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Formally known as the Designated Veteran Extension, the super-max is a good rule for the players, who will likely fight to keep it in the next collective bargaining agreement. It rewards loyalty and achievement, enabling players who have 7-9 years of experience with their original team to qualify for a contract at 35% of the cap, a privilege normally reserved for players with 10 or more years of service. Certain criteria such as MVP, Defensive Player of the Year or all-NBA appearances must also be met.
However, having a player eligible for a super-max can put a team in a bind, which is happening to the Hornets this summer with Kemba Walker, who is now eligible to earn about $221.3MM over five years instead of the standard max-level deal of $189.7MM. That’s a huge investment in one player, and as Wall showed in Washington, it can devastate a team if something goes wrong. Paul wasn’t eligible for a super-max because the Clippers traded him, but he still got a nice deal in Houston.
The Warriors won’t have cap room unless they lose both Durant and Klay Thompson, and it wouldn’t be nearly enough to offer a max deal. With Aron Baynes off the books now that he has been traded to Phoenix, the Celtics can create up to $34MM in space. That’s enough to compete for the top free agents, but they would need to renounce Terry Rozier and Marcus Morris to get there. Point guard seems to be the primary focus for the Lakers heading into free agency. Rubio might be cheaper than some other options, but he’s not a shooter, which is the mistake L.A. made last summer. They need to surround LeBron James and Anthony Davis with players who can space the floor.
Which contender is the best fit for Carmelo Anthony and why? — Leonard Carollo
It may be time to accept that there is no best fit for Anthony anymore. The Rockets seemed like a good spot for him last year because of the chance to play with two excellent passers in Paul, one of his best friends, and James Harden. However, he lasted just 10 games. Anthony was also disappointing in his season with the Thunder and put up good numbers on bad teams for much of his time with the Knicks. The Lakers may sign him because of his relationship with LeBron, but Anthony is probably past the point where he can help anyone.