Tag: NBA

Can The Bulls Win A Lavine Trade?

lavine_closer_look_thumb(credit NBC Sports Chicago)

Ian Begley of SNY sports reported earlier that the Knicks and Nets have looked into the idea of trading for Zach Lavine if he were to become available. And while this may never happen, the idea of trading Lavine is an interesting one. It may or may not be the best direction for the Bulls, but as far as optics it is a likely no win situation. The Bulls 3 years ago were in a somewhat similar situation with Jimmy Butler.

On June 22, 2017 the Bulls traded 3 time All Star Jimmy Butler and their 2017 16th overall pick to the Timberwolves for their 2017 7th overall pick, Kris Dunn, and Zach Lavine. The value of Butler allowed the Bulls to move up 9 spots in 2017 draft while getting two former lottery picks Kris Dunn and Zach Lavine. At the time Jimmy Butler had two years remaining on his contract.

Zach Lavine, who so far has no All-Star appearances, also has 2 years left on his contract. Lavine’s contract is worth 18% of the current projected salary cap, Butler’s at the time was worth 19% of the salary cap. Both contracts were respectively on “bargain deals”, Butler more so than Lavine. Lavine a borderline All-Star is on a nice deal as well though. But clearly Butler is the better player, and would demand more in return. While there are two different front offices negotiating these deals in different markets, you can at least get an idea of what a player on Butler’s level will get you. And understand Lavine will likely get you less.

The new rumor of the Knicks and Nets brings an interesting perspective. The two respective teams are in two totally different situations, as one is rebuilding and the other when healthy is a top playoff team in their conference. The two teams give you an interesting perspective on what those two types of teams would be willing, and could offer.

hi-res-624f0152e3c51169223338d2db3a6ad9_crop_north(credit Bleacher Report)

The Knicks are a rebuilding team. Draft pick wise, they have all their picks like most rebuilding teams do. And have either high lottery pick type players like RJ Barrett, or players like Mitchell Robinson who have exceeded their draft position. There are also players like Kevin Knox and Dennis Smith Jr who are former lottery picks still trying to find their way. A team like the Knicks is similar to a team like the Timberwolves who traded for Butler. A young team looking to find a more established player to put around their young core. Difference is though Lavine isn’t as good. Realistically players like Barrett and Robinson would be off limits. A rebuilding team is going to value their ymore controlled talented young players versus trading for a player like Lavine who can leave in 2 years and arguably wouldn’t be worth their value. It would likely include expiring contracts, Knox/Smith type talent, and draft picks. Maybe like the Butler trade, you can move up in 2020 draft? Based on current lottery odds that wouldn’t be much though with the Knicks but something to keep in mind if that opportunity were to better itself.

The Nets are a good example of a contending team. It goes without saying, but their better players are off limits. You know, the Durants and the Irvings. Contending teams will look to trade rotational level talent with upside. Caris LeVert? Spencer Dinwiddie? Jarret Allen? And most don’t have draft picks with high potential. Ideally turning rotational players into a more dynamic talent would be the ideal scenario for a contending team that lacks draft compensation.

What would a potential trade between both teams look like?

Chicago Trades: Zach Lavine,

Brooklyn Trades: Caris LeVert, Jarret Allen


Chicago Trades: Zach Lavine,

New York Knicks Trade: Bobby Portis(salary filler), Dennis Smith Jr, Kevin Knox, future lottery protected 1st

hi-res-f46c98b963268475a8fee9f3645ffb4b_crop_north(credit Bleacher Report)

I think either trade from an optics point of view, would not sell(though I like the Nets offer a lot if they could do that). And I don’t see a trade that would end up much different with another team than these in terms of value. The biggest issue is the Bulls are trading arguably their best asset to a team that won’t value Lavine the same way. And while perhaps there is one GM out there that does, the likely hood of that is slim. And maybe the optics shouldn’t matter, but would it be a trade that would turn the pressure up on the new Chicago Bulls front office right away. At least from the fans perspective. Especially if they kept a certain coach around over Lavine. Clearly the results moving forward would be all that would matter but until then a lot of fans will be frustratingly waiting. But I guess what’s new?


