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.
If the Cavaliers draft Trae Young or Michael Porter Jr., do you think it will be enough to convince LeBron James to stay put in Cleveland, seeing that the Cavs will still be a strong team? — Greg Dizon
Don’t forget that when LeBron returned to Cleveland, he wasn’t excited about the chance to play alongside Andrew Wiggins, encouraging the team to move that year’s top overall pick in a deal for Kevin Love. There’s no one the Cavs could take with at No. 8 who is going to affect James’ decision. He doesn’t just want to be competitive; he wants to find a way to beat the Warriors and add more rings to his legacy. For Cleveland to improve its chances of keeping LeBron, the best strategy is to offer up the draft pick in trade talks to see what kind of veteran help is available.
Lakers/ Heat trade for Hassan Whiteside? How solid is that? — Nicholas Small
There’s no chance at all before free agency, and probably not much afterward. Ever since the current management team took over, the Lakers have been committed to opening up as much cap room as possible to land a big prize or two on the free agent market. There’s no way they’re going to jeopardize that before seeing if they can lure James, Paul George or DeMarcus Cousins. Even if they strike out on all three, the Lakers are more likely to fill their roster with affordable one-year contracts than take a chance on an expensive deal like Whiteside’s. The Heat will be fortunate to get equal value for their enigmatic center, who will make more than $25.4MM next season and has a $27MM option for 2019/20.
Minnesota is hovering near the luxury tax for next season and would love to find a taker for Dieng, who is owed nearly $48.7MM over the next three years. However, there are only a handful of teams able to take on that much salary and it would probably cost the Wolves at least one first-round pick to move him. There would be a larger market for Wiggins because of his age and potential, but he becomes much more expensive when his four-year, $146.5MM extension kicks in next season. Unless there’s some substance to the Karl-Anthony Towns rumors, this will probably be a quiet summer in Minnesota on the trade front.