NBA fans love to play armchair GM. They have the ESPN Trade Checker bookmarked. They know the general workings of the Collective Bargaining Agreement. And they have ideas of fixed price points for players based on ideas of “value” and “worth”. This all fine and good. I think a more informed fan-base is a better fan-base. It makes for better, more nuanced conversation.
This summer, though, it’s better to forget some of what you think you know about player value. This summer, it simply doesn’t apply. I may have changed majors from Economics to History when I was in college, but I took enough of former to understand supply and demand and how market forces help determine pricing. And, this summer, with the NBA cap about to go up by $22 million, the concept of what a player is “worth” is going to change.
You will see numbers that, initially, will cause an immediate recoil and reaction of “he’s not worth that!”. $17 million for Bismack Biyombo? Maybe the same for Joakim Noah? For Festus Ezeli? The max for Nicolas Batum? For Harrison Barnes? For DeMar DeRozan? Ten figure plus salaries for Kent Bazemore? For Alan Crabbe? For Mo Harkless? Even more for Evan Fournier? These contracts aren’t just possible, they may be inevitable.
The economics of the league — specifically, this summer — make this so. The league simply has to pay out this money in contracts to try to meet their financial obligation to the players. And if they don’t reach the amount they need to meet via the contracts on the books, they’ll end up paying it anyway:
By the rules of the Collective Bargaining Agreement (CBA), teams are obligated to collectively pay players in the range of 49-51 percent of the NBA’s basketball related income (BRI).
Throughout the season, 10 percent of player salaries are held back in escrow, in case the players are overpaid based on their designated ratio of BRI…
…Looking ahead to the 2016-17 season, the NBA now projects the salary cap will climb to $92 million, with a luxury tax threshold of $111 million.
Individual teams will be obligated to pay out 90 percent of the cap, known as the salary floor, which would be $82.8 million of a $92 million cap.
The NBA estimates that teams will fall short of that number by $375 million, or an average of $12.5 million per franchise. If so, the league will once again pay out wages held in escrow, along with a massive balloon payment of $375 million.
This is really important to remember and will play a major role in what players are paid not just this summer, but in the summer of 2017 as well (when the cap is expected to jump again to roughly $108 million). The fact that the league is already predicting a shortfall essentially means the league will be handing out free money in one way or another.
For player contracts, then, it might make sense to go short in length and high in dollars to try and convince players to sign on. This might not be a viable strategy for all players, but it may be appealing to a subset of guys who are looking for a way to showcase their games and/or “audition” for a longterm contract with either the incumbent team who signs them or with the rest of the league who will monitor their progress.
What does this mean for the Lakers? As always, it remains to be seen. At some point, the Lakers are going to need to find long term solutions to roster holes. Their preference, I would imagine, would be to secure viable players who can be slotted in for the next 3-4 years to play alongside and grow with the team’s young core. For the right player(s), I would also imagine the Lakers are willing to spend big.
That said, if the right fits aren’t available or choose other options, the Lakers could also explore players who might agree to short term deals, even if it means overpaying.
This would not be unfamiliar territory for the Lakers, either. In the summer of 2014 the Lakers signed Jordan Hill to a 2-year contract with a team option in year 2. The team paid him $9 million that first season and would have paid him the same amount in the 2nd season had they not declined their team option. At the time, I thought this was a lot of money. However, the Lakers really just overpaid in the 1st year of the deal in order to give them flexibility in the 2nd season where they could go back into free agency and look to add impact players.
So, keep Hill’s deal in the back of your mind when free agency starts in a month. The Lakers are could very well shell out major dollars for a 2 or 3 year contract with the last year of the deal being a team option. The team benefits by getting a look at a player who they presumably like, but on a short term deal with the type of flexibility which can lead to a more permanent signing in a season or two. The player gets a large payday, gets the exposure of playing for the Lakers, and gets to go back into the free agent market when the cap is close to $110 million.
The landscape for NBA contracts has changed. Coupled with the Lakers’ desire to improve, the spending — even if not on superstar players, but on role players — is going to happen. This does not mean value contracts are gone forever, but even those deals are likely to have some sticker shock attached to them. Better prepare yourself now.
1- Current contracts to star players are going to look like bargains this year.
2- So what happens in the next CBA if owners push down the cap but now you have contracts scaled at the current cap?
3- I really hated seeing the Lakers showcase talent on short contracts. I might feel different if it lead to the Lakers keeping said gems they found.
Travis Y. says
When we project what players we will be able to sign in free agency, we are only putting on our “Lakers lenses.” Rather, we are saying player X will sign because we have the ability to spend and we are the Lakers.
However, the reality is just about every team will have the ability to spend on a max salaried player.
Thus, what we need to do is sell our free flowing offense that has been notorious for getting players minutes, point and shots…aka paid (ie. Jodie Meeks, Amare Stoudemire, Joe Johnson, etc.).
Also, what we are able to sell is being the face of the franchise, and an offense that will be committed to player X thriving.
The mystique of being on the Lakers is gone….because we are currently the 2nd worst team in the league.
Thus, what we need to start realizing is that we need to target a player that…
#1. Has something to prove
#2 Will warrant max dollars
#3 Fit in the offensive and defensive system
Finally, seeing that the salary cap will continue to grow, having productive rookies on a rookie deal is a huge advantage to building the team of the future.
So let’s stay the course and be patient….unless Lebron and Durant decide to max out on the Lakers.
gamin 88 says
I’m not an expert on salary cap issues or how all of this works, but if I was the gm for LA, I would focus on rebuilding my team by recruiting and signing younger players to place around the young talent that I already have. I would make a push for the top 2 picks in the draft, sign Jahlil Okaford, then add 3 solid defenders around them. Preferably, Biyombo, Whiteside, and Ezeli. I would like to see a younger generation of stars get the opportunity to develop instead of building a team around superstars in their prime and in a league that is at the present and past few years being dominated by Lebron, Stephen, KD, or Westbrook. Let’s face it, what kind of a team could LA possibly put together in the next 4 or 5 years to win a championship? I believe, that these group of guys along with other organizations such as, the Spurs, Clippers, and maybe the Rockets, could be in contention for the next few years. In my opinion, OKC had a great team and great push in the western conference finals and also, they had the series in their favor 3-1. They didn’t pull it off this year, but if Durant stays, I think they will be back. My main point is, if I were on a team that was 1 game away from going to the finals, it would be a hard decision to make or join the 2nd worst team in the league. If I were the Lakers management, there would be a lot of angry fans next season, because I would start from scratch and rebuild my team with younger players. I would give them a chance to grow and develop together into a solid team. I’ve been a laker fan since the Kareem and Magic era, so I know what it feels like as a fan, to see my team rise as a dynasty and fall as a dynasty. I think is time to give these younger guys that opportunity to create their own legacy.