Markkanen Out 6-8 Weeks, Now What?

Lauri Markkanen suffered an unfortunate injury during practice that will keep him out 6-8 weeks. To give the injury some perspective, here is a tweet from Jeff Stotts.


The 6 week mark will be 11/9/18 and the 8 week mark will be 11/23/18. Assuming he will miss the same amount time as Batum, Lauri will miss all of preseason, and about 12-15 games in the regular season. This is a big blow for the Bulls, as Markkanen is one of the cornerstone pieces of this current rebuild. Hoiberg’s rotation will now need to change, and luckily for him he has options.

Markkanen was expected to start at PF, but the Bulls will now have to replace him. The Bulls have Bobby Portis who can play the position, and has started there in the past. But Portis played well in his 6th man role, and even mentioned he likes the role. “I like the role, I get to come off the bench and score a lot. Who doesn’t like that role?” Portis said that before the season on his upcoming 6th man role. Portis fits nicely in that role, as he brings scoring to the 2nd unit. And if anything else, tons of energy. I feel the 6th man role is perfect for Portis at this point. But what other options do the Bulls have?

The Bulls signed forward Jabari Parker this off-season. While the plans were to start Parker at the SF position, the 4 year forward has played most of his career at the 4. And for what it’s worth, has had most of his success. The idea of moving Parker down to the 4 seems to make the most sense, as you know he would be comfortable there and is best there. And we already know Portis is comfortable off the bench. The only problem that would create is who starts at the SF position?

The Bulls have 3 options; Justin Holiday, Chandler Hutchison, and Denzel Valentine. Valentine suffered a mild ankle sprain in practice the other day, and he will be out 1-2 weeks. He should be ready for the regular season, but will miss some of the preseason. Holiday and Hutchison will get the 1st opportunity to start and impress in preseason. Hutchison is a rookie, so I would expect to see Holiday starting at the 3 Sunday in the Bulls 1st preseason game. But what do each of the 3 bring to the starting unit?

Justin Holiday: Holiday started 72 games for the Bulls last season, but in a slightly different role. The Bulls started last season short handed, and Holiday was asked to do more than he is capable of. Through the first 23 games last season, Holiday averaged 14 points a game. But was really inefficient as he shot 37% from the field, 35% from 3, a true shooting % of 49.6% and an usage of 20.7%. But the next 25 games the Bulls were healthier but more importantly had more talent around Holiday. With lesser of a role and attention on him, Holiday’s numbers improved. He averaged 12.7 ppg, less than before, but he was more efficient. He shot 40% from the field,  42% from 3, a true shooting % of 57.0 with a usage of 16.0%. It is clear with talent surrounding Holiday, he can do what he is most comfortable doing. Which is catch and shoot, rather forcing up shots with the shot clock running down. Less usage for Holiday is good, and that is what he would have in the starting lineup.

Denzel Valentine: Denzel started 37 games for the Bulls last season, and was better as a starter than a bench player.


What is not listed there is the usage. Valentine as a starter had a usage of 16.4%, and with the bench had a usage of 18.5% off the bench. And a true shooting % of 55.3% starting vs 50.1% off the bench. Clearly with talent around him, Valentine can give average efficiency and shoot above average from 3. Valentine also provides good rebounding, gathering 17% of his team’s defensive rebounds, which is top in the league at his position. He also was responsible for 18% of his team’s assist when out there, which for his position was also top in the NBA.

Chandler Hutchison: Hutchison is a rookie, so we don’t have much to judge him on. Summer league showed us a little bit. He was 2nd on the team in assist, he showed an ability to handle the ball and find the open/cutting man. He made 8 of 16 threes, but struggled from everywhere else shooting 33% when he wasn’t shooting a 3. Hutchison was labeled a wing player with good defensive potential, and he showed potential this summer league. That is Hutchison’s biggest argument to start, as he can be a better defender than both Holiday and Valentine. And with Lavine and Parker, having a good wing defender is necessary.

