Offseason In Review

2019 Offseason In Review: Sacramento Kings

Hoops Rumors is breaking down the 2019 offseason for all 30 NBA teams, revisiting the summer’s free agent signings, trades, draft picks, departures, and more. We’ll evaluate each team’s moves from the last several months and look ahead to what the 2019/20 season holds for all 30 franchises. Today, we’re focusing on the Sacramento Kings.

Signings:

  • Standard contracts:
    • Harrison Barnes: Four years, $85MM. Re-signed using Bird rights.
    • Dewayne Dedmon: Three years, $40MM. Third year partially guaranteed ($1MM). Signed using cap room.
    • Cory Joseph: Three years, $37.2MM. Third year partially guaranteed ($4MM). Signed using cap room.
    • Trevor Ariza: Two years, $25MM. Second year partially guaranteed ($1.8MM). Signed using cap room.
    • Richaun Holmes: Two years, $9.77MM. Signed using room exception.
    • Tyler Lydon: Two years, minimum salary. First year partially guaranteed ($50K). Second year non-guaranteed.
    • Hollis Thompson: One year, minimum salary. Partially guaranteed.
    • Tyler Ulis: One year, minimum salary. Partially guaranteed.
  • Two-way contracts:
  • Non-guaranteed camp contracts:

Trades:

  • Acquired the draft rights to Kyle Guy (No. 55 pick) and cash ($1MM) from the Knicks in exchange for the draft rights to Ignas Brazdeikis (No. 47 pick).

Draft picks:

  • 2-40: Justin James — Signed to three-year, minimum salary contract. Third year non-guaranteed. Signed using cap room.
  • 2-55: Kyle Guy — Signed to two-way contract.
  • 2-60: Vanja Marinkovic — Will play overseas.

Departing players:

Other offseason news:

  • Fired head coach Dave Joerger.
  • Hired Luke Walton as new head coach.
  • Walton investigated, cleared on sexual assault allegations.
  • Hired Igor Kokoskov as assistant coach; hired Lindsey Harding as assistant coach; hired Stacey Augmon as assistant coach; hired Bob Beyer as assistant coach.
  • Signed general manager Vlade Divac to contract extension.
  • Hired Joe Dumars as special advisor.
  • Fired assistant GM Brandon Williams.

Salary cap situation:

  • Used cap space; now over the cap.
  • Carrying approximately $112.46MM in guaranteed salary.
  • No exceptions available.

Story of the summer:

No lottery team had a more encouraging 2018/19 season than the Kings, whose 39 wins were the franchise’s highest total since the 2005/06 campaign. Despite ultimately falling nine games short of a playoff spot, Sacramento was in contention for the No. 8 seed for most of the year and saw several encouraging signs from its young roster.

Buddy Hield made a persuasive case to be considered the NBA’s best high-volume shooter outside of Golden State (his 278 made three-pointers in a single season ranked third all-time among players not named Stephen Curry). Marvin Bagley III showed why the Kings’ decision to pass on Luka Doncic might not go down as a major gaffe. Harry Giles got healthy and made his NBA debut. And most importantly, De’Aaron Fox enjoyed a breakout season in which he flashed All-NBA upside.

On the heels of that promising season, the Kings entered the summer of 2019 with a ton of cap flexibility. However, the team also recognized that keeping its young core intact would mean retaining some of that cap flexibility for the next year or two, when players like Hield, Bogdanovic, and Fox are up for new contracts.

As such, the Kings didn’t go all-in on a single maximum-salary player, and mostly avoided long-term investments. Although they signed four veteran free agents to contracts exceeding $10MM per year, only one of those four – Harrison Barnes – received more than two fully guaranteed seasons.

That approach to summer spending was probably a necessary one — after all, superstar free agents didn’t enter the offseason with Sacramento atop their wish list. But it was also a savvy one. Those veteran signings could help the Kings take another step forward in 2019/20 without compromising their ability to retain the players who are most responsible for helping take them take their first big step forward in ’18/19.

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2019 Offseason In Review: Charlotte Hornets

Hoops Rumors is breaking down the 2019 offseason for all 30 NBA teams, revisiting the summer’s free agent signings, trades, draft picks, departures, and more. We’ll evaluate each team’s moves from the last several months and look ahead to what the 2019/20 season holds for all 30 franchises. Today, we’re focusing on the Charlotte Hornets.

Signings:

Trades:

  • Acquired Terry Rozier (sign-and-trade) and the Celtics’ 2020 second-round pick (top-53 protected) from the Celtics in exchange for Kemba Walker (sign-and-trade) and either the Nets’ or Knicks’ 2020 second-round pick (whichever is less favorable).

Draft picks:

  • 1-12: PJ Washington — Signed to rookie contract.
  • 2-36: Cody Martin — Signed to three-year, $4.47MM contract. Third year non-guaranteed. Signed using mid-level exception.
  • 2-52: Jalen McDaniels — Signed to one-year, minimum-salary contract. Non-guaranteed. Exhibit 10.

