The silly season started early this year with the news of Chris Paul working his way to the Houston Rockets. We’ll do a DBB on 3 about thoughts on all of the comings and goings surrounding free agency but first a few primer questions. I asked which players might find themselves on another team before the news about Chris Paul so you’ll find an asterisk* before the answers given before that went down.
1. Some members of the media have floated the concept of having the draft happen after free agency so teams can draft more for need. Do you agree or disagree?
Ben Quagliata: The system isn’t broken to me. I don’t really see how reversing the order changes things too much. Basketball is a fairly simple game needs/position wise, it’s not like the NFL in terms of vast amounts of players.
Lazarus Jackson: I agree, but only because I want more transactions. It's much easier for teams to trade draft picks rather than actual drafted players, so I think flipping the two would net you more sign-and-trades. Giving teams a better idea of their cap situation for the year before the draft is also a good thing. The only downside isn't really that much of a downside - a later NBA Draft means a later Summer League, which means even less time between Summer League and training camp, which is less time I'm not watching or thinking about basketball. Sounds like a win all around to me.
Jamie Delaney: Hard pass on moving the draft to happen after free agency. I like Laz's point about it possibly inciting more transactions but there comes a point where it may become too easy to toss draft picks around and would essentially devalue the draft for franchises inclined to spend by any means necessary (looking at you Lakers).
Michael Snyder: I’d love for the NBA’s opening day to be on Christmas Day which would completely change the timeline but that’s a different argument. As a fantasy dork, in any keeper league you must turn keepers in a couple weeks before the draft which allows you to survey the landscape and draft accordingly. It wouldn’t make sense the other way around and it doesn’t make a whole lot of sense the way the NBA currently does it. It’s not directly related but Andrew Wiggins’ lame duck Summer League with the Cavs was dumb as is a possible similar situation with Jayson Tatum in Boston. Get the rosters set then draft.
Ben Gulker: After five years, people would be clamoring to have the draft before free agency, so they can focus on getting free agents who fit team needs. Or something. The basketball media won't ever be content.
Kevin Sawyer: Disagree. Free agency decisions are far more impactful on the bottom line, and teams generally make better decisions when they are drafting for talent, not need. Further, teams need the summer to integrate their rookies into their system and help transition them to the NBA.
Ken Wallace (revken): I think it's a mistake to draft for need, so I don't think holding the draft after free agency is a good idea. Plus it would probably delay getting the rookies into training and Summer League, which would be worse for them and their new teams.
Steve Hinson: Nah. Lousy general managers would still find a way to screw it up. If we're going to make any change, make the NBA Draft a free agency like Tom Ziller proposed.
Justin Lambregtse: I agree. The NFL starts free agency before the draft and I think it works out better.
David Fernandez: Keep it the same. I don't mind teams taking bigger risks on unknown players in the draft. Plus, as has been mentioned within DBB, the myth of the "ready-now" rook is just that, a myth. Most rookies need a couple of seasons before they fully contribute to winning games. The free agents a team needs won't change because of a rookie who's not ready to contribute to winning basketball immediately.
2. WHAT DID YOU SAY ABOUT KCP? What's your best guess on how things go down with Detroit’s lone (unrestricted) free agent Kentavious Caldwell Pope?
Ben Quagliata: Amicable extension in the $18-20 million range and we all go home.
Lazarus Jackson: I've long maintained that anything under the Oladipo extension (4/84) is a win for the team. Anything between 18-21 million is great, 22-23 million is less great, and his max ($24.7 mill in the first year with increases after that) is understandable but veers into "Goddammit Brooklyn" territory.
Another thing to point out: KCP is signed with Rich Paul. There's a chance this thing drags on for a while - which is kind of Klutch Sport's signature move (Eric Bledsoe, Tristan Thompson, J.R. Smith, etc).
Jamie Delaney: *clapping* Rich *clapping* Paul *clapping* is *clapping* getting *clapping* him *clapping* the *clapping* max *clapping* from *clapping* Gores
Michael Snyder: He’ll be in Detroit and I don’t see him taking any sort of discount.
Ben Gulker: KCP signs a near-max to max offer sheet, and Detroit matches. I have very mixed feelings about this, more bad than good at the moment.
Kevin Sawyer: My guess is he gets overpaid to stay here. Something in the $17-20 million range. There just aren't many true shooting guards out there.
Ken Wallace (revken): I think we retain KCP. Hopefully we can do it for no more than $90 million. With the cap set at $99 million, at least we don't have to argue if he's worth $100 million!
Steve Hinson: That he ends up back in Detroit for around $100 million, but it's the catalyst to an Andre Drummond trade.
