bucknersrevenge wrote: hugepatsfan wrote:
bucknersrevenge wrote:Our track record seems to indicate that Brad does not like young bigs. He likes the big to have a lot of responsibility on both ends of the court. Unless it's a draft n stash, He wants guys who are older because they're more likely to get up to speed faster. I think RW3 was a bit of an outlier because of his defensive acumen (won SEC DPOY as both a freshman and a sophomore which is unheard of) and his athleticism. If we were to draft any underage bigs like some of the names being tossed around here, I'd be shocked if they were not part of a trade to another team.
Theis will be back next year for $5M. Kanter is expected to pick up his $5M player option. RWill is still under contract. We probably don't have an immediate need for a rotation player. We could stand to improve but we don't need guys to just fill minutes. We have bodies.
Beyond that though, we cold have a big need for bigs. Kemba and Brown are signed long term. Tatum's extension is coming. Hayward has 1 year left and 2 for Smart but they've always been mentioned as "core" pieces. If that holds true when it comes time to re-sign them it's going to be expensive. Being able to replace guys like Theis and Kanter with rookie salaries rather than MLE type signings can help the financial feasibility of keeping our core.
So I don't view any of the bigs we're in range to draft as candidates to play major roles next year. I view them as guys to develop for a year or maybe even 2 depending on how raw they are. There are older bigs who might be more "NBA ready" but it's still an uphill battle to beat out Theis/Kanter/Williams for minutes. Not that those guys are great but their rotation caliber players. Our short term "need" at center is for a top tier talent not just a rotation piece. It's the longer term where we need more minutes filled so I'm not as worried about immediate contributions.
If we're close to title contention Brad is not going to want to have those guys replaced. Instead, they're gonna ask Wyc to put his money where his mouth is when he said that he would pay the tax for a contender. As for Hayward, I expect one of two things to happen: either he will opt out and resign at a lower amount for a longer deal or he will opt in at which point, he plays out the string and Danny probably doesn't offer him as big a deal as some other teams will and he probably leaves. Either way, that gets addressed. But Brad is going to want the starting point for any big to be a player with some level of pro experience unless certain caveats exist (ex. the 4 year college player with a high IQ).
You can ask but that doesn't mean he says yes. Back in the day they let James Posey walk over paying extra luxury tax. At one point they had Pierce opt out of a 1 year deal and gave him extra money to sign long term but reduce cap hit in current year (similar to Hayward situation). It's a consideration like it would be for any business.
If Ainge asks Wyc to go into the tax to keep Hayward that seems very reasonable and something Wyc would go for. But it's also reasonable that Wyc would then tell him Theis has to go. Theis stands to get a MLE type deal which would be about $10M. We'd already be in the tax for Hayward/Tatum/Brown/Kemba/Smart so anything to Theis would be incrementa tax. Tax and repeater tax ranges from $1.50 per dollar over up to $5+ per dollar over. If we re-sign Theis for $10M/year on top of keeping the other starters and Smart you could realistically be asking Wyc to pay $30M/year for him. That's just not a practical ask, IMO.
Hayward leaving changes the math in those calculations. All the reports say he will opt in though. For one, there's just too much financial uncertainty to pass up a guaranteed $34M. There are more teams projected to have cap space in next offseason than this one. COVID impact is likely to be more drastic this offseason than next one too. It seems very unlikely for him to opt out this year.
I think your scenario of him leaving this year is extremely unlikely. I could see an opt out and extend, but that would be committing to more money in future years for some relief now. With the cap expected to lower it's unlikely we can get below the tax line. So you'd be moving money out of this year at the first level tax into future years at a repeater tax rate. Wouldn't be a sound business decision.