Great exercise and thanks for starting the thread. I’ll use your same format.
Guys I’m really high on:
Terry Rozier|$23,205,221|- As most people know, I’m generally higher on Terry than most. One of the most clutch guys in the league and imo, a better defender than he’s generally given credit for. I don’t view him as a terrible misfit with LaMelo. Whatever we’re able to do, he’ll be a critical piece of it. Would only move him if we’re clearly getting equal value in return, which I doubt we would.
LaMelo Ball|$10,900,635|- Obviously a cornerstone but anxious to see if he can take the next step towards superstardom. He seemed to have elevated his game beyond his all-star season in limited action last year. Need to see him play an injury free year though or else paying him the full bag will be scary.
Cody Martin|$7,560,000| - Even though I liked Caleb more, I love what Cody brings to the table. Great defender and had developed a respectable offensive game before the injury. I hope we can get him back on the court soon.
Mark Williams|$3,908,160| - Wish we’d gotten him on the court more earlier last year. Future is bright. I think he has all-star potential, but interested to see how high his ceiling is.
Nick Richards|$5,000,000|- Love Nick and glad we locked him in cheap for the next few years. High level back up player.
Miles Bridges [Ideal salary 20m]- Disgusted by his actions like we all are but I do think he’s extremely talented and has all-star ability. Like most, I’d want to build in protections to any contract, but I do hope he re-signs from a talent perspective.
Kelly- [Ideal salary 15m]
I’m right there with you on Kelly. I’ve always been extremely high on him as a microwave scorer. Despite what a couple of recent articles have suggested, I think there’s still a place for him here even with the addition of Miller. He’s an ideal 6th man and is more than adequate as a spot starter. Defense and offensive decision making was much improved last year. Don’t know if FO agrees but I’d love to have him back. And I love that he wants to be back.
DSJ [Ideal salary 7m]- Found money last year. Will cost more to keep around but worth it for all he brings to the table as a gritty defender and facilitator and timely scorer.
Miller- Didn’t really have a strong preference between him and Scoot but slightly leaned towards Miller due to fit. Love his upside and skill set. Excited to see him in action.
McGowens- Nice young, inexpensive player with potential.
Theo Maledon|$1,761,752|- I was really impressed with Theo last year. Way better than I expected. Great facilitator and sneaky good scorer. Would love to have him back on a minimum deal as PG3, but I don’t think he’ll have a difficult time finding a team that can offer more money and a bigger role given how well he played for us.
Svi- Would love to have Svi back on a minimum deal. Great depth guy and insurance scorer.
Nick Smith- Love his upside. Great late round pick.
Kai- I actually liked what I saw from Kai last year. There was a brief stretch where he was getting consistent minutes and I felt he was contributing. He was blocking shots, making energy plays, effectively using his athleticism to score garbage buckets around the rim and noticeably injecting energy and enthusiasm into the team, and then all of a sudden he just stopped playing and Thor became a permanent fixture in the rotation. I never saw exactly what Thor did to earn that or what Kai did to lose it. People have described him as being a deer in headlights, but he just looked like a guy who just needed to play to me. I still think he can be a contributor.
Guys I’m lukewarm on:
James Bouknight|$4,570,080|- I’m one of the dwindling few who still believes in Bouk. I absolutely believe the guy has talent. I just question whether his lack of maturity and poor decision making will ever allow him to pull it all together. The problem now is that he’s so far down the depth chart that there may no longer be an opportunity for him to show it. All the injuries last season presented a perfect opportunity and he didn’t seize it. Disappointing because I do believe he’s a skilled offensive player.
JT Thor|$1,836,096|- As mentioned above, I would prioritize Kai over Thor. While he did a better job making shots the last 10 or so games of the season, his offensive development has been disappointing for the most part, and his calling card, which had been defense, seemed to regress as well. Unless he develops into a legit 3-D wing, I don’t see that he has much value going forward.
Really like them but just can’t do it:
Gordon Hayward|$31,500,000|- think we should waive Hayward. When healthy he’s been really good. Unfortunately, we just didn’t see that enough and at this point it doesn’t matter anymore. We know he’s not a part of our future and you kinda have to assume he’ll be unavailable for some portion of the season anyway. I don’t think a trade would likely yield more than a 2nd + filler, and besides, matching salaries would be tough to accomplish without either taking back more years or multiple players, which isn’t really an option due to the roster. I think the value of opening up a roster spot outweighs whatever his production might be in the time he’ll actually play next year. Plus I’d rather invest those reps in Miller’s development because if he’s here and actually healthy, we know Cliff will play him heavy minutes.
PJ Washington|$7,992,407| - This one hurts because I really like PJ, but I just don’t know how we re-sign him AND Miles. PJ has always been steady and is more consistently good than advertised. If he could be had in the 12-14 range I think we’d all love him back, but that number will likely be north of 15 and possibly closer to 20, and I just don’t see how we can do that.
PG: Melo, DSJ, Maledon
SG: Terry, Kelly, Smith, Bouk
SF:Miller, Cody, Svi, McGowens
PF: Miles, Kai, Thor
C: Williams, Richards