2-the cap isn’t going down
3-agreed; the exercise seemed to have little or no rhyme or reason
Thomas Rickard says
From an economist point of view what will happen to marginal satisfaction will be crazy, with a lot of buyers remorse eventually
Just think the Lakers if they were good judges of talent they could have had Kent Bazemore and Hassan Whiteside for a whole lot cheaper than what they would have to pay them now. Thanks a lot Jim Buss and Mitch Kupchack
Clay Bertrand says
The “problem” if there is one is certainly going to be with the fans and especially the LESS informed ones. Very few of those here in general……..
We have the convergence of 6 things occurring here. Unfortunately, 3 of the elements offset or severely devalue the other 3 creating a limited sort of stalemate situation. Essentially, what may appear to some as the prime time for the Lakers to improve DRASTICALLY by signing players is actually NOT very good timing at all.
First off, obviously, we are all starved for improvement after the dismal last three years. Indeed we have all heard the repeated promises of the past that we would one day have financial flexibility to bring about significant improvement by signing Free Agents. Its just that NOW is NOT the time to do it.
Three Positives Seemingly Allowing for Major Laker Roster Improvement this Offseason:
1.) Cap Jump— The Biggest Cap jump in history BY A TON.
2.) No Kobe—-The Lakers are FINALLY in a POST KOBE rebuild looking to start anew.
3.) Cap Space—-The Lakers will have unprecedented spending power in the FA market.
Three Negatives Pointing to a Less than Anticipated Minor/Moderate Roster Improvement:
1.) Lackluster Pool of FAs — Not many game changers available; 2017 looks MUCH better.
2.) Still Too Young — FAs in their prime will not choose a team 3-4 years away from theirs.
3.) Low Relative Cap Space — HUGE Cap Increase for ALL dilutes Lakers Relative Financial advantages.
We FINALLY are in a position to rebuild but things beyond our control have created a less than preferred scenario for doing so at this time. We need to wait a little longer (until 2017) to make our big moves in free agency IMO. We need to wait until our talent base is better and the available FA class is stronger. We don’t need to swing at bad pitches here.
Its like we are rebuilding our house but wood at Home Depot is all picked over–alotta crooked boards w knots!! We can either rebuild with imperfect wood or wait for the next delivery in a few days and spend THE SAME money on prime product. Now when we consider that our foundation still isn’t really set and cured yet anyway, we should figure that waiting a little more time for the prime wood delivery gets us both BETTER WOOD AND A MORE SOLID FOUNDATION.
Clay Bertrand says
“I really hated seeing the Lakers showcase talent on short contracts. I might feel different if it lead to the Lakers keeping said gems they found.”
I totally feel you man. My thought is that the situation IS different now than before. We are totally rebuilding. I think THIS TIME, we will be much more likely to retain guys who end up playing well for us (on short term deals) instead of just letting them sign elsewhere while we dilly-dally around with pipe dream FAs.
I agree there will certainly be some buyer’s remorse. Lol…. Hopefully in FOSTON and other places and not with us!!!!!
Once the cap jumps stop happening, and once all of the players are under contracts reflecting the increased cap numbers, the salary to talent relationships will eventually find an equilibrium.
But for awhile at least, Festus Ezeli is going to make $3 Million more than MVP Steph Curry. Biyombo will make even more………..etc…..etc. Until everyone is signed under the new financial parameters, there will be some REALLY out of whack compensation going on!!
– Unfortunately thanks to the FO’s chosen focus the last few years and the repurcussions influenced by them, the Lakers don’t have any top level vets on what would be considered “bargain salaries”. The vast majority of this team will all be living off the new big money contract. Based on the increased free agent $$’s so many teams will have, some very good will be able to sign some very good talent.
even with the salary cap rising i doubt we will see ‘ten figure plus salaries’. but that’s just me.
Edited for miscalculation. I had a long day.
..yup..it’s the 2nd tier FAs that might be interested in signing….not the top tier.
… and at center … somebody more mobile than the statues in front of Staples (hopefully) …
Damn it. I knew I should’ve been an NBA player.
@BrotherWalton - Twitter says
Great points as usual, Laker Fam. Man… that was beautiful, Clay!
“We have the convergence of 6 things occurring here. Unfortunately, 3 of the elements offset or severely devalue the other 3 creating a limited sort of stalemate situation. Essentially, what may appear to some as the prime time for the Lakers to improve DRASTICALLY by signing players is actually NOT very good timing at all.”
You hit the points that I’m also concerned about. I hate Jim Buss and the timeline thing. I think it was a panicked statement and underestimation of how many LAKER fans exist over Kobe fans, or our unrealistically starved base. I mentioned it, but the Lakers are going to be forced into an organic rebuild. Not many players that are going to want to come there and not contend, and it’s not many short term, quick 180 guys available (LBJ, KD, etc.) to propel them into the elite pack.
They are going to scrape up veterans still proving their worth in the league (Jared Dudley, Anthony Tolliver, Nene, Jordan Farmar). Those are some cringe-worthy names, but I’m looking to be realistic as possible.
But take this with a grain of salt. You never know what will happen. All I know is that developing the core of Russell, Clarkson, Simmons or Ingram, Randle, Nance, Brown, and Black will be bigger than any free agent move they can make. Let’s see what happens, guys.
I honestly don’t know if the “sticker shock” everyone anticipates will necessarily happen. It probably will, if only because of the self-fulfilling prophecy effect and because some NBA management teams might not adjust their thinking to the new reality. But it’s not necessarily so.
Of course, players who are genuinely worth major money (Kevin Durant, Al Horford, etc.) WILL get paid. But lesser free agents might be in for a surprise if teams act rationally.
The key idea to keep in mind is free agent salaries skyrocket because a large amount of money is chasing a limited supply of free agents. But this is NOT true under the new CBA. That money is already spent. If the Lakers sign 8 guys out of the D-league instead of KD and Al Horford, they have to pay that money out either way.
So, what teams are really spending on free agents is CAP SPACE, and that’s a finite limited precious commodity. Imagine a weird NBA year where Brandon Bass was the best free agent available. A team might spend $15 million of salary on him because he’s still a marginal improvement over a D-leaguer. But there is no way a (smart) team would tie up $15 million in CAP SPACE for Brandon Bass over three or four years.
