If the Magic stretch Mozgov they create $28.8m in cap space, enough for a $27m Jr. Max. The only player that Jr. Max applies to is D'Angelo Russell.
If they sign Russell, the Magic would be capped out with 10 roster spots filled. If they don't renounce Birch, they have just enough to max D'Lo and then pay Birch over the cap...and be at 11 of 13 roster spots filled.
Lets say they somehow manage to convince Birch to sign for a vet minimum contract 2yr/$1.6m and use non-guaranteed 1yr minimum contracts for final two spots. This is of course not realistic, but to show you best case projection scenario.
Then next summer (2020) they'll have only $9.6m in cap space with 9 players on the roster and Wes Iwundu in RFA. Lets say the Magic just let Iwundu walk, for best case scenario in future cap projection. $9.6m isn't ANYWHERE near "superstar" level cap space. Its less than the MLE which is used to acquire role players.
Then the summer of 2021, boom! the first wave of rookie scale contracts start to blossom. Fultz and Isaac hit RFA. Russell and Gordon are already eating half the cap (combined $46.4m in salary). The cap holds for Fultz and Isaac equal $52m. There goes your cap space and thats with 6 players on roster. If the Magic renounce one of them, which means 1 of the 2 flopped, they have to use any cap to fill out 7 roster spots....that equals NO "superstar" in free agency.
Then the summer of 2022, Aaron Gordon hits free agency. Then in 2023, Bamba hits UFA. By then Vuc would be coming off the books.
As I've said before with or without Vucevic, the Magic won't have cap space. Their best chance at acquiring that "superstar" is via trade. That means staying competitive and building up asset cache, not shedding assets.
If they don't sign Russell or Vucevic or someone that can carry an offense, its not hard to see the team free falling to lottery again and then it doesn't matter how much cap space there is, no FA's are signing anyhow.