Here are two things that are no secret this NBA offseason – The Warriors want to trade David Lee, and the Nets are desperately trying to cut costs. Let’s help them both out.
Although Lee may have played a small role in turning the tides in the NBA Finals, Golden State has no need for him as its current highest paid player (especially with what Draymond Green is about to get paid). It’s not only common knowledge that the Warriors will be looking to trade the forward, but Lee and his agent are on board as well, so this should be easy.
Then we have the Nets … who stumbled into the eight-seed in the east with the highest payroll in the league. For the most part, Brooklyn is screwed for the time being. They owe Boston most of their first-round picks, and are so far over the cap that they’re left with almost no realistic way to improve as currently constructed.
Here’s a good way for both teams to solve their problems:
Why it works for Golden State:
Obviously, there’s a potentially huge talent upgrade here to be had for the Warriors IF they get a healthy D-Will. Basically, Golden State gives a player they don’t even play, along with their backup point guard in Livingston, for another deadly sixth-man to come off the bench with Andre Iguodala.
With Williams’ minutes down as a bench player, he’d likely be able to find his health and be a strong contributor for 20-25 minutes a night backing-up the Splash Brothers. The Warriors’ championship has already been called into question seeing each team they beat was suffering from injuries, and they avoided facing the Spurs and Clippers. That means they need to repeat next year, and firepower like D-Will as a reserve is something that could help make that happen.
There are two potential problems for Golden State. The first is that they need to make sure Williams is accepting of becoming a glorified role player on a serious contender. If D-Will’s smart, this isn’t a problem. Second, is that the with Williams under contract for two more seasons at over $20 million per, they are going to be paying a heavy luxury tax next season (and probably some in 2016-17, but the cap will raise to about $87 million).
With Klay Thompson’s extension kicking in, and Green expected to re-sign, the payroll will be steep in the Bay. However, Williams’ deal will expire the same season as Steph Curry’s, so it won’t get in the way of paying their best player when the time comes. The idea of improving a championship roster and going for the repeat make spending the money worth it.
Why it works for Brooklyn:
Money, money, money!
Sure, both Livingston and Lee are potential starters for the Nets (laughable seeing they were pretty much eighth and ninth men in Oakland). Winning just isn’t a priority for the Nets next season (fabulous news for the Celtics). Of course, they don’t have their draft pick, so they won’t be tanking, but acquiring expiring contracts like Lee will be a priority. And the benefit for Lee is that he can prove he still has a place in the league and deserves another decent contract.
Livingston (who goes from heaven back to purgatory) gives Brooklyn a nice cost controlled point guard to go with the few players it wants to keep around long-term. But here’s why this trade is so perfect for the Nets – Lee’s $15.4 million would come off the books in the summer of 2016 along with Joe Johnson’s $24.8M, and potentially Brook Lopez’s $16.7M and Thad Young’s $9.7M if both players opt-in to their player options.
If it works out that way, that’s over $66 MILLION coming off the books for the Nets next summer, when the cap is about to make it’s first jump because of the new television deal. All of the sudden, the Nets are huge free agent players in just one season, thanks in huge part to this trade.
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