I ideally want to start Hutchison because of his defensive potential, which I see being a big need from that 3 position. But I want him to earn it, I want to see him play well in preseason before giving it to him. We don’t know how good he will be right away, throwing him out and just hoping he can be good could hurt his development. To me until he proves it, this is between Holiday and Valentine. And at this point I would start Holiday at the 3 and move Parker to the 4 following this Markkanen injury. Neither are an ideal 3, I prefer to have Valentine’s play making on the 2nd unit where it is more needed. Let Holiday start, and expect more efficiency from him with Lavine, Parker, and hopefully a better offensive player in Kris Dunn.

Bulls Training Camp Preview

September 25th is the day players report to camp and practice as a team for the first time. The Bulls go into training camp with most of the same players from last season. But with two 1st round picks and new free agent additions, the Bulls rotation will have a new look. The new rookies Wendell Carter Jr and Chandler Hutchison will be looking for playing time, and they will be competing with veterans for minutes. The two rookies will need to use preseason to show they can have a positive impact in the regular season, and help the team win games. I see three potential training camp battles. The Bulls first game is October 17th against the Philadelphia 76ers, how these battles play out will determine the rotation for that game. 

Robin Lopez vs Wendall Carter Jr

Battling for starting center position. 

Dunn, Lavine, Parker, and Markkanen are locks as starters for opening night. The center position however is not as clear. Robin Lopez in his two seasons in Chicago has been the starting center, and has been reliable and consistent. You know what you are going to get from Lopez. Robin knows how he is effective and doesn’t try to play outside of his ability offensively. Offensively he is more effective than defensively. Effective inside the paint and from mid range. He is comfortable on the low block and finishing with a hook shot. Knows where he is more effective shooting the ball, takes most of his shots from the paint area and around free throw line.  Not a liability defensively but not a strength either.  Struggles away from the paint, but understands help defense well. Basically he understands how to effect the game in a positive way, and Hoiberg can trust him. But in June the Bulls had the 7th overall pick in the 2018 draft, and chose to draft 19 year old center Wendall Carter Jr.

Lopez is a 10 year pro, and is 30 years old. He normally would be the correct choice over a 19 year old rookie drafted 7th overall. But Wendall Carter Jr showed a defensive potential that Lopez does not have, and never will. You saw a player who can impact the game defensively, an area the Bulls should be most concerned with heading into the upcoming season.


(credit: NBA.com)

The video highlights what Wendell Carter Jr can bring defensively. He has good instincts and understands rim protection. The last clip is something you would rarely see from Robin Lopez, Wendell shows he is able too defend on the perimeter as well as at the rim. Wendell also is skilled offensively. While he likely isn’t ready to have a huge role offensively, he doesn’t have too on this team. He can spread the floor with his range, from mid-range to the 3pt line. He will need to get stronger but seems he can be effective near the basket as well. But really what the Bulls should value for now is his defensive presence.

The one difference maker in the Robin Lopez vs Wendell Carter Jr camp battle is how much can Wendell affect the defensive end right away. Offensively Lopez likely will be more effective on a consistent basis, but defense is more of a need from the center position on this Bulls team. He was great in summer league, but that doesn’t compare to the regular season. The Bulls need to really use training camp and mainly preseason to see how much Wendell can affect the defensive end right away. If his impact on that end is consistently more effective than Lopez, than the Bulls should consider starting Wendell instead. But at 19 years old, expecting him to be that good right away is more unlikely than likely. But he should get every opportunity in preseason to play with the first unit. And even if Wendell doesn’t start, maybe he should be considered to finish games especially when defense is needed. 

For now Lopez is likely the favorite to start, while Wendell will get around 20-22mpg to start. But depending how good he looks in training camp and preseason, that number should rise as well as possibly start. 


