According to several sources, the Blazers have announced that they will waive recently acquired forward Ryan Gomes. This is obviously a cost-cutting move for the Blazers, and will put them $1.9 million under the luxury tax. The Blazers acquired Gomes, along with the draft rights to Luke Babbitt, in a draft-day trade that sent Martell Webster to the Minnesota Timberwolves.
Now, it’s time to negotiate with Oladipo, who’s eligible for a rookie-scale contract extension.
How much does he want?
(for now) seeking the maximum salary, sources say.
Why shouldn’t he?
C.J. McCollum just got a max extension, and while I’d prefer McCollum over Oladipo, their value is comparable. McCollum is a superior shooter, but Oladipo is more advanced defensively. Two factors working in McCollum’s favor — youth and a shortage of good shooting guards in the NBA — also apply to Oladipo.
Perhaps, the max rules kept McCollum from earning more. Even if he’s not quite as valuable as McCollum, Oladipo still might deserve the max. That’s a pitfall (feature?) of the system.
But a difference between the Trail Blazers’ and Thunder’s cap outlooks could be key.
If he doesn’t sign an extension, Oladipo will count $13,105,921 against the cap to begin next offseason. Oklahoma City can hold him at that number, use its other cap space then exceed the cap to re-sign him with Bird Rights.
If he signs an extension, he’ll count all offseason at his 2017-18 salary — which is projected to have a max of about $24 million.
Because Oklahoma City is more likely than Portland to have 2017 cap space, that difference matters considerably. The Thunder could use an extra $11 million of flexibility, especially as they handle Russell Westbrook‘s free agency.
Oladipo almost certainly won’t sign an extension that starts at less than his $13,105,921 cap hold. So, any extension will cut into the Thunder’s 2017 space. But he could take enough of a discount to make it worth their while over the life of the deal.
There’s plenty of time for compromise. Oladipo’s extension deadline is Oct. 31.
For now, Oladipo should keep asking for the biggest payday.
Warriors center Anderson Varejao left his native Brazil to have his back examined in the United States before the Rio Olympics.
The prognosis doesn’t sound good.
Marc Stein of ESPN:
That’s a bummer for Varejao, who was clearly looking forward to playing in his home Olympics. At least Brazil still has plenty of talent — including Nene, Leandro Barbosa, Raul Neto and Marcelo Huertas — to compete for a medal.
The Warriors certainly hope Varejao heals in time for the season. They might have to depend on him to back up Zaza Pachulia if rookie Damian Jones isn’t ready and they want to limit the pounding Draymond Green takes at center.
The Kings forward doesn’t seem thrilled with that.
You mentioned people are wondering if you are going to be here next season. I imagine you are like most of the guys in the league and try not to pay attention to that stuff, but do you pay attention to trade rumors and does it bother you?
I mean it’s been pretty loud as of late so it’s hard not to pay attention to it. I think it just goes to, I don’t know, I think there’s always ways to do things and in this situation I don’t think it’s going about the right way. No matter what your intentions to do with your players, I would think the first thing you want to do is make sure people are happy with what you are doing. That hasn’t been the case.
So you haven’t had much communication with the franchise as far as your future?
No, I haven’t. I’ve had communication, but not the kind of communication that I would say I like.
If you had your ideal communication situation, what would you like to hear from the franchise?
You don’t want to hear things on the internet, on Twitter. You would like to hear it from out of the horse’s mouth. Just be upfront with people, that’s all you have to do.
Toward the end of the last couple of seasons you have made it clear you don’t think the franchise has a direction. I assume you still feel that way. What do you think the direction of the team is right now?
I have no idea. I suit up and give it my all. That’s all I can do in this situation, that’s all you can do. Go out there and play as much as you can. Obviously, we don’t have anything to really build on. We have a new coach. I think that’s the only thing we can really build on. New coach and seeing how it plays out.
Remember, this is only Gay’s side of the story. The Kings might have a different point of view.
But after repeatedly putting players in unfavorable positions, Sacramento probably doesn’t deserve the benefit of the doubt.
Beyond communication issues, the Kings are likely having a tough time dealing Gay. He’s owed $13,333,333 this season and has a $14,263,566 player option for 2017-18. That’s not egregious, but it’s also not great value for someone who perpetually produces short of his athletic capabilities. Gay having Achilles surgery this offseason — revealed in the same interview — doesn’t help. He’ll turn 30 next month.
Sacramento, trying to win a reasonable amount as it opens a new arena, probably isn’t ready just to dump Gay and turn the small forward position over to Omri Casspi and Matt Barnes. Even if he’s just an average player, Gay can still help.
This is clearly an imperfect partnership between Gay and the Kings. But both sides might have to endure a little longer.
Sacramento — if nothing else, for the sake of its own reputation — should probably do more so Gay doesn’t feel like staying is such a burden.
Just in case…
Charlotte Hornets General Manager Rich Cho announced today that the team has signed center Mike Tobey.
Tobey went undrafted after four seasons at Virginia then played well for the Hornets’ summer-league team. He’s a good offensive rebounder, and he has some touch with the ball. But his lack of length and athleticism really limit him.
There’s an outside chance Tobey competes with Aaron Harrison, whose salary is unguaranteed, for Charlotte’s final regular-season roster spot. Tobey’s standing and the Hornets’ center depth will work against him.
Most likely, this is just a way for Charlotte to stock its new D-League affiliate, the Greensboro Swarm. The Hornets can waive Tobey after training camp and assign his D-League rights to the Swarm. A partial guarantee on his NBA contract would probably entice him to join the D-League rather than play overseas.