Paul George reportedly wants to play with Gordon Hayward. George is also reportedly willing to join his desired team (universally accepted to be the Lakers) by means that don’t guarantee the highest salary.
Could the Celtics – who are pursuing Hayward in free agency – leverage those conditions into getting George?
Adam Kauffman of 98.5 The Sports Hub:
I don’t what George would do, but it’d be a MAJOR financial disadvantage to go this route.
There a couple ways it could happen – George getting extended-and-trade or George getting traded then signing an extension six months later. The latter would allow George to earn more than the former, but even if he pledged to sign an extension, would the Celtics trade for him knowing he’d have six months to change his mind if he doesn’t like Boston as much as anticipated?
There’s a bigger issue, anyway. Both extension routes would leave George earning far less than simply letting his contract expire then signing a new deal, either with his incumbent team or a new one.
Here’s a representation of how much George could earn by:
- Letting his contract expire and re-signing (green)
- Letting his contract expire and signing elsewhere (purple)
- Getting traded and signing an extension six months later (gray)
- Signing an extend-and-trade (yellow)
|Expire & re-sign||Expire & leave||Trade, extend later||Extend-and-trade|
|2018-19||$30.6 million||$30.6 million||$23,410,750||$23,410,750|
|2019-20||$33.0 million||$32.1 million||$25,283,610||$24,581,287|
|2020-21||$35.5 million||$33.7 million||$27,156,470||$25,751,825|
|2021-22||$37.9 million||$35.2 million||$29,029,330|
|Total||$177.5 million||$131.6 million||$104,880,158||$73,743,861|
Firm numbers are used when it’s just a calculation based on George’s current contract. When necessary to project the 2018-19 salary cap, I rounded.
The Celtics could theoretically renegotiate-and-extend, but that would require cap room that almost certainly wouldn’t exist after signing Hayward.
Simply, it’s next to impossible to see this happening. It’d be too costly to George.
David Aldridge of NBA.com:
This is most real answer answer you’ll ever see. Props to Wade for his directness.
This also speaks to the unlikelihood of him accepting a buyout, no matter how poorly he fits with the rebuilding Bulls now – though maybe he’d accept a small pay cut to choose another team.
While I appreciate the compliment, Fraschilla was also right about another point: Those analyzing the draft for websites clearly valued Anunoby more than NBA teams. Fraschilla cited Anunoby’s limited offense, but it’s hard to get past Anunoby’s knee injury as a primary reason he fell to the Raptors at No. 23.
The 76ers adjusted us to the idea of picking an injured player high in the draft, with Nerlens Noel and Joel Embiid in recent years. Even though Ben Simmons was healthy when picked, a later injury that cost him his entire rookie year conditioned us to the idea that sometimes top rookies don’t begin their pro careers ready to play.
But the 2017 NBA draft pushed back against that as a new norm. Most of the biggest tumblers on my board had injury concerns, from where I ranked them to where the went:
- 12. O.G. Anunoby, SF, Indiana – No. 23, Raptors
- 13. Harry Giles, PF, Duke – No. 20, Kings
- 18. Isaiah Hartenstein, PF, Zalgiris – No. 43, Rockets
- 19. Ike Anigbogu, C, UCLA – No. 47, Pacers
Anunoby had the aforementioned knee injury that even he, trying to paint himself in the most favorable light, said would cause him to miss some of the upcoming season. The strength of his game is a defensive versatility that would be undermined by a decline in athleticism.
Giles looked like a potential No. 1 pick in high school until three knee surgeries in three years derailed him. He was limited at Duke as a freshman, though reportedly acquitted himself in pre-draft workouts.
Hartenstein’s and Anigbogu’s medical issues were less widely know, but teams were apparently concerned.
Jonathan Givony of DraftExpress:
The 7-foot-1 Hartenstein is big enough to put a heavy load on his back. Just 19, he has nice vision as a passer and a developing outside shot that could allow him to spend more time on the perimeter and better take advantage of his passing.
Anigbogu was the youngest player drafted. He’s big and strong and mobile and throws his body around like a wrecking ball. He must develop better awareness and maybe even some ball skills, but there’s a path toward productivity.
Will these players blossom as hoped?
As I wrote when ranking Anunoby and Giles 12th and 13th before the draft, “I’m somewhat shooting in the dark” and “I’m mostly guessing here.”
This is the disconnect between the public perception of these players’ draft stocks and where they’re actually selected. We don’t have access to their medical records like teams do. We’re operating with far less information.
Still, it’s not as if teams always know how to interpret medical testing. Even with more information, this is hard.
I’m confident Anunoby, Giles, Hartenstein and Anigbogu would have gotten drafted higher with clean bills of health. So, this is an opportunity for the teams that drafted them. If the players stay healthy, they provide excellent value.
It’s obviously also a risk. If the player can’t get healthy, his value could quickly approach nil.
There are no certainties in the draft, but these four players present especially wide ranges of outcomes, which makes them among the more exciting picks to track in the years ahead.
I sense a pattern.
Like Celtics president Danny Ainge saying Boston would’ve drafted No. 3 pick Jayson Tatum No. 1 if it kept the top pick, Kings president Vlade Divac said Sacramento would’ve taken No. 5 pick De'Aaron Fox No. 1 if it had the top pick.
“Screaming,” Divac said about the reaction in the room to Fox falling in their lap. “It was a guy that we all loved and in some way, if we had the number 1 pick, he would’ve been our guy.”
“De’Aaron is our future,” Divac added.
The Kings are getting a lot of credit for drafting well. Maybe it’s a good thing they didn’t get the No. 1 pick, because it would have been foolish to pass on Markelle Fultz and Lonzo Ball (and others) for Fox. (The real punchline: Sacramento couldn’t have won the lottery due to Divac’s dumb salary dump with the 76ers giving Philadelphia the ability to swap picks.)
I don’t believe the Kings would’ve actually taken Fox No. 1. This sounds like Divac embellishing, which can be no big deal. It also puts outsized expectations on Fox, for better or worse.