Obviously the C's are in a logjam at the wing spots now, particularly at SF where they have one of the best contracts in the league, a top 20 player in the league, and the last two number three picks in the draft.
They're also financially strapped squeezing Hayward's deal into the cap.
Something's gotta give, and it almost has to be with the one of these three players that were in the C's top 6 rotation last year.
Does anyone have any opinions on who they'd prefer to go?
And does anyone have on thoughts on what could be gotten in exchange for the any of the three?
I think you can make a case for all three of them. All of them are in their prime age range, so projection shouldn't be a huge factor. The Cís could take back about 3M less than what they send out and still get under the cap. Bradley is at 8.8, Smartís 4.4 plus a qualifying offer for next year to maintain his Restricted Free Agent Status, and Crowder is 6.8, 7.3, 7.8.
Bradley (8.8 Mill) might be the best fit on the current roster, as he's the best PG defender, and covers for IT, and he also provides the most spacing among the three as the best catch and shoot guy, which may be more valuable with a second creator with the ball in Hayward (and maybe a third in Tatum).
He's also the upcoming Unrestricted FA of the group, and would either cost a fortune to keep beyond that (including tax money) assuming they use his Bird rights to go over, or you've got a one year window with him. That one year will probably reduce his value to other teams, so basically youíre trading for his limited Bird Rights. That means a team is gonna have to really like him because theyíre making the deal in anticipation of re-upping him at good dollars. Those types of teams are usually contenders, meaning Iím not sure how much the Cís would want to help one of them out.
In addition, heís the most money they could send out, making it the easiest to fit under the cap, as they could take back a 5M salary and make it work. Smart for example they pretty much couldnít take back any money, as theyíd need all of his 4.4M gone to make it work, so it would have to be a pick or a buyout candidate to work in that case.
He's also got depth behind him, in Smart, Rozier, and even possibly Jaylen Brown playing some SG, so he can be reasonably replaced in house. Although his shooting isn't being matched by any of those guys.
Also, his impending FA probably brings the least return.
Smart (4.4, would be owed a qualifying offer to maintain the RFA) has the highest pedigree of the group. A top 5 pick still on his rookie deal, and you get to keep him through Restricted FA for a year. We've seen RFA really thwart money for a year lately. Probably especially next year with more teams squeezed by the cap. These guys have also shown good potential for sign and trade.
One particular value for Smart is that he might be better than he's looked (and he's looked pretty damn good). He's made a ton of winning plays for the C's in his time here, in spite of being extremely frustrating because of his shooting, but he's also rarely been put in a position of his strengths. He's probably best with ball in his hands, and that hasn't really happened that much. In fact, his best spot seems to be as a weird mismatch post up player against smaller guards, and on the right team, he could probably be extra valuable. He's also probably the best defender of the three, who are all good defenders. He doesn't have the hardware Bradley does, but he's among the most versatile defenders in the league, with more and more appeal in switch happy systems.
He's got more fit issues than Bradley. With Hayward in place (and presumably bigger roles for Brown, and particularly Tatum), one of the assets Smart bought to the table was creation with the ball (often out of the post), but those guys are going to be taking up some of that usage I would think.
The last piece, Crowder (6.7, 7.3, 7.8), is maybe the toughest to figure out. He's now got a ton of depth at his position. However he does have the best contract moving forward. He also has the best contract, and among the best contracts in the league. I would argue, moving forward with all the money committed, and presumably with IT getting a huge extension, a player on that good of a contract would be more valuable for roster building, then having to extend either of the other guys. This is a little counter-intuitive, because he does make the most money at the moment. He also is the biggest of the bunch, by a fair stretch, on a team for which that really matters. As the roster stands now, Iíd argue he should be starting at PF on opening night, with IT, Bradley, Hayward, and Horford at Center. Thatís a small ball lineup with more shooting, better defense, and more creation, then what we got last year. It also frees up more minutes at the other spots for the younger guys. And one of the things I like about this roster is the flexibility, because I donít think itís unlikely to see Hayward move to SG, Crowder to SF, Horford at C, and Zizec at Center. Thatís also much different than last year.
On the negative side, it seems like Crowder is beginning to regress. Heís also a pain in the ass. He didnít react well to the fansí interest in Hayward, and probably wonít be thrilled with an altered role. I would say that type of stuff is why you pay for a great coach, to deal with that sort of stuff, but itís still a factor.
A big plus though is hat contract may make get the most back. Thatís a huge bargain for any team, to get a starting level player at less than 8M per for the next three years.
The other factor is what the team needs, and whatís out there in terms of assets from teams that might actually need or want these guys. Smart would make sense for a lot of teams, as that RFA tag and his youth and high pedigree means he could fit on a younger roster. Bradley to me fits more with a contender. Heíd be a great fit on a team with ball dominant backcourt guys who arenít plus defenders, where he can guard PGs. Smart is also a good fit on that type of team, and moreso on offense, where heís not really a pure point, but can take advantage of mismatches. Crowderís deal seems like itíd fit anywhere.
From the Cís side, they could really use another big. Itíd be nice if he still had some upside, but heís gotta be cheap, so youíre probably looking for someone on a rookie deal still. Teams arenít want to part with the guys, so youíd probably want to target someone whoís been a disappointment, or has turned out not to be a great fit for whatever reason (like a change in team philosophy since the player was drafted). Thatís hard to find.
One guys I think could maybe be gotten is Frank Kaminsky. Charlotte seemed to figure something out with Cody Zeller last year, and now theyíve added Dwight Howard. Kaminsky is 2.8 and 3.6 team option. Either Crowder or Bradley would give the Cís the space they need. Smart wouldnít quite get there. Iíd Monk and Kemba, Iím not sure either of the guards would really work for them anyway. And Crowder feels like heíd fit well among Batum, Kidd-Gilchrist, and Marvin Williams. Henry Ellensen probably still has too much upside.
The Clippers have young bigs like Harrell, Brice Johnson, or even Liggins, but theyíve been trying to get away from cap too.
All three guys would be good fits for OKC, especially the guards, who can both defend the hell out of PG, while excelling while Westbrook dominates the ball. Bradley could make sense there if theyíre chasing one year to try and convince George to stay. Heís probably the best fit. They donít have much though. Jerami Grant at 1.5, but they may like him. McDermott would work money wise, but probably not for Boston. Josh Huestis fits dollars.
Portland has pieces that fit, but theyíre pushing the cap too. They have a glut of young bigs who would work.
Sacramento has some cap fodder it could probably use seeing it as picking up an asset. Anthony Tolliver at 2M. Maybe theyíve gone past Malachi Richardson with their new additions.
New Orleans has to be trying to push, and giving up some minimum guy like Cheick Diallo might be worth any of those pieces.
Bradley and Crowder both feel like Spurs players. And they have some cheap deals on their roster. David Bertans probably the best. Kyle Anderson has been in a rotation.
Thereís other names that really just cap fodder, which other teams would probably just see as an asset gain by getting a year of Bradley.
And things get really complicated if you package a couple of them, and potentially a pick. Would Smart/Crowder and Memphis 2019 1st, or the Cís own 2018 1st , get you Bobby Portis?