The other thing which might limit runaway salaries is advanced analytics. Conventional wisdom has it that Harrison Barnes should get paid mega-money because he’s the best small forward FA not named Durant. But is he really? Per ESPN’s Real Plus Minus, he’s the 36th best small forward in the NBA this year, not even as good as Metta World Peace once you filter out all the havoc Curry, Thompson and Green create to provide Barnes with opportunities to shine. Maybe he becomes more productive in a different situation, but as an NBA GM, how much of your precious CAP SPACE are you willing to tie up on that bet?
As I noted above, sports team managers are so used to justifiying overspending for mediocre free agents, they may not be able to break the habit. But if they do, free agents might be surprised how reluctant teams are to given them huge money.
Clay Bertrand says
I think a lot of what you are saying has merit–it’s certainly possible that teams hold back their spending for the 2017 class. Different teams will have contracts come off the books in addition to another Cap Jump so there will be a VERY lively market for better FAs next Summer for sure.
However, this Summer is the exact situation that could invite the types of big money-short term deals that Darius is talking about a la Jordan Hill, only bigger money to reflect the Cap increase. As you say, the money is already SPENT (due to the Salary Floor jump). Why not spend it on a 2 yr deal w a team option in year 2 for $22 million ($11 per/yr) for say a Marvin Williams for example?? Cap space is still preserved, a guy gets paid over market value, the team gets a veteran player. If the market brings this sort of scenario about, its prudent spending IMO.
The worst would be to just end up paying it back to the team’s own players because of a shortfall.
Now assuming we are above the floor, to just fill out our roster if we don’t score a decent FA, I would seek out decent one year guys and roll the space over to next year. I think that most teams will opt to find roster value by signing a FA if they have to binge spend to meet the salary floor. Maybe that means more big money-short term deals. Which would in turn also mean the “sticker shock” salary skyrocketing (that your saying may well not happen after all) as guys will sign for higher dollars and fewer years.
It would be interesting to see a break down of teams as it relates to how much they NEED to spend to meet the salary floor this off season. Obviously it will differ some.
The infusion of this much money on the open market with another large jump a year from now already guaranteed though, I think is going to cause some free spending that is going to get pretty crazy this year. It’ll be fun to watch!!
I like this topic, giving me more insight on this matter.
I noticed that for the past few years, many players got unexpected high salaries (even if they seem not fit for that amount). So this trend should continue because there are limited talent available in the market.
I just hope we spend our money wisely and still provide us a very fun team to watch, even when losing (have no choice, but to wait for next years FA again). I am now relying on the development of our core (DAR, JC, JL and #2 pick), since we have no FA target who will realistically come here and put more wins right away.
They need a vet who has either won a ring or a vet who wants to be a part of a storied franchise while getti g paid…..All these guys who want instant glory will go somewhere else and why chase them? Kick the tires and move on….don’t beg like pathetic fools, cause the story of losing out only gets bigger. Show some pride and build!
Agree with the general sentiment. Few transcendent UFAs this year. More next year. Still need to figure what we have with the young guys and what we will need in Luke’s system. Also there will be teams willing to overpay this year because their window is closing so let ’em. Chews up their cap space and makes it harder for them to compete in the following years.
Everyone has more money to spend, but salaries are going up so I’m guessing that teams aren’t going to be able to sign a greater number of players than before. In other words, we still only have a limited number of spots so need to spend it wisely.
A popular retort is salary cap space doesn’t win games, but spending it all doesn’t either. Look at the Nets.
2017 – we have ….
– Blake Griffen
– Chris Paul
– Kyle Lowry
– Gordon Hayward
– Derrick Rose
– Jeff Teague
– Serge Ibaka
– Steven Adams … might get away in RFA if offered big money
– Nerlens Noel … might get away in RFA if offered big money
– Greg monroe
– Rudy Gay
– George Hill
– Taj Gibson
– JJ Reddick
– Tyreke Evans
that’s only the guys in the top 35 that I think we’d at least have a shot to talk to and I think Paul will likely be out the door because it would be dumb to give a max max contract to a 32-33 yr old PG which might open the door to paul leaving since he won’t get the max from the clips
big thing missing next year are centers …. which is another reason I think it will be important to go after one this year with my preference being Howard at around a max 20M per year deal, i think that will be what it takes to get him in the market … might get Howard and Paul on the same team afterall by 2017
If we signed howard at 20 and kept the rest for short term deals we would then walk into 2017 FA with the space to sign another 2 big pieces and be a real contender with our young guys coming into their own as the bench unit or being used for another 4th/5th piece
PG – Paul*/Teague*
SG – DAR/JC/ Reddick*
SF – Ingram / Hayward* / Igoudala*
PF – Randle
C – Howard* / Whiteside* / Bogut*
B1 – DAR
B2 – NANCE
B3 – JC
B4 – Lou
and I think the wildcard in 2017 will be someone making a play for James Harden with the pu pu platter trade once things go completely downhill at Houston this year and an incompatibility with Dantoni
realistically 2017 could be the year we really go after pieces but we would need to try and get a center this year unless we went after ibaka or Bogut next year to play C
I think we go after only one guy this year and then possibly after making our signings next year we see what is available on the trade market for our young guys … next 2 years will be very interesting
I know everyone here hates Dwight after he left but he is still a top 10 center in the league and his percieved value couldnt be lower making him an ideal target to possibly outperform any contract he gets and needs to be looked at as option b/c if option a/b sign somewhere else
Ive really enjoyed the insight into the CBA here. Would there be any advantage to purchasing additional draft picks like we did with JC,?How does this expenditure work against your cap?. If so could we use this,Short term ,to increase our talent pool long term, when we have to pay our kids when they get paid.
George Best says
Swaggy P suddenly is a bargain.
@Marion — As I understand the current CBA, draft picks all have a “cap hold” number which is used to calculate how they fit within a team’s salary cap structure. Once a draft pick actually signs a contract, the contract terms replace the cap hold.
With respect to “purchasing” draft picks, what teams actually do is trade “cash considerations” for either the rights to a draft slot, or the rights to a player (if already drafted). Teams are only allowed to include a maximum of $3 million per year TOTAL in cash considerations. So, if the Lakers trade $2.5 million to Houston for the #37 pick (Note: this is just an example), then they only have $0.5 million for any similar transactions.
I don’t know how NBA teams value second-round picks these days (there is almost no way a 1st-rounder would be traded only for cash), so I don’t know how many picks the Lakers could pick up for just money.
I don’t think there’s any interest in pursuing DHoward. He didn’t work out when he was still a talented young center — why would it work out now when he’s older and his production is noticeably slipping?
Dwight is all about Dwight. I don’t want that attitude around the kids.
@Shaun – great list. Is there a similar for 2016? Apologies if I missed it in a thread somewhere.
Craig W. says
Dwight is still a good athlete, but his BB IQ seems to be limited to what he perceives to be in his best interest. He is not extremely coach-able and he pouts. Regardless of his skill, this is not something this team needs right now – even if he hadn’t tried us once.
Chris J says
Kick the tires and move on….don’t beg like pathetic fools, cause the story of losing out only gets bigger. Show some pride and build!
Yes. No more billboards or Tweets with Adam Levine wearing a mock-up jersey with a free agent’s name. Those were flat-out embarrassing, and more pointedly, they didn’t work.
Speaking of didn’t work: Dwight Howard as a Laker. He’s a head case, coach-killing locker room cancer whose game has never evolved beyond amazing athletic ability, and has more recently begun to regress as he ages. Oh, and he may be the most unpopular player still in the league among Lakers fandom. Bringing him back is not a good move to make when you A) have young, still impressionable players B) have an inexperienced head coach and C) want to sell tickets and boost TV ratings. Last I heard, the Lakers checked all three of those boxes. I’d rather see Hibbert suit up again, and no one wants that.
Nothing has worked and we have not made the playoffs since Howard left
Anonymous June 1, 2016 at 1:44 pm
Nothing has worked and we have not made the playoffs since Howard left
Just to head off Horsebryan: I didn’t post this. Howard is not that good anymore and turns 31 in December, so I don’t see any point in trying to bring him back. I think Howard will end up in Dallas.
The Lakers will not pursue Dwight.
When he left this team, he not only burned that bridge. He nuked it. The soil around it is still radioactive from his departure.
He will not return. And the Lakers, I am certain, do not want him.
I cant belive that some here are actually rooting for a howard-signing…that guy is a no-go in our situation. We need to develop what we have plus sign guys who can defend, including a wing and a center! The only guy i would go to a win now mode is KD, and he wont come.
@shaun: nice list, but your roster would cost at least 200mil 😉
2017 is the way to go, stack that cash and wait for next year. I could very well see us signing a couple of very useful role players next year instead of some overhyped guys a la barnes this summer. By that time, our youngsters have 2/3 seasons under their belt and we will start winning.
My plan would end up like this (2017):
Pg – Russel / Schröder
Sg – Clarkson / Reddick / Williams
SF – Ingram(Simmons) / Batum
PF – Randle / Millsap / Nance
C – Whiteside / Black
Howard would only be 1 step in a direction towards competing and it’s him or whiteside, or noah, or horford …. and that’s about it in terms of high level talent at the center position .. which as I’ve listed for 2017 will be slim pickings which is why I think we need to go after a center this year
as for 2016 list:
– derozen … not leaving toronto
– conley … we don’t need him
– horford .. C target #1/2
– howard .. 3rd best center available
– wade … likely stays with miami unless offended by offer
– H.barnes … knows GS system .. we may still target him
– gasol … Would be great to see him back but I think he goes to GS (speights upgrade)
– parsons … could be an interesting candidate but likely stays in Dallas
– rondo .. no need or interest
– batum .. likely resigning with Charlotte … avgs 10-5-5 and disappears a lot not worth max $
– al jefferson … too slow for new NBA
– ryan anderson … will be the top stretch 4 FA … could be great but unathletic for system
– Luol Deng .. good backup plan at SF
– noah … good backup plan at C
– ezeli .. might not be worth money he will see
– evan turner .. would be a good fit for new system
– biyombo .. not worth money he will get … too small for West Cs
– lin .. probably starts in charlotte and stays
– bazemore … will be expensive but maybe worth it … was in GS system before
– jr smith .. likely stays with cavs
– M williams … stretch 4 target will be an 8 figure player
– Jeff Green
– miahimi …
– montejeunas… injusy history makes him undesirable unless as right price
– courtney lee … could we see a 2009 Orl reunion?
– deron williams .. probably stays in Dallas
– brandon jennings .. no need with lou on the team
– aaron afalo … startable 2 in the league good 3pt%
– crabbe .. not sure what it would take to get him
– terrence jones … love jones , I think he would be a steal at the right amount
– jerebko .. could be a great bogut type fit on the team
– joe johnson .. likely wont come here
– jordan hill
– eric gordan
– Matt Barnes
– David Lee
– ty lawson …. sleeper steal FA if he gets back to normal
– Speights … played in GS system last year
– kevin martin
– gerald green
– randy foye
– gerald henderson
much longer list in 2016 … could we sign a bunch of guys like nene, jerebko, lawson, the lees etc.. to contracts this year probably
will we do it … not sure
would make us a respectable team but not a competing team but we also wouldn’t have any superstars on the team and I think the FO will look towards game changing talent like we have in the past to get into contention and not 8th and a 1st round exist
I also think we will want to give ample playing time to the young core to allow them to develop where they might not get that chance if we sign too many vets that actually outplay them and would need to take in limited minutes watching the younger and inferior guys develop
we also need to look at spots available on the team next year we will have
PG – DAR / Williams
SG – JC / Young
SF- Ingram / Brown
PF – Randle / Nance
Center is easily the biggest hole we have that need to be filled but in terms of target we need
1 SG or PG
1 stretch 4 … luxury
to complete our rotation and 60M to do it either this year or next
If we think that DAR/JC/.Ingram/Randle are starting caliber players then we need to target a high end center as a priority to pair with them and complimentary role players
also in taking into account that we will be looking to implement a GS type system – passing, shooting ability, and length will be key in any FA that we go after
to me howard is mobile, quick, great defender and a capable passer, horford,noah, gasol would be my next choices
a stretch 4 or tall and long 3 would be next – marvin williams, matt barnes, gerald green, harrison barnes and I would put Terrance jones into this list as well
Personally lou williams and nick young do not belong on the team that we want to be and if we could unload them or even waive them it would be great
but as you start looking at the team even with FAs we will only go as far as our young guys will take us
* are meant to display options not that we would sign every single player – more that it would be one or the other
lets say we don’t sign howard at 20 … what if it’s 15M … same as biyombo might cost .. how would he look like then?
got a post in mod but big point is that we need to sign a center, actually 2-3 since we will have none on the roster
looking at him as an option is not a dumb idea
Economics play a part but in a sense its the same for every team. FA’s like KD will dictate their own course. If a KD type leaves it will be for max money 2-3 years with an option. I think Clay makes a very valid point in saying no top tier FA is going to wait 3-5 for this team to compete. To build a sustainable infrastructure of culture, system and talent, it has to be approached like building a designer house or expensive car. No matter how flashy it looks, what gives it value long term is what the foundation and structure is built upon and made of. With that in mind i think the focus should be on culture, development and foundation. What vet FA’s are ready to take a reduced role and truly mentor our young guns. If a KD signs with GS for example is a Iguadola willing to sign with the team. Even at a high value contract i think he would be worth it even though he is older.