Departing players:

Other offseason news:

Salary cap situation:

  • Remained over the cap.
  • Hard-capped.
  • Carrying approximately $122.44MM in guaranteed salary.
  • $8.08MM of mid-level exception still available (used $1.17MM on Cody Martin).
  • Full bi-annual exception ($3.62MM) still available.

Story of the summer:

The Hornets entered the 2019 offseason in a no-win situation, forced to decide between two unfavorable paths.

Re-signing franchise player Kemba Walker would have meant investing between $30-40MM per year in a long-term contract for a point guard who turns 30 years old in the spring. It would have meant either pushing team salary into tax territory for the 2019/20 season or sneaking below the tax line by attaching assets to unwanted contracts in trades. And it would have meant essentially doubling down on a core that had missed the playoffs for three consecutive seasons.

On the other hand, letting Walker go would mean losing the only All-Star on the roster and not getting anything back for him or gaining the cap flexibility necessary to replace him in any meaningful way. The team’s cap would still be overloaded with lucrative contracts for unspectacular veterans with no real way to get out from under those contracts for another year or two.

Once it became clear that Walker wasn’t interested in sticking around for the terms the Hornets were offering (reportedly about $160MM for five years), president of basketball operations Mitch Kupchak attempted to thread the needle between those two unfavorable outcomes by working out a sign-and-trade with the Celtics to get something back for his All-NBA point guard. The result was a three-year, $56MM+ investment in Terry Rozier, who has started 30 career games and has never made more than 39.5% of his field goal attempts in a single season.

An optimist might argue that the Hornets were at least able to get something back for Walker, pointing to Rozier’s impressive 2018 playoff run as proof that he’s capable of more than he showed during a mediocre 2018/19 season. The glass-half-empty argument would be that Rozier wasn’t worth a $56MM investment and will simply become the latest overpaid Hornet, hampering the team’s ability to clear its cap sheet in 2020 and/or 2021.

No matter how the Hornets’ commitment to Rozier plays out, it’s clear that the franchise is entering a new era, one that might get worse before it gets better. Walker’s departure this summer signaled that a full-scale rebuild is on the way.

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2019 Offseason In Review: Los Angeles Lakers

Hoops Rumors is breaking down the 2019 offseason for all 30 NBA teams, revisiting the summer’s free agent signings, trades, draft picks, departures, and more. We’ll evaluate each team’s moves from the last several months and look ahead to what the 2019/20 season holds for all 30 franchises. Today, we’re focusing on the Los Angeles Lakers.

Signings:

Trades:

  • Acquired the draft rights to Talen Horton-Tucker (No. 46 pick) from the Magic in exchange for the Lakers’ 2020 second-round pick and cash ($2,226,778).
  • Acquired Anthony Davis in a three-team trade with the Pelicans and Wizards in exchange for Lonzo Ball (to Pelicans), Brandon Ingram (to Pelicans), Josh Hart (to Pelicans), the draft rights to De’Andre Hunter (No. 4 pick; to Pelicans), the Lakers’ 2021 first-round pick (9-30 protected; unprotected in 2022; to Pelicans), the Lakers’ 2024 first-round pick (unprotected; to Pelicans), the right to swap 2023 first-round picks with the Lakers (to Pelicans), cash ($1MM; to Pelicans), Moritz Wagner (to Wizards), Isaac Bonga (to Wizards), Jemerrio Jones (to Wizards), and the Lakers’ 2022 second-round pick (to Wizards).

Draft picks:

  • 2-46: Talen Horton-Tucker — Signed to two-year, minimum salary contract. Fully guaranteed. Signed using minimum salary exception.

Waiver claims:

Departing players:

Other offseason news:

Salary cap situation:

  • Used cap space; now over the cap.
  • Carrying approximately $118.95MM in guaranteed salary.
  • $1.75MM disabled player exception available (expires 3/10/20).

Story of the summer:

Leave it to the Lakers to pack about four offseasons’ worth of drama into a single summer. The franchise was at the center of many of the offseason’s biggest stories, experiencing some of the highest highs and lowest lows of any NBA team in June and July.

The club made one of the biggest trades in recent NBA history when it acquired Anthony Davis from the Pelicans in a blockbuster deal that saw the Lakers surrender six players, four draft picks (including three first-rounders), a pick swap, and cash. It was a huge price to pay, but Davis’ ceiling is “best basketball player in the world” and all indications point to him re-upping in Los Angeles when his current contract expires, so for now it’s hard not to call the deal a major win for the organization.

While there were still a handful of details to sort out on the Davis trade, a tentative agreement with the Pelicans was in place on June 15, less than 48 hours after the NBA Finals ended, making it one of the first moves completed this offseason. By the time June 30 finally rolled around, it was practically old news, and the Lakers had their sights set on another All-NBA target: Kawhi Leonard.