Justin Holiday vs Chandler Hutchison

Battling for rotation time 

Realistically only about 10 players will play in a game, sometimes even less. 5 starters, 5 bench players. At this point we know Cameron Payne, Denzel Valentine, Bobby Portis, and WCJ or Lopez will be in the rotation. The question really becomes who can become that 10th guy? Like the 1st battle I covered, this is again rookie vs veteran. 

Unlike the first battle, the veteran Holiday isn’t as established and productive as Lopez. Holiday most of his career has been a low end rotational type player. While last year started at the wing for 72 games, he was more of a filler in a rebuilding year. He averaged 12 points, 4 rebounds, 2 assist. Shot inefficiently at 37% from the field, which is below average for his position. From 3 shot 35% which is about average for his position. Defensively he is about average as well. Just using on/off ratings the Bulls were better defensively with him, but still a poor defensive team either way. Holiday at this point is a catch and shoot 3 point shooter while providing average defense. Again like with Lopez, with Holiday you know what you are going to get. With Hutchison it is not as clear, but we did get a glimpse of his potential in summer league. 



(credit: FreeDawkins)

This highlight reel really showcased the potential Hutchison showed in summer league. Hutchison was labeled as an athletic SF who can play defense, and we saw that. Hutchison showed he can move well laterally, has good hands, and a good IQ and understanding on how to play defense. The one thing that surprised me was his play vision and ball handling. Hutchison was 2nd on the team with assist in summer league with 18 assist. He handled the ball well, and was able to get to the paint and create for others or himself. While he didn’t finish consistently at the rim, he did shoot the 3 ball well. He was 8-16 from 3 in summer league. 

Hutchison showed a potential to affect the game in a way Holiday can’t. Hutchison showed not only more defensive potential, but showed an ability to be more of a play maker than Holiday on the offensive end. But this is just from summer league. Training camp and preseason will determine a lot in this battle. To me this battle should be considered an open competition. Hutchison potentially can bring more than Holiday can, but the question is how good can he be right now. That’s what preseason will have to determine. Can Hutchison adjust to the NBA quick enough to help the Bulls win right away? We know what Holiday can do, and what he will bring to the team and he can help. But if Hutchison can outplay Holiday in preseason, then Hutchison should be considered ahead of him in the rotation. Both should equal time with the 2nd unit, and see who has more impact with that unit. 


Ryan Arcidiacono vs Antonius Cleveland vs Derrick Walton Jr

Battling to make regular season roster 

The Bulls must have their roster at 15 by Oct. 15th, and as of right now the Bulls have 17 players under contract. The Bulls must waive two players by Oct. 13th, so they can clear waivers by Oct. 15th. The Bulls have 17 players under contract, only 14 of them are guaranteed. There are three players under contracts that are fully non-guaranteed. Those 3 players are Arcidiacono, Cleveland, and Walton Jr. 

Those players are the 3 that are likely to be battling it out for that last spot. It’s possible none of them make the team, and the Bulls only carry 14 going into the season. Or even possible Bulls keep 2 of the 3, and waive someone like Asik who is likely to see DNPs most of the season. But Asik’s 11.2 million guaranteed makes that an unlikely scenario. What is most likely to happen is only 1 of the 3 make the team.  While the two other two are waived. One of them can be brought back on a two-way contract after they clear waivers, and one or both can be brought back on a G-League contract as well. 

Arcidiacono and Walton Jr are both point guards, while Cleveland is more of a shooting guard. Neither of the three have much NBA experience, all 1 year players with none of them playing more than 24 games. And neither of them played a significant role with their respective teams. There isn’t anything the 3 players do that separates them from each other. Really what it comes down too is what do the Bulls need more?  Point guard? Shooting guard? The Bulls have only have two point guards on the roster, Kris Dunn and Cameron Payne. While the Bulls have Lavine, Holiday, Valentine, and Blakeney at shooting guard. That’s four shooting guards compared to just two point guards. Cleveland would have too really impress in camp to make the roster. To me the real competition is between Walton Jr and Arcidiacono. The Bulls could use an extra point guard, and one of the two has to show why they are the one. Arcidiacono has a slight advantage over Walton Jr. Arcidiacono played in the system last season, and has a better idea of what Fred is looking for and how too run the offense. 