I think that getting vets who know how to play win and practice is more crucial this year than a splashy signing. A Varajo type or even a Pau would be incredibly beneficial to the long term growth of the young core.
I think we become enamored with stats and dont really look at how well certain players are going to mesh within Lukes system. Schroder is a smallish ball dominant PG who ATL is NOT going to part with. Teague may be available but do you really want him. Derozan cant shoot 3’s and is a high usage 2 guard with weak defensive skills, how would he fit in Luke’s system?
Also many of the players like Paul who you are saying wait 2 years for will be 2 years older with 2 more years of wear and tear. We need to collect young talent, develop it, like we are Clarkson, and that will give us the assets to pull the trigger down the road to acquire that over the top FA that will propel the team back to the top.
Unless LeBron and KD decide to come to LA we need to pump the breaks and stop smoking the weed.
A Horse With No Name says
Dwight Howard? (Anyone entertaining this notion should keep this to themselves.)
Who are the best, most realistic gets in FA?
Bismack Biyombo: A talented, still improving rim protector/rebounder who possesses exceptional length, good feet , good motor, great frame (not too big, less prone to injury, as Mid-W pointed out) and only 23 years old, high character too. He fills a great need, a starting caliber center. With the 32nd pick in this years draft however, the lakers may elect to draft a center (potentially there are 1-3 quality guys who can be developed). If they go this route, they may opt for a low-priced vet.
Solomon Hill/ Maurice Harkless SFs: The former is an unrestricted FA, with the Pacers declining to pick up his option (not exactly a ringing endorsement). Eminently gettable. The latter, Harkless, is a RFA and an excellent athlete and defender. 3 and D with the 3 part not so great. Probably could be bought from under the Blazers.
Harrison–no– Matt Barnes!: Yep, wouldn’t take much to bring this two-way vet who gives it his all and could help the young guys with the toughness and dedication (not so much with off-court decisions).
Evan Fournier: My second favorite realistic target. Great fit in Luke’s offense. Still young and improving, a 6’7″ two-way 2 guard who would allow Clarkson to move to sixth man/point/2 backup/third guard. A RFA, but the Magic have Hezona to develop and he’s going to be great. Overpay and he’s probably a laker.
A Horse With No Name says
Jon Leur: still a young improving player, athletic, stretch four. Wouldn’t take a lot to sign and a big upgrade over Kelley.
Love Biyombo the defender but really afraid of Biyombo the offensive player. My question is how will he fit into Luke’s motion offense? I saw highlights of his playoff games and it is true he is elite defensively but he his offense (passing/shooting) is really raw.
Still, he’s young, he plays a position of need (desperation really) and he’s not restricted. Is he worth the same money as Whiteside? Because losers in the Whiteside sweepstakes are going to pounce on Biyombo. I’m not sure I like him to the tune of $80 million over 4 years. Simply a case of too many dollars chasing too little talent.
I also love Fournier and to Horse’s point the Magic are blessed with young talent at the wing with Oladipo, Fournier and Hezonja sharing the Two and the Three. But Hezonja is on a rookie deal for two more years and he’s not a real contributor yet. Plus the Magic are under the cap (they have $55+ million to spend this summer). I think they’ll spend part of it to keep Fournier by matching whatever offer he gets. So, no I don’t think he’s in play.
I and others have said that the likely outcome this summer is that the Lakers will be forced to go slow and steady. There aren’t that many players who can change our fortunes and those that can won’t be attracted to us (as we have so far to go). Better to stand pat than to overspend on older vets. Next summer will be a different story.
Horse: What do you think of Dwight Powell? Similar to but a bit younger than Leur….
Horse – Matt Barnes huh?
Only if they keep Swaggy around – couple of great role models.
Biyombo and Fournier, though, yes. Sure, draft a center, too, to develop. These big guys get hurt all the time; nothing wrong with having a spare around.
Dwight Howard ?!?!
The very thought of him makes my stomach turn.
I’m quite sure the vast majority of Laker fans, and the front office feel the same.
Soon,. Rockets fans will also feel the love.
On another subject, did anyone hear that many scouts see Kris Dunn with the most solid star potential?
It’s said, this is why Philly is trying to trade Jahlil Okafor to the Celtics for their 3rd pick, because they don’t have the balls to pass on Simmons for a 3rd option.
Craig W. says
If we are going to sign a center it should be this year. The rest we have options for next summer.
Pick someone realistic and go hard at them early in the free-agent process. Biyombo is my guess. Then we get points with him while others are waiting in line for Whiteside. Perhaps we can sign him before Whiteside decides and others jump on the Biyombo bandwagon.
What are the signals the FO has given us thus far? We plan to pay JC, and presumably we have told him, because he does not seem worried about it. We will make an obligatory run at any top 2 player who might consider changing teams; we will go after one max contract, but also use lesser contracts to fill out the roster; and try to keep some flexibility for 2017. We will go after front court players. We will not expand the number of young players on the team – so, unlikely to acquire a second and keep it beyond the #32. And that we need to add veterans to the locker room.
It’s a sensible plan, whose success is predicated, as always, on the quality/value brought in.
1. Get a young quality big, if not, get a vet, or do both: Biyombo/Whiteside look like a fit. I can’t imagine a better situation for either player, step into the starting lineup of the Lakers and become part of a great young core. We have a shot, but will have to pay near/at max. Gasol/Noah/Ezeli veteran bigs on high $/low year/team option type contracts become the backup, or we go for both, if Black stays at 3rd string.