As the rest of the league’s top free agents came off the board during a 24-hour window at the start of free agency, Leonard took his time, meeting with the Lakers, Clippers, and Raptors over the course of the week and finally making his decision on the night of July 5. Despite rumblings all week that the Lakers might be the leading contender for the Finals MVP, Kawhi ultimately chose to join L.A.’s other team, giving the Clippers a rare chance to gloat at the expense of their Staples Center cohabitants — and leaving the Lakers scrambling to use their cap room on the few quality role players who remained unsigned.

After failing to secure perhaps the most talented Big Three in NBA history, the Lakers filled out their roster primarily with veteran free agents, earning mixed reviews on some of those signings. One of those newly-signed players is already on the shelf for the entire 2019/20 season, as DeMarcus Cousins suffered a torn ACL.

Still, from the moment the Lakers agreed to acquire Davis in June, any other successes the team enjoyed in the offseason were just a cherry on top of that sundae. After a disappointing 2018/19 campaign and a tumultuous spring which saw Magic Johnson abruptly resign from his president of basketball operations job, GM Rob Pelinka managed to get LeBron James a superstar running mate, adding championship upside to the roster.

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2019 Offseason In Review: Miami Heat

Hoops Rumors is breaking down the 2019 offseason for all 30 NBA teams, revisiting the summer’s free agent signings, trades, draft picks, departures, and more. We’ll evaluate each team’s moves from the last several months and look ahead to what the 2019/20 season holds for all 30 franchises. Today, we’re focusing on the Miami Heat.

Signings:

  • Standard contracts:
    • Jimmy Butler: Four year, maximum salary ($140.79MM). Fourth-year player option. 15% trade kicker. Acquired via sign-and-trade.
    • Udonis Haslem: One year, minimum salary. Re-signed using minimum salary exception.
  • Two-way contracts:
    • None
  • Non-guaranteed camp contracts:

Trades:

  • Acquired No. 44 pick in 2019 draft (used to select Bol Bol) from the Hawks in exchange for the Heat’s 2024 second-round pick (protected 31-50 and 56-60) and cash ($1.88MM).
  • Acquired either the Nuggets’ or Sixers’ second-round pick (whichever is least favorable) and cash ($1.2MM) from the Nuggets in exchange for the draft rights to Bol Bol (No. 44 pick).
  • Acquired the draft rights to KZ Okpala (No. 32 pick) in a three-team trade with the Pacers and Suns in exchange for the Heat’s 2022 second-round pick, the Heat’s 2025 second-round pick, and the Heat’s 2026 second-round pick (all sent to Pacers).
  • Acquired Jimmy Butler (sign-and-trade), Meyers Leonard, and cash ($110K) in a four-team trade with the Sixers, Trail Blazers, and Clippers in exchange for Josh Richardson (to Sixers), Hassan Whiteside (to Blazers), and the Heat’s 2023 first-round pick (top-14 protected; to Clippers).

Draft picks:

  • 1-13: Tyler Herro — Signed to rookie contract.
  • 2-32: KZ Okpala — Signed to three-year, minimum salary contract. Fully guaranteed. Signed using mid-level exception.

Departing players:

Other offseason news:

  • Signed head coach Erik Spoeltra to four-year extension.
  • Exercised 2020/21 rookie scale option on Bam Adebayo.
  • Assistant coach Juwan Howard left for Michigan.
  • Named Eric Glass head coach of Sioux Falls Skyforce (G League affiliate).

Salary cap situation:

  • Remained over the cap.
  • Carrying approximately $134.44MM in guaranteed salary.
  • Hard-capped (within approximately $1MM of hard cap).
  • $8.36MM of mid-level exception still available (used $898K on KZ Okpala).
  • Full bi-annual exception ($3.62MM) still available.
    • Note: Due to hard cap, Heat would have to reduce salary elsewhere in order to use full MLE and/or BAE.
  • $6.27MM traded player exception available (expires 2/6/20).

Story of the summer:

Entering the 2019 offseason, the Heat’s ability to make a competitive bid for any of the summer’s top free agents looked extremely limited. Not only was team salary well above the projected cap, but there was no guarantee the club would even be able to stay below the tax line. Going after a maximum-salary free agent seemed like a pipe dream.

Well, that was the perception from outside the organization at least. Within the front office, Pat Riley and his management team weren’t about to let a few cap limitations get in the way of pursuing a star.

Riley and the Heat made good on that plan, acquiring Jimmy Butler in a sign-and-trade deal with the Sixers that didn’t require the team to create cap room. Still, while Miami’s creative approach to landing an impact player is laudable, it’s also worth noting how many sacrifices the team had to make to get it done.

The sign-and-trade deal for Butler didn’t just include the Sixers — two other teams had to get involved too in order to meet salary-matching requirements, and the Heat had to part with promising youngster Josh Richardson and a future first-round pick in the process. Plus, as a result of acquiring a player via sign-and-trade, Miami is now hard-capped for the rest of the 2019/20 league year, all but eliminating the possibility of adding a 15th man to the opening-night roster or making any additional trades that involve taking on excess salary.