Arci stats(Arcidiacono stats via basketballreference.com)

Walton Jr stats(Walton Jr stats via basketballreference.com)

The stats are their G-League numbers. Watching both players and looking at the stats, Walton Jr seems to be the better scoring point guard. Arcidiacono shot the ball exceptionally well last season. His passing vision and and shooting ability is what he brings to the NBA. I imagine Arcidiacono has the edge on Walton Jr in this battle purely based off the fact he played with the team last season, and the team seems to like him. He was one of the better G-League players last season, and thrived running the system down there. Walton Jr likely will have to really impress to win the spot over Arcidiacono, but either one could be brought back as a two-way player as well. I believe Arcidiacono will win this battle, but the idea of bringing Wralton Jr back as a two-way player could happen if he plays well. 

If the idea of the new season wasn’t exciting enough, these 3 battles will make preseason really interesting to watch. There is a lot to look for, and how these players play should have impact on how the rotation and roster looks come October 17th. 





The Bulls GM NBA Transaction Log



Miami Heat extend qualifying offer to Derrick Jones Jr worth 1,337,872. Derrick Jones Jr is now a restricted free agent. Miami has until July 13th to remove qualifying offer without Jones’ permission. 


The Philadelphia 76ers have accepted guard TJ McConnell’s team option worth 1,600,520 for the 2018-19 season. McConnell’s contract is still non-guaranteed, and won’t guarantee until 1/10/19. For now, Philadelphia has a guaranteed salary of 67,392,247 which does not include 2018 draft picks likely salary. Cap sheet for Philadelphia will be available soon. 





Ron Baker has accepted his 2018-19 player option worth 4,544,400. New York now has 75,298,326 in team salary which does not include 2018 draft picks. Cap Sheet for New York will be available soon. 



Tyler Cavanaugh has cleared waivers and is now an unrestricted free agent. Tyler was waived by Atlanta 5/11/18. 



The Atlanta Hawks have requested waivers on forward Tyler Cavanaugh. Tyler had a non-guaranteed contract for the 2018-19 season worth 1,378,242, the Hawks will now clear that cap hit by placing Tyler on waivers. Tyler will clear waivers 5/13/18. Atlanta’s guaranteed salary will remain at 56,232,915, which does not include draft pick salaries. Atlanta’s 2018 Off-Season Cap Sheet Updated



Oklahoma City Thunder forward/center Nick Collison has retired from the NBA. 


The Miami Heat have declined forward Jordan Mickey’s team option worth 1,600,520 for the 2018-19 season. Miami clearly looking to save money and get under tax line as much as possible. Jordan will now be an unrestricted free agent. Miami now has 117,439,699 in guaranteed salary, which does not include any 2018 draft pick salaries. Cap Sheet will be available soon. 


Sacramento Kings’ center Kosta Koufos has exercised his 2018-19 player option worth 8,739,500. Sacramento now has 68,412,113 in guaranteed salary, that does not include 2018 draft pick salaries. Cap sheet for Sacramento will be available soon. 



Minnesota Timberwolves’ guard Jamal Crawford has declined his 2018-19 player option worth 4,544,400. Minnesota now has 110,233,979 in guaranteed salary, that does not include 2018 draft pick salaries. Cap sheet for Minnesota will be available soon.


Indiana Pacers’ guard Corey Joseph has accepted his 2018-19 player option worth 7,945,000. Indiana now has 47,818,044 in guaranteed salary, that does not include 2018 draft picks’ salaries. Cap sheet for Indiana will be available soon. 


Los Angeles Clippers’ forward Wesley Johnson has accepted his 2018-19 player option worth 6,134,520. Los Angeles now has 63,940,721 in guaranteed salary, that does not include 2018 draft picks’ likely salary. Cap sheet for the Clippers will be available soon. 




