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:
Do you think there’s a chance that Stephen Curry will join the Lakers after his contact expires next season, since one of his former coaches, Luke Walton, is the Lakers’ coach now? — Greg Dizon
It may be fun for Lakers fans to dream about the possibility of Golden State players following their former coach to L.A., but we can’t envision any scenario where Curry leaves the Warriors. He’s criminally underpaid at about $12.1MM for the upcoming season, but that’s a result of signing his current deal four years ago when there were still concerns about his ankles. The Warriors aren’t in a position to renegotiate right now, especially after signing Kevin Durant, but they will take care of Curry next summer. The Lakers will have to look elsewhere for stars.
If J.R. Smith doesn’t re-sign with the Cavs, what is the most logical destination for him? Boston, Brooklyn, Denver, Miami, Minnesota, Oklahoma City, Philadelphia, Phoenix and Utah all seem to have cap space to sign him.–Matt Trapp
While it’s true that all those teams have the cap room to add Smith, it’s also true that none of them has made an offer since he became a free agent more than two months ago. At age 30 and with a somewhat checkered NBA past, it’s understandable why teams didn’t line up to throw money at him. Plus, there have been reports that J.R. and the Cavs aren’t that far apart on money, with the team offering $10MM to $12MM a year and Smith wanting $15MM. Our best guess is that this gets wrapped up before the season starts and at terms closer to the Cavaliers’ offer, much like the Tristan Thompson standoff did last year. But back to your question, if Smith does go somewhere else, Minnesota is intriguing. With all the young talent on their roster, the Wolves might want a veteran shooting guard with championship experience.
What is the likelihood that:
- Greg Monroe is traded before the season?
- Monroe finds a productive/effective role with the Bucks this year?
- Monroe is traded before the deadline?
- Monroe does not opt out next summer because no one will pay him more than what his third year is worth? — Nick Sawyer
Steve Kyler of Basketball Insiders reported this week that Milwaukee doesn’t want to make a major deal before camp opens, so the likelihood of the first question appears very low. Monroe was an awkward fit last season and there haven’t been enough roster changes to see how that improves, so the second question also seems like a long shot. Questions three and four are related, as any team that considers a midseason trade for Monroe is going to want an assurance that he won’t opt out of a $17.9MM salary next summer. His decision may come down to how soon he wants to leave Milwaukee.