If Miami had the cap room to sign Butler outright, none of those steps would have been necessary. But, as a result of pricey contracts handed out to Goran Dragic, James Johnson, Dion Waiters, and Hassan Whiteside (dealt to Portland in the Butler sign-and-trade), the team didn’t have the flexibility to create a max-salary slot under the cap. And now its flexibility for the rest of the season will be hampered to an even greater degree.

For the Heat though, that trade-off was a necessary evil. They believe Butler was worth both the investment ($140MM+) and the cap machinations necessary to bring him aboard. Now that he’s under contract for the next four years, Miami will have the opportunity to continue building around him once those undesirable contracts start to expire.

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2019 Offseason In Review: Minnesota Timberwolves

Hoops Rumors is breaking down the 2019 offseason for all 30 NBA teams, revisiting the summer’s free agent signings, trades, draft picks, departures, and more. We’ll evaluate each team’s moves from the last several months and look ahead to what the 2019/20 season holds for all 30 franchises. Today, we’re focusing on the Minnesota Timberwolves.

Signings:

  • Standard contracts:

    • Jake Layman: Three years, $11.28MM. Acquired via sign-and-trade using trade exception.
    • Noah Vonleh: One year, $2MM. Signed using mid-level exception.
    • Naz Reid: Four years, minimum salary. Second and third years non-guaranteed. Fourth-year team option. Initially signed two-way contract, then converted to standard contract using mid-level exception.
    • Jordan Bell: One year, minimum salary.
  • Two-way contracts:
  • Non-guaranteed camp contracts:

Trades:

Draft picks:

  • 1-6: Jarrett Culver — Signed to rookie contract.
  • 2-43: Jaylen Nowell — Signed to four-year, $6.63MM contract. Second and third years non-guaranteed. Fourth-year team option. Signed using mid-level exception.

Waiver claims:

  • Tyrone Wallace (from Clippers). One year, minimum salary ($1,588,231). Non-guaranteed. Claimed using minimum salary exception.

Departing players:

Other offseason news:

  • Hired Gersson Rosas as president of basketball operations.
  • Named Ryan Saunders permanent head coach.
  • Hired Sachin Gupta as executive VP of basketball operations.
  • Hired Gianluca Pascucci as assistant GM; hired Joe Branch as assistant GM; promoted Emmanuel Rohan to assistant GM.
  • Hired David Vanterpool as lead assistant coach.
  • Hired Pablo Prigioni as assistant coach; hired Bryan Gates as assistant coach.

Salary cap situation:

  • Remained over the cap.
  • Carrying approximately $124.76MM in guaranteed salary.
  • Hard-capped.
  • $4.96MM of mid-level exception still available (used $4.3MM on Noah Vonleh, Jaylen Nowell, and Naz Reid).
  • Full bi-annual exception ($3.62MM) still available.
  • $822K traded player exception available (expires 11/12/19).

Story of the summer:

When Gersson Rosas was hired as the Timberwolves’ new president of basketball operations this spring, there was speculation that it could be a more eventful offseason than expected in Minnesota. After all, Rosas was a longtime lieutenant of Rockets GM Daryl Morey, and Morey has never hesitated to swing for the fences on the trade market. By all accounts, Rosas was prepared to bring that same aggressiveness to his new position.

Fans and observers expecting fireworks were in for a letdown, however, as the Wolves didn’t end up having a wild summer after all. The team’s biggest free agent investment was a three-year deal worth less than $4MM annually for relatively unknown forward Jake Layman. On top of that, high-priced trade candidates like Andrew Wiggins, Jeff Teague, and Gorgui Dieng all stayed put.

Still, the absence of blockbuster moves wasn’t for lack of trying. The Wolves met with D’Angelo Russell at the start of free agency and reportedly believed they had a real chance to land him in a sign-and-trade deal before he pivoted and decided to head to Golden State instead.

Plus, the Wolves’ draft-night deal for Jarrett Culver showed the kind of gamble Rosas is willing to take in the right situation. The team gave up Dario Saric – who was entering a contract year – for the right to move up from No. 11 to No. 6 for Culver, a potential two-way standout on the wing.

While Rosas and Minnesota’s new management group may not have made a huge splash immediately, there will be more opportunities to do so, especially when pricey contracts for Teague and Dieng expire in 2020 and 2021, respectively.

For now, the Wolves will rely on further improvement from young players like Karl-Anthony Towns, Josh Okogie, and Wiggins, along with steady contributions from veterans like Robert Covington and Teague as they look to fight their way back to the playoffs. But if Rosas delivers on his reputation, this roster could look much different within a year or two.

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2019 Offseason In Review: Washington Wizards

Hoops Rumors is breaking down the 2019 offseason for all 30 NBA teams, revisiting the summer’s free agent signings, trades, draft picks, departures, and more. We’ll evaluate each team’s moves from the last several months and look ahead to what the 2019/20 season holds for all 30 franchises. Today, we’re focusing on the Washington Wizards.

