As exciting and relieving as it is to have a new head coach in Quin Snyder (47 years old), along with a trustworthy support staff of Brad Jones and Alex Jensen (so that's 3 people in the UJ organization that use to work for the Spurs- Lindsay, Snyder, Jones), it's hard for me to still not turn back to the player payroll. I know a lot of concern exists over how the UJ organization plans to handle Hayward, Burks, and Kanter in the very near and possibly near / possibly not-so-distant futures. At the same time, in keeping in mind that Utah's small market franchise is in rebuilding mode, that makes the issues of financial efficiency and effectiveness all the more sensitive to team success. Let me preface all future statements by saying I have never been a financial advisor to anyone, nor have I been trained to do so, nor have I ever had a job in such a field or even related. That being said, I believe the UJ organization can potentially re-sign Hayward, Burks, and Kanter and still stay within the ball park of the salary cap if not below it. The NBA team salary cap is projected to be around $63 million this upcoming 2014/15 season, and continually increasing from there.
First of all, the draft pick salaries were pulled from RealGM's database of rookie salary scales, both past and projected. So, regardless of who I put in parenthesis, that pick will be on the same salary schedule. The already existing salaries for players under contract and/or partial guaranteed contracts were pulled from basketball-reference.com.
Secondly, the additional free agents I could imagine Utah signing (Raul Neto & Josh McRoberts) are up for question as well. If you look at the number at the very bottom (~ $44.5 M), that's how much Utah will have to spend if they re-sign Hayward to $12M per year plus draft their 3 picks. In that case, their bottom line would be that number, about $44.5 M. I'm not sure what the projected minimum team salary is, but that doesn't seem to be a worry. Basically, if Utah re-signs Hayward for $12 million (or less), then Utah will be at most at $44.5 million for 11 players and have somewhere in the ballpark of $6 - 10 million they will need to spend to meet that CBA minimum as well as fill out the rest of the spots on their team. I know Utah likes to go with 13-14 players, so I thought 14 would suffice. And why not bring back AK-47 as at least one veteran on the team who can lend some helping advice, mentorship, leadership, and inspiration to new potential recruits like Aaron Gordon. Aaron Gordon and AK-47 actually bare some very similar strengths and game features.
I figured not many people have many (if any) issues with bringing Raul Neto (picked # 47th) back into the fray, perhaps as a backup PG. Amar updated us a little while ago, but here is an even more recently released youtube video of Raul's "Road to the NBA". I also recommend reading Amar's post and watching Neto's summer league highlights from last year. I sincerely hope Utah brings Neto out and doesn't let him turn into another Ante Tomic. A couple months ago, this re-inspiring youtube video was posted:
And while we're at it, watch some Josh McRoberts highlights. For a big man at 6'10, 240 lbs., he averaged 4.3 assists per game at 30 minutes per game. Dude does well handling the ball at times, making long spot-on passes over everyones reach (or nice bounce passes below everyone's reach) or driving into the paint and dumping it off. He really displays a variety of his skills in these highlights against the Warriors. McRoberts is slated to make about $2.7M next season with Charlotte, but he has the option to opt out of his contract. I wonder if it would be worth it for Utah to try picking up the still-blossoming 27-year old serviceable big man, for $3M a year? I want Evans to get good minutes, but it's always handy to have a serviceable big man- albeit, one who can pass well- as an option for PF or C. I mean, Utah has to spend a certain amount anyway, and even if Utah spent $14 million on Hayward next year, they'd still have cap space to spare. In this game, McRoberts had 11 points, 10 rebound, 6 assists. Against the Bucks, he had 18 points and 9 assists, if that's worth anything against the worst team in the league.
I never really delved into the numbers I put in that spreadsheet for Burks and Kanter, but I figured they'd be in the right ballpark. I'm sure I could be substantially off, and to be that off for two players would be enough to negate the possibility of keeping them around in the long run. However, I believe my estimates are upper bounds for what they will be offered after next season. I know that's still a season away and a lot can change, but I do not see Kanter being offered more than Favors (even if Favors got a good deal), and I do not see Burks being offered more than Hayward (although he's better at getting to the foul line than Hayward is). I'll admit those are superficial reasons, but I believe Utah will be in the ballpark of either keeping together the same squad, or making some very good trades to make the team better without sacrificing cornerstone players who bring both defense and offense.
I also imagined Utah re-signing Evans in the future. That's obviously another non-necessity, I believe, so it's just hypothetical/speculative.
Obviously there are still a lot of ways this team can go. However, I believe with a good backcourt coach in Snyder who is an expert in the PnR, I believe Utah will focus on improving their strengths on wing / backcourt defense as well as continued paint / interior defense, passing, shooting, and overall offensive execution. I really hope Utah picks up some really nice defensive pieces this off-season.
And one more for the helluvit: