In my last two posts, I went over every team in the league and gave my best educated guess what each teams cap space will look like next Summer. In this post I am going to compare how many teams have cap space with how many wing players will be available in this next off season.
I've decided that the best way to do this is to just list the teams that AS OF RIGHT NOW have the cap space to sign Hayward to at least a 12 million a year deal next Summer, because I'm sure anything lower the Jazz are guaranteed to match it (in fact they may match any deal, but who knows). This means that I'm not going to include the Celtics because they won't have the space to until they move some pieces. This may be likely, but we'll deal with what we know.
Here are the teams that will likely have the cap space to sign Hayward:
Philadelphia, Cleveland, Detroit, Milwaukee, Atlanta, Charlotte, Orlando, Phoenix, Lakers, Mavericks- 10 teams total. Almost every single one of these teams could use a player like Hayward at a decent price.
Here are the good SG/SF who will be free agents.
And "potential" SF/SG free agents:
And finally, other big name free agents who could eat up a lot of this cap space:
Now things get tricky. What on earth do you do with all these names/teams? First, lets assume best case scenario for the Jazz. Lets assume that James, Melo, Deng, Pierce, Granger, Bynum and Greg Monroe switch teams. This leaves their previous teams still unable to have cap space to sign bigger free agents, while also taking away cap space from potential Hayward suitors. This would essentially eliminate six teams from the running, and leaves only 4 teams with a lot of cap space. This would REALLY water down the market and make life hard for all the remaining free agents, as there would be a lot more supply than demand when it comes to players.
And what if we assume worse case scenario? All those iffy free agents remain with their teams, who were already above the cap for the most part and not involved in the Hayward sweep stakes anyways. On top of that, the market for Pierce/Deng/Granger is really low because they really showed their age this past season. This would make Hayward the unquestionable top dog in FA, likely leading to him getting a huge pay day.
So all that being said, what's the likely market for Hayward next year? It's anybodies guess really. I've heard a lot of people say that there are so many teams w/ cap space, Hayward is bound to get overpaid. I don't buy that though. I think it is just as likely that the market for Hayward is sparse as it is likely that teams will overpay to get him. Looking at all these names/teams above helps you realize that their are so many possible outcomes next summer that nobody really knows how much demand there will be for Hayward. And this is all before he even plays this year!
With all this information, what's the bottom line? Can we take anything away from this? I don't think we can definitely take anything away from this, except that we really don't know what the market will be for small forwards next Summer. Waiting for RFA could really give Gordon a big pay day, or it could force him to sign a smaller contract than he wanted. Bottom line though, the Jazz will still have power to match any contract he signs, and we have to feel good about that.