Signings:

Trades:

  • Acquired Jonathon Simmons and the draft rights to Admiral Schofield (No. 42 pick) from the Sixers in exchange for cash ($2MM).
    • Note: Simmons was later waived.
  • Acquired C.J. Miles from the Grizzlies in exchange for Dwight Howard.
  • Acquired Davis Bertans in a three-team trade with the Spurs and Nets in exchange for the draft rights to Aaron White (to Nets).
  • Acquired Moritz Wagner, Isaac Bonga, Jemerrio Jones , and the Lakers’ 2022 second-round pick in a three-team trade with the Lakers and Pelicans in exchange for cash ($1.1MM; to Pelicans).
  • Acquired either the Bulls’ or Grizzlies’ 2020 second-round pick (whichever is more favorable), the right to swap the Lakers’ 2022 second-round pick for either the Bulls’ or Pistons’ 2022 second-round pick (whichever is more favorable), and the Bulls’ 2023 second-round pick with protections removed from the Bulls in exchange for Tomas Satoransky (sign-and-trade).
    • Note: The Wizards had acquired the Bulls’ 2023 second-round pick with 31-36 protection in a previous trade.

Draft picks:

  • 1-9: Rui Hachimura — Signed to rookie contract.
  • 2-42: Admiral Schofield — Signed to three-year, $4.3MM contract. Third year partially guaranteed ($300K). Signed using mid-level exception.

Departing players:

Other offseason news:

Salary cap situation:

  • Remained over the cap.
  • Carrying approximately $126.1MM in guaranteed salary.
  • Hard-capped.
  • $1.36MM of mid-level exception still available (used $7.9MM on Ish Smith, Admiral Schofield, and Justin Robinson).
  • Full bi-annual exception ($3.62MM) still available.
  • Six traded player exceptions available; largest TPE ($5MM) expires 7/7/20.

Story of the summer:

None of the NBA’s new heads of basketball operations had things easy this summer, but new Wizards general manager Tommy Sheppard was arguably thrust into the toughest situation of any of them.

After years of being unable to break through in the postseason behind their Bradley Beal/John Wall backcourt duo, the Wizards would have been justified in blowing things up this offseason and launching an all-out rebuild. Beal was coming off a career year and his trade value would have been at an all-time high if Sheppard had opted to make him available.

However, the Wizards’ other All-Star guard was on the opposite end of the trade-value spectrum — a torn Achilles will likely sideline Wall for most or all of 2019/20, the first season of his monster four-year, $171MM contract extension.

In order to move Wall without surrendering multiple positive assets, Washington likely would’ve had to tie him to Beal, which would’ve taken some potential trade partners off the table due to the sheer amount of money involved (the duo has a combined cap charge of over $65MM). It also would’ve seriously limited the return the Wizards could have realistically sought for their healthy star.

Ultimately, Sheppard opted to hang onto both players, which isn’t an unreasonable approach. Beal still has two years left on his contract, so the Wizards still have plenty of time to change course if they decide to move on or if Beal asks to be dealt. Wall, meanwhile, will always be tough to move on his current contract but could rebuild his value to some extent if he returns from his Achilles injury and shows he can still be a reliable on-court performer.

While Sheppard’s approach is understandable, it’s certainly not without risk. If Beal eventually requests a trade and that request goes public, it would negatively impact the Wizards’ leverage. And there’s no guarantee that Wall ever comes close to recapturing his old form.

For now, the franchise remains somewhat in limbo. A playoff berth is hard to envision, but the roster also doesn’t feature a ton of young talent with star upside to develop.

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2019 Offseason In Review: Memphis Grizzlies

Hoops Rumors is breaking down the 2019 offseason for all 30 NBA teams, revisiting the summer’s free agent signings, trades, draft picks, departures, and more. We’ll evaluate each team’s moves from the last several months and look ahead to what the 2019/20 season holds for all 30 franchises. Today, we’re focusing on the Memphis Grizzlies.

Signings:

  • Standard contracts:
    • Jonas Valanciunas: Three years, $45MM. Re-signed using Bird rights.
    • Tyus Jones: Three years, $26.45MM. Signed using mid-level exception. Timberwolves didn’t match offer sheet.
    • Marko Guduric: Two years, $5.38MM. Signed using bi-annual exception.
  • Two-way contracts:
  • Non-guaranteed camp contracts:

Trades:

Draft picks:

  • 1-2: Ja Morant — Signed to rookie contract.
  • 1-21: Brandon Clarke — Signed to rookie contract.

Departing players:

Other offseason news:

  • Fired head coach J.B. Bickerstaff.
  • Hired Taylor Jenkins as head coach.
  • Hired Brad Jones, Niele Ivey, and other assistant coaches; Jones will be lead assistant.
  • Re-assigned head of basketball operations Chris Wallace to scouting department.
  • Promoted Jason Wexler to president of basketball/business operations; promoted Zach Kleiman to executive VP of basketball operations.
  • Hired Rich Cho as VP of basketball strategy and Glen Grunwald as senior advisor.
  • Promoted Tayshaun Prince to VP of basketball affairs.
  • Andre Iguodala not reporting to camp.
  • Josh Jackson entered diversion program to settle misdemeanor charge; will start season in G League.
  • De’Anthony Melton to miss 4-8 weeks due to stress reaction in back.

