Hassan Whiteside is becoming the first player in NBA history to go from a minimum salary one season to a max salary the next.
Whiteside, who agreed to re-sign with the Heat, will get paid.
Tim Reynolds of the Associated Press:
Whiteside’s max projects be worth about $99 million over four years, though the exact amount won’t be determined until later this week.
What a journey for someone who was playing in Lebanon just two years ago, still facing major questions throughout this season and then seized this opportunity.
There’s plenty of risk for Miami, but I’d rather have the 27-year-old Whiteside than not. He’s worth the gamble.
The bigger issue is Dwyane Wade. This leaves just about $19 million for Wade, who’s agitating for more. Trading Josh McRoberts might be necessary to satisfy Wade’s demands.
And what about Kevin Durant? By the time the Heat meet with their reported top target, they might not have a clear route to clearing cap space for him — unless they dump Wade. But without Wade, why would Durant choose Miami?
The Heat have chosen their path with Whiteside.
Jeremy Lin is returning to the Big Apple.
After dazzling with the Knicks during Linsanity, the point guard — in an unsurprising move — is headed to the Nets.
Adrian Wojnarowksi of Yahoo Sports:
This is a huge bargain for Brooklyn. To get a starting-caliber point guard for that price in this market — wow.
And the Nets still have gobs of cap space to spend. The could become a reasonable team in a hurry.
Lin was rejuvenated with the Hornets after a hard season with the Lakers, and I wouldn’t be surprised if he prioritized fit more than most players do. He already got a big payday from the Rockets. And if he plays well, he can hit the market again before turning 30.
Lin makes things happen in the pick-and-roll, and point guard was a major position of need in Brooklyn. He reunites with Nets coach Kenny Atkinson, who was a Knicks assistant during Linsanity.
They don’t need to recreate the magic to justify this deal.
This is a home-run signing for Brooklyn.
Update: Chris Broussard of ESPN:
That sure isn’t cheap, but there are more teams that need a point guard than solid point guards available. The Magic ensured they got one.
The Magic practically gave away Tobias Harris and Channing Frye at the trade deadline to clear cap space.
The early returns — if you don’t count Serge Ibaka, who was acquired in a fairly cost-neutral trade — are a couple middle-of-the-road backup guards.
First, Jodie Meeks.
Now, D.J. Augustin.
Adrian Wojnarowski of Yahoo Sports:
The 28-year-old Augustin is a solid point guard — when he gets enough minutes to be comfortable. But he’s not good enough to start for most teams, including the Magic, who are invested in Elfrid Payton. So, it’s a catch-22.
At least Orlando coach Frank Vogel should know how to use Augustin. Vogel coached Augustin with the Pacers.
The Pistons badly needed a backup point guard.
They outscored opponents by 1.6 points per 100 possessions with Reggie Jackson on the floor and got outscored by 3.7 per 100 with Steve Blake, the second-string point guard after Detroit traded Brandon Jennings.
Enter Ish Smith.
Keith Pompey of The Inquirer:
Smith is an immediate upgrade. He uses his speed well to create scoring and passing opportunities. Defense is a bigger question, but beggars can’t be choosers.
This is also a fair price in this cap environment. There aren’t many decent point guards available, and the Pistons pounced on one they think fits.
Detroit has about $20 million left for other upgrades — another big man or two, a scoring wing. This is the luxury Andre Drummond delaying his deal affords.
The Pistons’ bigger dream of Al Horford looks far less likely now. They already needed to clear a little cap space to offer his max, and now Smith’s salary also stands in the way. Either Detroit knew Horford was unlikely to sign, or there’s a plan to clear room if Horford shows interest.
Jordan Clarkson said he wanted to return to the Lakers (not that he had much choice as a restricted free agent).
Clarkson is getting his wish.
Shams Charania of Yahoo Sports:
This is less than the max offer sheet Clarkson could’ve signed as an Arenas Rule free agent — about $63 million over four years. I think he could have gotten that amount, so I’m a little surprised he agreed to so much less.
I’m also a little surprised the Lakers didn’t have him sign an offer sheet then match it.
The Arenas Rule limits other teams to offering Clarkson the value of the non-taxpayer mid-level exception in the first two years of an offer sheet. Then, the third and fourth years could’ve been worth Clarkson’s max without the Arenas limitation. So, a matched four-year max offer sheet would’ve meant the Lakers were paying over the next four years:
The most backloaded possible structuring of the reported deal is:
So, the Lakers lose cap flexibility this summer and next — times they’ll be heavily involved in free agency — by going this route. The also avoid massive payments in 2018-19 and 2019-20 and save overall.
That makes some sense, considering more cap room now doesn’t mean much when it’s just going toward the players like Timofey Mozgov.