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Hoops Rumors Weekly Mailbag 6/20/16-6/26/16

We have an opportunity for you to hit us up with your questions in this, our weekly mailbag feature. Have a question regarding player movement, the salary cap or the NBA draft? Drop us a line at [email protected] Here are this week’s inquiries:

What should be the plan for the Washington Wizards for the long term? — Thomas Warrick II

We haven’t reached July, and two major offseason questions for the Wizards have already been resolved. They weren’t one of the seven teams to get a meeting with Kevin Durant, and they seem ready to gamble on giving Bradley Beal a maximum contract despite lingering injury concerns. The immediate objective for Washington should be to fortify the front court, as Marcin Gortat and Markieff Morris are the only big men under contract for next season. The long-term plan should be to focus on younger players with their cap space this summer, regardless of position. The Wizards had an aging roster this season, and they have a chance for a significant makeover starting Friday.

With Dwight Howard opting out and the Rockets having $44MM in cap space, where do you see them going in free agency? Also, do you see any other rotation players from last year on the way out? — Scott Barzilla

The Rockets were hugely disappointed that Durant didn’t consider them, despite his friendship with James Harden. They are moving onto their next target, Atlanta’s Al Horford, who would put up big numbers in Mike D’Antoni’s offense. Houston hasn’t given up on Donatas Motiejunas, despite lingering concerns about his back, and will probably match any reasonable offer he gets in free agency. The Rockets would like to find a taker for Corey Brewer and the two seasons and $15.2MM left on his contract, and don’t be surprised if they shop around Trevor Ariza and Patrick Beverley if the need arises for more cap space.

If the Lakers strike out on Hassan Whiteside, do you think they’d explore a trade for Brook Lopez? And would Larry Nance Jr. and Nick Young get it done? — Miles Reaves

Lopez is only 28 and seems fully recovered from the foot injury that cost him virtually all of the 2011/12 and 2013/14 seasons. He would be a great fallback plan for the Lakers as a veteran center who can put the ball in the basket. Whether Brooklyn would be willing to trade him is anybody’s guess. New GM Sean Marks emphatically said he planned to rebuild around Lopez and Thaddeus Young, then traded Young to Indiana this week for a draft pick. The Nets have to swap picks with Boston next year and then send their 2018 pick to the Celtics, so there’s no incentive for them to tank. However, Marks seems headed toward a full rebuild and might be tempted to add a young player like Nance.

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8 thoughts on “Hoops Rumors Weekly Mailbag 6/20/16-6/26/16

  1. hill
    daren hill

    I’d forgotten just how f****d the Nets are and how unbelievably spoiled the Celtics have become with the once-a-century old-man giveaway.

    Is there a worse roster than the ones the Nets have “assembled”? The only squads even in the conversation are the Sixers and Kings, the Celtics are all but assured a Top 3 pick again next year.

    And the next year.

  2. A Nance/Young for Lopez deal would be a steal for the Lakers. Lopez, when healthy, is a top 10 center and is easily more valuable than Thad Young. As a Pacers fan, I feel that the Pacers robbed the Nets of Thad Young, so a Lopez deal would need a lot more than just Nance (because let’s be honest, Nick Young would only be included for cap purposes and is almost worthless).

    • The pacers deal is exactly what I was going off of. Thad is younger, with one more year of control and they only got a late round pick. Nance was also a late round pick but his play proved that he could’ve been a fringe lottery pick. They’d get basically 7 years of control (with restricted FA) for 2 years of an oft injured center

      • Admittedly Lopez has a bad injury history, but at full health, he is much better than Thad Young. I also don’t know if I would call Nance a fringe lottery pick just yet. And since he just finished his rookie year, wouldn’t his control be 5 years (4 years plus 1 year option plus at least 1 year of RFA)?

        • Depends on your definition of fringe lol SI had him at 19
          link to

          but I was going on 3 years left on his rookie deal plus a hypothetical 4 year extension and i don’t necessarily disagree that Lopez is the better player but I think a versatile 3/4 that averaged more boards, can stretch the floor and play some d, probably has more value in today’s nba.

  3. Andrew.decker

    What are the chances of Knicks receiving Joakim Noah

  4. smittybanton

    Rondae Hollis Jefferson’s play made Thaddeus expendable. They’re essentially the same player. They also like Chris McCollough, who has more range than Thad.

    Nets need a point guard, desperately. This deal doesn’t include one. BKN fans wanted Isaiah Whitehead and got him, plus Caris Levert. But they’re not ready to contribute much yet, obviously.

    With Lopez, Brooklyn will go hard after Michael Conley, but have to settle for Rajon Rondo. Moving Thad also gives them more capspace to also get a wing who can shoot.

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