Salary cap situation:

  • Remained over the cap.
  • Carrying approximately $124.05MM in guaranteed salary.
  • Hard-capped.
  • $998K of bi-annual exception still available (used $2.63MM on Marko Guduric).
  • Seven traded player exceptions available; largest TPE ($4.74MM) expires 7/8/20.

Story of the summer:

It was the end of an era in Memphis in more ways than one in 2019.  The Grizzlies completed a massive overhaul of their front office and coaching staff in the spring, ensuring that longtime decision-makers like Chris Wallace and John Hollinger were no longer calling the shots. In their place, Jason Wexler and Zach Kleiman are running the show, with help from veteran basketball executives like Rich Cho and Glen Grunwald.

The Grizzlies’ new-look management group completed a series of roster changes that Wallace’s group started earlier in the year. After trading Marc Gasol at last year’s deadline, Memphis sent Mike Conley to Utah this summer, fully severing ties with the squad that earned seven consecutive playoff berths from 2011-17. The longest-tenured Grizzlies players are now 2017 draftees Ivan Rabb and Dillon Brooks.

With long-term franchise cornerstones Gasol and Conley no longer in the picture, the Grizzlies are betting on Jaren Jackson Jr. and this year’s No. 2 overall pick Ja Morant as the new foundational pieces in Memphis. Both players are still just 20 years old, so the franchise will take a patient approach in building around them, and that patience was on display this offseason.

In addition to trading Conley, the Grizzlies also gained assets by taking on unwanted contracts belonging to Andre Iguodala and Josh Jackson, and by agreeing to sign-and-trade restricted free agent Delon Wright to Dallas. In total, those deals netted Memphis three first-round picks and several more second-rounders, setting the organization’s rebuild on the right track.

It’s still very early in the process, so it’s not clear yet how the Grizzlies’ current pieces will fit together or what other opportunities will arise as they wait for JJJ and Morant to develop into impact players. But the 2019 offseason represented a promising start to that process.

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2019 Offseason In Review: Atlanta Hawks

Hoops Rumors is breaking down the 2019 offseason for all 30 NBA teams, revisiting the summer’s free agent signings, trades, draft picks, departures, and more. We’ll evaluate each team’s moves from the last several months and look ahead to what the 2019/20 season holds for all 30 franchises. Today, we’re focusing on the Atlanta Hawks.

Signings:

Trades:

  • Acquired the Heat’s 2024 second-round pick (protected 31-50 and 56-60) and cash ($1.88MM) from the Heat in exchange for the No. 44 pick in 2019 draft (used to select Bol Bol).
  • Acquired the Warriors’ 2024 second-round pick and cash ($1.3MM) from the Warriors in exchange for the No. 41 pick in 2019 draft (used to select Eric Paschall).
  • Acquired Evan Turner from the Trail Blazers in exchange for Kent Bazemore.
  • Acquired Allen Crabbe, the draft rights to Nickeil Alexander-Walker (No. 17 pick), and the Nets’ 2020 first-round pick (top-14 protected) from the Nets in exchange for Taurean Prince and the Hawks’ 2021 second-round pick.
  • Acquired Solomon Hill, the draft rights to De’Andre Hunter (No. 4 pick), the draft rights to Jordan Bone (No. 57 pick), and the Pelicans’ 2023 second-round pick (31-45 protected) from the Pelicans in exchange for the draft rights to Jaxson Hayes (No. 8 pick), the draft rights to Nickeil Alexander-Walker (No. 17 pick), the draft rights to Marcos Louzada Silva (No. 35 pick), and the Cavaliers’ 2020 first-round pick (top-10 protected).
    • Note: The Cavaliers’ protected 2020 first-rounder will become two second-round picks (2021 and 2022) if it’s not conveyed in 2020.
  • Acquired the draft rights to Bruno Fernando (No. 34 pick) from the Sixers in exchange for the draft rights to Jordan Bone (No. 57 pick), the Hawks’ 2020 second-round pick (56-60 protected), and either the Hawks’, Hornets’, or Nets’ 2023 second-round pick (whichever is most favorable).
  • Acquired Chandler Parsons from the Grizzlies in exchange for Miles Plumlee and Solomon Hill.
  • Acquired Damian Jones and the Warriors’ 2026 second-round pick from the Warriors in exchange for Omari Spellman.

Draft picks:

  • 1-4: De’Andre Hunter — Signed to rookie contract.
  • 1-10: Cam Reddish — Signed to rookie contract.
  • 2-34: Bruno Fernando — Signed to three-year, $4.7MM contract. Fully guaranteed. Signed using cap room.

Departing players:

Other offseason news:

Salary cap situation:

  • Used cap space; still under the cap (approximately $5.3MM in room).
  • Carrying approximately $103.8MM in guaranteed salary.
  • Full room exception ($4.77MM) still available.