Dallas Mavericks’ guard Wesley Matthews has accepted his 2018-19 player option worth 18,622,514Dallas now has 59,891,832 in guaranteed team salary, that does not include 2018 draft picks’ likely salaries. Here is an updated cap sheet for the 2018 off-season after this moveDallas Cap Sheet

Charlotte Hornets 2018 Off-Season Numbers Breakdown

Players Cap Hit Explanation
Dwight Howard 23,819,725
Nicolas Batum 24,000,000
Marvin Williams 14,087,500
Michael Kidd-Gilchrist 13,000,000
Cody Zeller 13,528,090
Kemba Walker 12,000,000
Jeremy Lamb 7,488,372
Malik Monk 3,447,480
Frank Kaminsky 3,627,842
Michael Carter-Williams 3,240,000 Cap Hold
Julyan Stone 1,656,092 fully non (G)
Willy Hernangomez 1,544,951
Treveon Graham 1,699,698 Cap Hold (RFA)
Dwyane Bacon 1,378,242
Mangok Mathiang (Two-Way)  1,337,872 Cap Hold (RFA) 
Marcus Paige (Two-Way)  1,337,872 Cap Hold (RFA) 
Roster Size  14 (16)  14 + 2 draft picks
Mid Level 8,567,000 (likely) Projection
Mini Mid Level 5,291,000 (unlikely)  Projection
Bi-Annual 3,353,000 Projection
Room ****
Trade Exceptions  none
Projected Draft Pick 2,788,800 11th projection
831,311 2nd round min
IRC *see note below 831,311 For max space
Team Salary 130,813,847
w/o exceptions 123,242,011 **see note below
118,753,513 guarnatees + IRC
Salary Cap 101,000,000 projection
Cap Room -27,138,103 current
w/o exceptions -29,813,847 likely
-17,753,513 max space
Luxury Tax 121,000,000 projection
Tax Room ****
Tax Hit ****
Minimum Salary ****
Team Salary For Minimum ****
Away From Minimum ****

*IRC stands for “incomplete roster charge”. This happens when teams fall below 12 players under contract. For every spot under 12, a team is charged the rookie minimum. For Charlotte, to open max space Charlotte would have 11 players under contract. Therefor would be charged rookie minimum 831,311 one time.

**This team salary number is without MCW, Paige, Mathiang’s cap hold. Also without Stone’s non-guaranteed contract. I project this as likely.

Brooklyn Nets 2018 Off Season Numbers Breakdown

Allen Crabbe 18,500,000
Timofey Mozgov 16,000,000
DeMarre Carroll 15,400,000
Jeremy Lin 12,516,746
Deron Williams 5,474,787 Stretched
D’Angelo Russell 7,019,698
Jahlil Okafor 6,313,832 Cap Hold, Max BRK can pay *see note below
Nik Stauskas 11,421,441 Cap Hold (RFA)
Dante Cunningham 2,760,000 Cap Hold
Jarrett Allen 2,034,120
Quincy Acy 1,499,698 Cap Hold
Caris LeVert 1,702,800
Spencer Dinwiddie 1,656,092 Fully non (G)
Joe Harris 1,499,698 Cap Hold
Rondae Hollis-Jefferson 2,470,357
Isaiah Whitehead 1,544,951 Fully non (G)
James Webb III (Two-Way) 1,337,872 Cap Hold (RFA)
Milton Doyle (Two-Way) 1,337,872 Cap Hold (RFA)
Roster Size 15 (18) 15 players + 3 draft pick
Mid Level 8,567,000 Projection
Bi Annual 3,353,000 Projection
Mini Mid Level
Room 4,410,232 Projection**see note below
Trade Exceptions none
Projected Draft Pick 1,348,600 29th projection
831,311 2nd min
831,311 2nd min
IRC ***see note below 3,325,244 for max space
Team Salary 113,501,186 w/o exceptions
w/o exceptions 90,045,520 ****see note below
84,443,752 Guarantees + IRC
Salary Cap 101,000,000 Projection
Cap Room -12,501,186 current
w/o exceptions 10,954,480 likely
16,556,248 max space
Luxury Tax 121,000,000 Projection
Tax Room ****
Tax Hit ****
Minimum Salary ****
Team Salary For Minimum ****
Away From Minimum ****

*Because Okafor’s team option was declined while on his rookie scale contract, Brooklyn now is capped out at how much they can sign Okafor too. They are not allowed to go over what his option would have been for that season.