2. Get a starting 3. Ingram can’t be expected to play major minutes as a rail-thin 18yo, and I personally think he’ll play some 2, where his length helps and physicality lessens. If Luke thinks HBarnes will improve further (and that GSW will not match), HB could be the biggest bet we place. Most likely look for mid-tier vet 3’s like Matt Barnes (Fisher won’t be happy), to cover 24 mpg while Ingram eats burgers and learns how men play, with the other 24mpg at 3.
3. Need another competent long range shooter, a backup big, Huertas back, etc. Frankly, it just doesn’t really matter who else we sign. Expect some roster filling mediocrity.
With all that said, we’ll be better and more promising and more interesting and in the lottery. The youth will have a year of progress, and it looks like they are all working on it. Hoping one of them has a breakout season. Ingram will be raw, but we’ll be forgiving viewers. The center position will be much improved, how could it not? Plus a better 3 than last year’s KB24. And most importantly, a *good* coach replacing a bad one. That’s a double bump, maybe triple given how the youngins will respond, to effectively prove last years issues were BS, not them. As anyone who has played ball knows, a well coordinated, prepared team beats more talented teams that has no cohesion on the floor.
If we draft simmons, al horford might be a good fit
While I really like Horford I think he’s going to go where he can win. If it makes losing out on him a little easier remember he’s 30 and his stats are slipping. Plus he’ll want $100 million over 4 years. Let the Celtics overpay for him.
Regarding Providence’s Kris Dunn:
3dec2015-Why choose another pg in Kris Dunn? Because one always selects the best talent available regardless the position and figure the positional logistics out later. What if Clarkson decides his future is in Cleveland alongside James and Irving? I’ll tell you what, Dunn and Russell together in the backcourt are a tantalizing thought. I’m just saying. Now don’t get me wrong, I love baby-faced Clarkson he has a fire deep inside him to compete and improve every season he’s in the league.
3Dec2015-Kris Dunn, pg (Providence)—This guy has a motor, change of pace on the dribble, can get to the rim with his athletic 6-4” frame and finish with a 6’9” wingspan, plays hard-nosed defense, and is a leader.
Clay Bertrand says
Frankly, I don’t get all the “MIAMI” hype and for some reason, that team just pisses me off (sorry to get so emotional here…lol)!!! I have said it before….I SWEAR they are crooked down there. If VLADI PUTIN ran that team it would be run with less back room dealing and corruption!!!!!!!!!!
Beyond the income tax break what is the big DRAW there??? Is it DEYAWAYNE WADE or however the hell he spells his name incorrectly?? Is it Chris (I MAY NEVER PLAY AGAIN) Bosh signed thru 2019????? Is it Known World Beater and multiple championship winner Goran Dragic????? Is it Pat Riley’s greasy hair??????? Is it the Cuban Sandwiches???????? The Hot Chicks?!!?!??!? Ok, well that’s a valid draw…..but I digress……
If Lebron wanted to be a wuss and come to LA and play with Kobe and Pau, does that make Mitch Kupchak the greatest GM EVER!?!?!?!?!? No. Riley gets all this credit for basically letting his star player get his own BEST FRIEND–AND THE BEST BASKETBALL PLAYER ON THE PLANET–to come to play with him in Miami. LEBRON made the move. He wasn’t somehow tricked into going to Miami by a Magical Riley. When Jerry West traded half the team to sign Shaq and traded the starting Center for a 17 year old drafted 16th in the draft, that was BALLS. That was gambling. That was a GM. 3 guys deciding they want to play together and doing so is not the Magic touch of Pat Riley. SMH.
Miami has only so much money to spend this off season. YET somehow, they are still going to Re-sign Wade (after he took a huge cut and now would like a KOBE deal), sign Whiteside to a MAX or NEAR MAX deal, OHHHHH ANNNDDDDDDD they are also going to sign Kevin Durant while filling out the rest of their roster with Veteran Min guys like Joe Johnson and Joachim Noah!?!??!?!!?!? Cmon Man!!!!!!!!!! Total BS!!!!!!!! They have a very good PG, an aging and drastically declining Wade (EXCEPT for this year–a CONTRACT year of course), a Power Forward with major Blood Clot issues, a decent rookie in Winslow, a fossil in Haslem and a better than average coach. WOW, the future is so bright for the Heat!!! All those guys are really in their PRIME!!!!
What is so attractive about Miami??? The beaches?? We have those. The Sun?? We have that. The Humidity?? We DON’T have that. The Hurricanes?? We have earthquakes–so its a wash. Huge Shoe Endorsement Money?? L.A. has that. Miami does NOT. Off court opportunities?? L.A., the bigger market offers tons more than Miami.
To me, the bigger money paid by the Shoe people (for upper tier players at least) coupled with the off court possibilities of being in a big market and an entertainment center of the world can potentially FAR OUTWEIGH the Florida NO INCOME TAX deal. Or at the very least, such side income would render the two locations financially more equal with each other (not even gonna TOUCH property value or cost of living here).
If Lebron is in Miami, I get it. That’s a draw—Lotsa guys are gonna wanna be there and take less money to win a ring etc. They were always a threat to steal away players with that kind of draw. But Lebron ain’t there no more. And the Heat are one DUWYNAE WADE knee flare up from basically having Dragic throw lobs to McRoberts all game as their offense.
So they MAX Whiteside as Riley intimates and then what about Wade?? Joe Johnson??? What about KEVIN DURANT!!?!?!????? There simply isn’t enough money to go around. If they end up signing HALF of who they claim they will, (and RILEY swears his highest priority is Whiteside—and of course, Durant), there will have to have been something crooked. Math is Math. Luxury Tax is Luxury Tax. Millionaires don’t give BILLIONAIRES discounts because they like the neighborhood.
Sorry for the OT rant……I just think that something weird always happens with the Heat and player signings……..They are not on the level…. and no one seems to ever call them out or question it. So all the bluster and buzz suddenly about Miami as a hot destination for FAs raises big suspicions for me. Its not just Shaq whose whispering about Miami………
PS: Shaun, most of your reasoning is pretty sound but you really lose me (and I’m sure I’m not the only one) with the Dwight Howard interest. Maybe on paper that seems doable to you. In reality bro, it just isn’t. Howard is a small minded, self centered guy who is running out of chances to reinvent himself. If he just stuck to what he does best he’d be fine. But he always seeks/demands more on the offensive end than he rightfully deserves and he’s never worked to improve to where he would be worthy of more touches on O. I think Howard ends up with Dallas, Charlotte, Atlanta, or mayyyyyyybe Portland.
