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.
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.