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 HoopsRumorsMailbag@Gmail.com. Here are this week’s inquiries:
What is the likelihood Blake Griffin is gone if Clippers get bounced, and what team has a shot of landing him? — Bleedingreenbetty via Twitter
Clippers management keeps saying it wants to keep the team together regardless of cost, but the price of retaining Griffin, Chris Paul and J.J. Redick would be enormous. L.A. would be about $11MM over the cap next season if Paul and Griffin both opt in, which won’t happen, but would mean $24.27MM for Paul and $21.37MM for Griffin. There are rumors that a five-year, $200MM deal is ready for Paul to sign when the playoffs end, which would bump his salary up to around $40MM for the first season. It’s hard to see how they can afford a similar deal for Griffin, especially when luxury taxes and the repeater tax are added. It would be a huge financial commitment, even for a title contender, and the Clippers have never even reached the conference finals. Any contender with cap room (the Celtics, for instance) would have interest in Griffin, who might benefit from a change of scenery.
Are the Pelicans still considering firing Alvin Gentry? — Michah, via Twitter
A report this morning said the team is still evaluating Gentry and GM Dell Demps. Logically, it seems like both should get at least one more season to see how the Anthony Davis–DeMarcus Cousins combination works out. They’ve only been together since the All-Star break and haven’t really had time to mesh. Give Demps an offseason to find some shooters to surround them and give Gentry at least half a season to make it work on the court. If they aren’t a playoff contender in January or February, then start handing out pink slips.
Does it make sense for Greg Monroe to opt out of his contract with the Bucks? He had a good year off the bench and is still only 26 years old, but it’s hard to imagine him topping $17.9MM for next year as a free agent. — Oscar, via Twitter
In a different era, Monroe could safely opt out, knowing that teams would be lined up to offer him a huge payday. But his old-style post game doesn’t fit the direction that the league or the Bucks are headed. Monroe averaged 11.7 points and 6.6 rebounds per game this season, numbers that increase to 18.8 and 10.5 when projected to 36 minutes. But he was used exclusively as a reserve and played just 22.5 minutes per night, less than half the game. Milwaukee would love to get Monroe’s $17.9MM salary off its books for next year, but he will probably take the safe road and opt in.