Story of the summer:

Since Travis Schlenk arrived in Atlanta as the Hawks’ new head of basketball operations in 2017, the franchise has been in asset accumulation mode. That approach has meant adding young talent in the draft while primarily using the club’s available cap room to take on unwanted contracts and acquire even more draft picks.

Schlenk and the Hawks’ front office essentially continued down that path this summer. The team’s acquisition of Allen Crabbe was a classic salary-dump deal that netted extra first-round picks in both 2019 and 2020 — all Atlanta had to give up was a 2021 second-round pick, a player who apparently wasn’t in the team’s long-term plans (Taurean Prince), and 2019 cap room.

The Hawks were also quiet in free agency once again, waiting out the first wave of blockbuster deals and making only modest investments once the dust settled. It all points to a team that knows its rebuild is an ongoing process.

On the other hand, we saw this offseason that the Hawks are willing to start consolidating their assets for the right deal. The blockbuster trade they made with the Pelicans on draft night saw them absorb an unwanted contract (Solomon Hill‘s) and surrender the Nos. 8, 17, and 35 picks from this year’s draft. The target? De’Andre Hunter, whom Atlanta traded up to No. 4 to snag.

Hunter is just 21 years old and has yet to make his NBA debut, so he isn’t the sort of player who will turn Atlanta into a contender right away. But the deal foreshadowed the pivot that should be around the corner for the Hawks, who may not be in rebuilding mode for much longer. The next time Schlenk decides to consolidate his assets in a major trade, he may be targeting a veteran star who can help make the team a legit contender.

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2019 Offseason In Review: New Orleans Pelicans

Hoops Rumors is breaking down the 2019 offseason for all 30 NBA teams, revisiting the summer’s free agent signings, trades, draft picks, departures, and more. We’ll evaluate each team’s moves from the last several months and look ahead to what the 2019/20 season holds for all 30 franchises. Today, we’re focusing on the New Orleans Pelicans.

Signings:

Trades:

  • Acquired the Warriors’ 2021 second-round pick, the Warriors’ 2023 second-round pick, and cash ($1MM) from the Warriors in exchange for the draft rights to Alen Smailagic (No. 39 pick).
  • Acquired Lonzo Ball, Brandon Ingram, Josh Hart, the draft rights to De’Andre Hunter (No. 4 pick), the Lakers’ 2021 first-round pick (9-30 protected; unprotected in 2022), the Lakers’ 2024 first-round pick (unprotected), the right to swap 2023 first-round picks with the Lakers, and cash ($1.1MM from Wizards; $1MM from Lakers) in a three-team trade with the Lakers and Wizards in exchange for Anthony Davis (to Lakers).
    • Note: The Pelicans will have the option to defer the 2024 first-round pick to 2025.
  • Acquired the draft rights to Jaxson Hayes (No. 8 pick), the draft rights to Nickeil Alexander-Walker (No. 17 pick), the draft rights to Marcos Louzada Silva (No. 35 pick), and the Cavaliers’ 2020 first-round pick (top-10 protected) from the Hawks in exchange for Solomon Hill, the draft rights to De’Andre Hunter (No. 4 pick), the draft rights to Jordan Bone (No. 57 pick), and the Pelicans’ 2023 second-round pick (31-45 protected).
    • Note: The Cavaliers’ protected 2020 first-rounder will become two second-round picks (2021 and 2022) if it’s not conveyed in 2020.
  • Acquired Derrick Favors from the Jazz in exchange for the Warriors’ 2021 second-round pick and the Warriors’ 2023 second-round pick.

Draft picks:

  • 1-1: Zion Williamson — Signed to rookie contract.
  • 1-8: Jaxson Hayes — Signed to rookie contract.
  • 1-17: Nickeil Alexander-Walker — Signed to rookie contract.
  • 2-35: Marcos Louzada Silva — Will play overseas (Australia).

Departing players:

Other offseason news:

  • Hired David Griffin as executive VP of basketball operations.
  • Hired Trajan Langdon as general manager.
  • Hired Swin Cash as VP of basketball operations and team development.
  • Exercised 2020/21 option on head coach Alvin Gentry.
  • Hired Jeff Bzdelik as lead defensive assistant coach to replace Darren Erman.
  • Darius Miller suffered ruptured Achilles; team awarded disabled player exception.
  • Nicolo Melli underwent knee surgery.
  • Established new G League team (Erie BayHawks).
  • Hired Greivis Vasquez as associated head coach of Erie BayHawks.

Salary cap situation:

  • Used cap space; now over the cap.
  • Carrying approximately $114.76MM in guaranteed salary.
  • $664K of room exception still available ($4.1MM used on Nicolo Melli).
  • $3.625MM disabled player exception available (expires on 3/10/2020).

Story of the summer:

It’s rare that an NBA team is able to transition from one franchise player to a new one as cleanly as the Pelicans did this offseason.