Justin Lambregtse: I think KCP does not receive an offer sheet and re-signs with the Pistons on a five-year deal worth $100 million.
David Fernandez: I've always been Team #PayKCP and I still am. I'm hoping Detroit can sign him for under the 124 million, five year deal, and with Philly and BKN no longer looking like landing pads, I think that will happen. My prediction is KCP signs for $105-115 million, five years.
3. Which player(s) most likely jump(s) ship and to which team: Chris Paul, Kyle Lowry, Gordon Hayward, Blake Griffin, Paul Millsap? (Questions went out before Paul to Houston trade)
Ben Quagliata: *The boring answer is Chris Paul to Houston/San Antonio. I don’t see Hayward leaving Utah for Miami (Boston maybe, although I wouldn’t hold my breath). Lowry could find his way to Utah if Hill leaves. Indiana may be looking for a point guard if Jeff Teague leaves, unless they blow it up entirely. CJ MILES TO DETROIT YOU HEARD IT HERE FIRST.
Lazarus Jackson: *The noise around Gordon Hayward is so loud I've already pegged him as a Celtic. If that happens, I will feel awful for our Utah fan brethren - they did, quite literally, almost everything right (the Exum pick is the one blemish) - and they still might lose their guy because of terrible injury luck and Boston's legacy advantages (Being an NBA star in Boston MATTERS in a way that being an NBA star in Salt Lake City doesn't).
Jamie Delaney: * I think all of them except Lowry. Paul would be wise to take his talents to San Antonio if he's serious about getting a ring - but with another LeBron decision looming (and so many signs pointing towards LeBron wanting to retire in LA) I wouldn't be surprised if he stays witht he hopes of LeBron coming west. Lowry seems loyal to Toronto - they're gonna retire his number and dude could open 6 steakhouses in Toronto tomorrow if he decides to stay. Hayward's going to be a Celtic and probably take a step back production-wise because IT. Griffin lands in OKC. I'd love to see Milsap in WAS but feel like he's heading west as well.
Michael Snyder: *If Houston strikes out with Chris Paul, I don’t think a reunion with Kyle Lowry is out of the question. My people tell me Blake Griffin is looking at houses near South Beach.
Ben Gulker: *As much as it pains me to say this, Hayward to Boston makes a lot of sense. Whether that's enough to get past LeBron James depends quite a bit on the volatile situation in Cleveland and whether they can enhance the roster in spite of it. Chris Paul to San Antonio just needs to happen; coupled with a beneficial Aldridge trade, San Antonio might have enough to compete with Golden State.
Kevin Sawyer: *Paul will have no shortage of suitors, but contenders will have to clear space for him. The Rockets will need to find a taker for Ryan Anderson's horrific contract. The Spurs will have to get rid of pretty much everyone. I could see the Hawks deciding to part ways with Millsap, and someone will max him out.
(Amended answer: With Paul off the board (didn't see the Clippers facilitating that one) I think Millsap is the likeliest. Not sure either party is excited about a huge offer there. Lowry to the Spurs makes sense, though I think the Raptors will make a strong push.
Ken Wallace (revken): *I won't be at all surprised if Chris Paul goes to the Spurs. I think Kyle Lowry stays in Toronto. I'm thinking Gordon Hayward will go to Boston. I'm going to be crazy and say that Blake Griffin goes to Houston. Paul Millsap? I think he may be a consolation prize to Dallas.
(Amended answer: I'm going to speculate that Lowry might go to the Spurs now.)
Steve Hinson: *Heck, with the way this offseason is going, the bigger question may be about which player might actually return to their team. I think Lowry to Spurs will happen, that Hayward stays, but the Griffin and Millsap landing spots will be super interesting. I'd love to see Griffin in Denver (all of the Jokic to Griffin alley oops). Minnesota could be an nifty fit for Millsap.
Justin Lambregtse: I think every one of those players move to a new team.
David Fernandez: I have a strange feeling CP3 will be a Rocket, perhaps a Detroit player gets moved in that deal too (just kidding, that'd be crazy). Seriously though, I see Millsap moving (maybe to OKC?), and Heyward is going to Boston.
What are your thoughts? Feel free to copy paste and let us know your answers in the comments below!
1. Some members of the media have floated the concept of having the Draft happen after Free Agency so teams can draft more for need. Do you agree or disagree?
2. WHAT DID YOU SAY ABOUT KCP? What's your best guess on how things go down with KCP?
3. Which player(s) most likely jump(s) ship and to which team: Chris Paul, Kyle Lowry, Gordon Hayward, Blake Griffin, Paul Millsap?