Miami has played respectable though admittedly not spectacular basketball recently. The Lakers have been historically putrid. The Lakers play in a loaded conference. Miami has an easier path to making and then getting through the playoffs even if all other factors are even-which they are not. The tax disparity between Florida and California cannot be ignored. Players likely care about money and rings and Miami offers more promise of both at least for the immediate future.
A Horse with no name says
Anon#1: to your point on Biyombo’s lack of offensive polish, I think he shows more touch and fluidity than Ezeli– which admittedly isn’t saying much. Disagree on the value proposition of a contract for Biyombo; as we all know the cap will ratchet up again and a deal like you outline won’t seem bad for a young talented player with years ahead of him. As to your question about Dwight Powell vs. Jon Leur, first thing is that Cuban hates to lose guys with upside. Powell likely stays a Maverick.
The second thing (without looking at stats) is that Leur is a much better distance shooter. Leur could be a great value signing.
You might be right about the Magic matching on Fournier, after all they matched on Tobias Harris. But then, in characteristally cheap Magic fashion, they then traded Harris for future assets rather than pay him. Could be a redux move there. What might work though, is seriously overpaying for Fournier to scare off potential Magic trading partners.
R: Matt Barnes? Yes sir! Unlike Swaggy, no questions his heart and effort . Plus, Fisher had it coming to him; major bro code violation.
Chearn: So how do you suppose the lakers acquire Dunn? Pass on Ingram to snag Dunn with the second pick? Cause, yeah, that will never happen. . . . Any hypothetical about Clarkson leaving the lakers given his contract status is far fetched–and that’s a very good thing.
Horse, let’s pretend the Fisher comedy never happened: Matt Barnes remains a psycho.
Clay have you ever been to Miami, the weather the girls, its a suburb of NY. No state tax and you are on the water. by South beacvh and the keys/. might be the most attractive destination in the league. plus you have Pat Riley who takes care of his players
Renato Afonso says
Pau Gasol should come back to the Lakers. Play a couple of years, show the kids how it was during the good days and show his skillset. And yes, such signing wouldn’t hurt the development of younger players as the Lakers still don’t have a C. Will he want to come here after the way this exact FO treated him? I doubt it but they have the option to make amends…
Anyway, assuming Ingram is the #2 pick if the Lakers end up signing one of Pau/Biyombo/Ezeli/Horford and one of HBarnes/Batum while retaining Jordan Clarkson, Tarik Black and Brandon Bass (he’ll get paid somewhere), that would be a very good offseason. If on top of that the Lakers were able to snatch Evan Fournier, that would be an exceptionally good offseason. We should wait and see because I find it hard to believe that the Lakers will be able to pull it off. I’m sure all these players are in the Lakers radar but they may not be willing to go to LA. I’m also sure the Lakers won’t make lowball offers to anyone so it’s really not up to them now.
J C says
I wonder if Pau G has a good relationship with Luke.
Pau’s not the defender Bogut is – but he’s superior offensively and an excellent passer.
If the team decides to add a veteran presence I can’t think of a better person to add, especially if his character in the locker room is considered.
There hasn’t been much discussion about Marc G but he’d obviously be a terrific get as well and would seem to fit perfectly in a system like the one the Ws run. Marc is under contract however so he’d only be available via a player exchange.
Pau wont come back – he wants to win a championship and has already mentioned SA as a destination but I could see him going for the mid-exception and joining GS if they lose speights or ezeli this year .. making them even better
I dont think founier gets away from the Magic as stated they may do the sign and trade thing again just to keep assets
to me biyombo will be the jerome jordan/erick dampier contract of the year that every team will regret after signing it and whiteside even has that risk as he has only been able to play for a single year and in watching him play he seems to be very moody and might not want to sit back and watch DAR and JC chuck shots
Evan fournier is just a little better than clarkson, why sign him
Pau and randle together likely would be a defensive disaster
I think the best location for Dwight howard would be portland, but i don’t think he’s smart enough to figure that out
I think San Antonio is in a difficult spot. Clearly really good, but are they athletic enough to beat GSW or OKC in a 7 game series? Was the loss to OKC just one of those things a la OKC losing to GSW after being up 3-1 or a changing of the guard? Can’t discount what the Spurs FO has done over the years, but they are really going to have navigate life post big 3 now.
Warren Wee Lim says
As an Accounting major (but not a CPA) and a cap-whore for the last 8-9 years, let me share some things I do know, and have conferred w/ Eric Pincus.
Cap Space is computed by deducting all of your players’ salaries from the Salary Cap.
In this case, its 92M minus every guy under contract. Williams, Russell, Young, Randle, Nance, Brown.
Players like Clarkson, Black, Huertas and Kelly are our own RFA (restricted free agents) and therefore IF we had tendered them a qualifying offer, we are entitled to match any contract they get in free agency that is not from us.
Clarkson, in particular is counted against our cap by 2.8M. That is his qualifying offer. In free agency, there are a couple of scenarios that can play out:
a) Clarkson signs a contract on another team, Lakers have 3 days to decide whether to match or let him go. The maximum he can sign for is 5.6M, 5.9M, 22.7M, 23.6M.
b) Clarkson remains w/ Lakers for 14.5M per year x 4yrs. Or lower.
Players like Kobe Bryant and Roy Hibbert still occupy 53M from our space, until we officially renounce their rights. Which is expected.
Robert Sacre is an unrestricted free agents of which we hold the Bird Rights to.
Metta World Peace is an unrestricted free agent of which we hold the Early Bird Rights to.
Assuming we do what is logical, the 1st steps go by like this:
1. Draft #2 – counts against our cap for approx. 5.3M.
2. Draft #32 – counts as 1 roster spot equal to $525,093
3. Renounce Kobe Bryant – retired.
4. Renounce Roy Hibbert – we lose his bird rights.
5. Tender Qualifying Offers to Clarkson, Huertas, Black.
If we did all these, we would have an estimated 58M in space. Now lets go shopping.
There hasn’t been much discussion about Marc G but he’d obviously be a terrific get as well and would seem to fit perfectly in a system like the one the Ws run. Marc is under contract however so he’d only be available via a player exchange.
He turns 32 next season. He makes $20 mil over the next 4 years. Plus he just missed most of last season with an injured foot.
That my friend is a risky profile.
IMO at the center position we need 3 players, i would spend somewhere near 30 mil. At this spot. I’ve thought of three different groups.