Okay, maybe “clean” isn’t the right adjective to describe a saga that began with Anthony Davis publicly issuing a midseason trade request that torpedoed New Orleans’ 2018/19 season and mired the club in second-half turmoil. That was actually kind of a mess.

But things looked significantly less messy after the Pelicans landed the No. 1 overall pick at the draft lottery in May, putting them in position to select Zion Williamson, the most hyped prospect to enter the NBA since… well, maybe Davis himself.

The Pelicans later turned the page on the Davis era by trading the big man to the Lakers, and despite the fact that they had little leverage to send him anywhere except his preferred destination, the Pels made out pretty well in the deal, acquiring multiple young players and future first-round picks.

As AD exited the frame and Zion entered, the Pelicans also underwent an important transition in the front office, where David Griffin was hired as the team’s new head of basketball operations. For years, the Pels had essentially been overseen by the New Orleans Saints’ management team, giving them the feel of a junior varsity squad. But Griffin’s arrival signaled an important changing of the guard.

Besides bringing a championship pedigree to the Pelicans, Griffin brought something more important: a focus on building an infrastructure and a culture. Whether that means overhauling the medical staff, building up the team’s analytics department, or addressing any other holes that had been left unfilled in the past, Griffin prioritized building that sustainable infrastructure from day one.

Williamson will be the face of the franchise for years to come, but if Griffin’s work is successful, this could also be remembered as the summer that the Pelicans moved out from the Saints’ shadow and began building a winning culture of their own.

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2019 Offseason In Review: Chicago Bulls

Hoops Rumors is breaking down the 2019 offseason for all 30 NBA teams, revisiting the summer’s free agent signings, trades, draft picks, departures, and more. We’ll evaluate each team’s moves from the last several months and look ahead to what the 2019/20 season holds for all 30 franchises. Today, we’re focusing on the Chicago Bulls.

Signings:

  • Standard contracts:
    • Thaddeus Young: Three years, $40.64MM. Third year non-guaranteed. Signed using cap room.
    • Tomas Satoransky: Three years, $30MM. Third year partially guaranteed ($5MM). Acquired via sign-and-trade using cap room.
    • Ryan Arcidiacono: Three years, $9MM. Third-year team option. Re-signed using Early Bird rights.
    • Luke Kornet: Two years, $4.5MM. Signed using room exception.
    • Shaquille Harrison: One year, minimum salary. Partially guaranteed ($175K). Re-signed using minimum salary exception.
  • Two-way contracts:
  • Non-guaranteed camp contracts:

Trades:

  • Acquired Tomas Satoransky in a sign-and-trade from the Wizards in exchange for either the Bulls’ or Grizzlies’ 2020 second-round pick (whichever is more favorable), the right to swap the Lakers’ 2022 second-round pick for either the Bulls’ or Pistons’ 2022 second-round pick (whichever is more favorable), and the Bulls’ 2023 second-round pick with protections removed.
    • Note: The Wizards had acquired the Bulls’ 2023 second-round pick with 31-36 protection in a previous trade.

Draft picks:

  • 1-7: Coby White — Signed to rookie contract.
  • 2-38: Daniel Gafford — Signed to four-year, minimum-salary contract. Third year non-guaranteed. Fourth-year team option. Signed using cap room.

Departing players:

Other offseason news:

Salary cap situation:

  • Used cap space; now over the cap.
  • Carrying approximately $112.31MM in guaranteed salary.
  • Hard-capped.
  • $2.52MM of room exception still available ($2.25MM used on Luke Kornet).

Story of the summer:

The Bulls have been in rebuilding mode since trading Jimmy Butler to Minnesota during the 2017 offseason. Chicago won 27 games in 2017/18 and just 22 games last season, reflecting both the team’s ongoing youth movement and a struggle to keep its roster healthy.

While the Bulls aren’t yet ready to go head-to-head with the Eastern Conference’s heavyweights, they entered the 2019 offseason looking to take real steps toward contention. After all, Otto Porter is entering his seventh NBA season, Zach LaVine is entering his sixth season, and Lauri Markkanen will be in his third year. With several of their cornerstone pieces in or nearing their respective primes, the Bulls believe it’s time to win a few more games.

That goal was evident based on Chicago’s approach to free agency. After using the No. 7 overall pick to select point guard Coby White, the team wasn’t content to hand him the keys to the offense, going out and acquiring veteran point guard Tomas Satoransky in a sign-and-trade with the Wizards to add some stability to the backcourt.

The Bulls took a similar approach up front. With veteran center Robin Lopez departing in free agency, the franchise could’ve leaned on its frontcourt duo of Markkanen and Wendell Carter. While those two big men should see plenty of important minutes in 2019/20, Chicago also brought in free agent power forward Thaddeus Young, a reliable veteran who has appeared in 51 playoff contests over the course of his 12-year career.

Outside of Young, Porter (31 playoff games) and Satoransky (16), no other Bull has played in more than one postseason series, so adding vets with that sort of experience was crucial for a club with playoff aspirations.

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