#1 group. Starting, whiteside 21 mil, backup, miles plumlee 7 mil, bench tarik black 3 mil
#2 group. Starting horford 25 mil, backup tarik black 3 mil. Bench #32 pick 1 mil
#3 group. Starting noah 14 mil., backup biyombo 14 mil. Bench tarik black 3 mil.
Note i don’t know how much tarik black will be offered in the market he is a restricted free agent, im guessing the most is 4 mil.
Clay Bertrand says
“The tax disparity between Florida and California cannot be ignored. Players likely care about money and rings and Miami offers more promise of both at least for the immediate future.”
Are you aware of the huge automatic raise that Kevin Durant gets in his Nike contract alone for moving to a Big Market?? It makes the tax issue moot in his case. As well, if a person is domiciled in Florida and only works in California, taxes are filed differently. Players file taxes in every single state they play in (and in fact, some CITIES AS WELL) in addition to the state in which they are domiciled. That is why many wealthy people CLAIM to live in Florida, Texas, Nevada etc. while they in fact have many homes in many states.
States also have numerous reciprocity agreements with other states regarding waiving taxes in certain states if they are paid in the home State. Without having to get into the Tax Code too much, in a Nutshell, the Tax Implications are not as daunting as they appear.
When the tax difference is minimized, and you look at the added income from the Nike endorsement alone (to say nothing of OTHER endorsements that come with being in L.A.), Miami’s financial advantage is not decisive IMO.
How do account for the how Miami is going to sign all of their players with such limited Salary Cap room??????? They all want to make money but they all take HUGE discounts???
I’ve been to Florida and Miami dozens of times. Been to the Keys, over to the Gulf, Tampa, Sanibel Island, up North to Orlando to the Disney empire and have been to Hollywood and Jacksonville as well.
I agree that Miami is a pretty place. Again, if you understand the totality of how these mega stars get paid, the State Income tax issue is something that can be managed somewhat and offset by other income THAT WOULDN’T BE AVAILABLE IN MIAMI.
” …..plus you have Pat Riley who takes care of his players.”
Can I ask you to explain what you mean by that? If he is circumventing the cap to “take care of his players” that is a problem. When Udrih LOSES money on a BUY OUT simply so that Miami can have a little more cap room something stinks!! You don’t do a $200,000 dollar favor for a guy who took you to a nice steak dinner!!!!!!! Now Riley is SUPPOSED to “take care of” Wade this off season. How is he going to do that with his cap room and the players he is going after?? Kobe got MEGA taken care of. Miami and Chris Bosh have been at combative odds over his situation (Bosh moved to get the Players Union involved at one point). Wade was pissed last year at the Heat and the empty promises and he almost left.
Miami has is warts too if you look deeper than SOUTH BEACH and SUNSHINE (which BTW also comes with 100% Humidity for 50% of the YEAR).
People belittle the endorsements guys get in the BIG MARKETS these days saying that marketing has changed and that any player can build a brand in even the smallest of Markets. UHHH yeah that isn’t 100% true.
Second year Rookie Julius Randle is in Mountain Dew commercials—-as a ROOKIE who has done NOTHING because he plays in L.A. You may be able to build a massive Twitter following from some small market and do okay with outside income. But the reality is the BIG endorsement deals come when you are in a big market. PERIOD. Advantage LA.
I wanted the Lakers to go after Biyombo last year; understand why they did not, but would have been nice to have him now. Despite costing more, I would still go after him now. Within the context of the total cap, I think he would still be an affordable and valuable addition. I think he could grow under Luke while providing a nice defensive presence. In my mind, he would fit as part of the evolving roster. a key point from the original post.
Miami and Chicago are both stuck in a muck
Clay Bertrand says
The converse message from my Anti-Miami sentiments I suppose is that we really need to rebuild our public image and our culture so that people are drinkin the LAKER Kool Aid and not that crap Crooked Riley is peddlin——–SO that LA is ALWAYS a looming draw for players.
We should aspire to perpetually be a LOOMING DRAW for all FAs. Hopefully Luke can start to rebuild our public image on the floor at least. IF we build it, they will come!!! (totally cornball statement but true!)
A Horse With No Name says
Clay @ 10:38: A tour de force refutation of the location advantages of Florida (and pretty much everywhere else) over So Cal. I’d like to add the very real and looming Zika virus issue which is expected to hit Florida and other humid, sub-tropical parts of the U.S. Pau Gasol, as intelligent and educated of a hoopster as you’ll find is likely to pass on the Brazil Olympics because of his concerns about the virus. Last year I passed on a trip to Costa Rica because of the dengue fever outbreak–this is much worse.
Interesting write up makes me wonder which players will be overpaid,
How much will ezeli get maybe 16-18 mil.
Batum 25 mil
Howard 30 mil
Wade 30 mil
Beal 21 mil
What about eric gordon for 21 mil
Fournier 21 mil
Evan turner 18 mil
Jordan hill 15 mil
Montiejunes 17 mil
Dudley 12 mil
Meyers leonard 14 mil
Dwight powell 14 mil
Conley 25 mil
Chandler parsons 25 mil
Harrison barnes 21 mil
Noah 17 mil
Mahinmi 17 mil
All this makes me think max for horford or whiteside is a good idea
Makes you wonder how much a player that never plays will make (like sacre). Will a player like him makes 4 mil for participation in practices
This also makes draft picks extremely valuable, maybe we tank again
This whole concept makes nick youngs contract look pretty sweet
Matt: Based on your numbers I’d sign Meyers Leonard and Dwight Powell to bolster my front court along with drafting Ingram. I’d save the rest of my cap space for next summer.
My numbers are written in crayola
You do make sense, also keep tarik black around for muscle,
Powell, leonard, and black
You know of the rumor that lakers intended on drafting dwight powell with the clarkson pick, he was picked right before clarkson
My intuition tells me dragen bender will fall all the way down to Orlando pick #11
@A Horse With No Name-
I wrote that snippet about Dunn in December 2015 prior to the Lakers winning the lottery sweepstakes.
I fail to understand how Whiteside fits the GS model of a defensive scheme. He is primarily and off the ball shot blocker. He shows no discipline in Miami’s scheme but everyone gets hyped aboput his athleticism and shotblocking. Bogut is GS’s primary defensive center with Draymond backing him up. Bogut is a cerebral center that plays within the scheme and system plus he is a very very good passer and facilitator which Whiteside is not. Whiteside and Ezeli are very similar in that they are both athletic but prone to knuckle headness. If I had to choose between Whiteside. EZeli and Biyombo, give me Biyombo.