**Brooklyn will only have room exception available if Brooklyn chooses to renounce rights to MLE and Bi-Annual to create cap space. Remember, the MLE and Bi-Annual count towards your team salary if below the salary cap. Most teams renounce these to create room, which then the room exception becomes available.

***IRC stands for “incomplete roster charge”. This happens when teams fall below 12 players under contract. For every spot under 12, a team is charged the rookie minimum. For Brooklyn, to create max space Brooklyn would only have 8 under contract. Therefor would be charged 831,311(rookie minimum for 18-19) 4 times.

****This team salary figure is without Okafor, Stauskas, Acy, Webb, and Doyle’s cap hold. Also without Whitehead’s non-guaranteed contract. I project this as likely.

Boston Celtics 2018 Off Season Numbers Breakdown

Players Cap Hit
 Gordon Hayward 31,214,295
Al Horford 28,928,710
Kyrie Irving 20,099,189
Jayson Tatum 6,700,800
Marcus Morris 5,375,000
Greg Monroe 6,000,000 Cap Hold
Jaylen Brown 5,169,960
Marcus Smart 13,614,060 Cap Hold (RFA)
Aron Baynes 5,193,600 Cap Hold
Guerschon Yabusele 2,667,600
Terry Roizer 3,050,390
Shane Larkin 1,499,698 Cap Hold
Semi Ojeleye 1,378,242 901,965k (G,) full (G) on 7/16/18
Abdel Nader 1,378,242 450k (G), full (G) on 8/1/18
Daniel Theis 1,378,242 fully non (G)
Demetrius Jackson 92,857 Stretched
Jonathan Gibson 1,699,698 Cap Hold (RFA)
Kadeem Allen (two-way) 1,337,872 Cap Hold (RFA)
Jabari Bird (two-way) 1,337,872 Cap Hold (RFA)
Roster Size  16 (17)  16 players + 1 draft pick
Mid Level 8,567,000  projection (unlikely)
Room Exception N/A
Bi Annual 3,353,000  projection
Mini Mid Level 5,290,000 projection (likely)
Trade Exceptions  none
Projected Draft Pick 1,367,000 27th projection
IRC *see note below 3,325,244 for max space
Team Salary 139,483,327 current
133,608,187 **see note below
107,883,153 guaranteed
w/o Exceptions ****
Salary Cap 101,000,000 projection
Cap Room -38,483,327 current
-32,608,187 likely
-6,883,153 max space
w/o Exceptions ****
Luxury Tax 121,000,000  projection
Away From Tax ****
Tax Hit ****

*IRC stands for “incomplete roster charge”. This happens when teams fall below 12 players under contract. For every spot under 12, a team is charged the rookie minimum. For Boston, to create max space Boston would have 8 players under contract. Therefor are charged 831,311(18-19 rookie minimum) 4 times.

**This team salary number is without Gibson’s, Allen’s, Bird’s cap holds. I project this as likely.

Atlanta Hawks 2018 Off-Season Numbers Breakdown


Kent Bazemore 18,089,887
Dennis Schroder 15,500,000
Miles Plumlee 12,500,000
Dwyane Dedmon 6,300,000 Player Option
Mike Muscala 5,000,000 Player Option
Malcom Delaney 3,250,000 Cap Hold (RFA)
Taurean Prince 2,526,840
John Collins 2,299,080
Jamal Crawford 2,304,226 Waived
DeAndre’ Bembry 1,634,640
Isaiah Taylor 1,544,951 Fully Non (G)
Tyler Dorsey 1,378,242
Antonius Cleveland 1,378,242 Fully Non (G)
Jaylen Morris 1,378,242 Fully Non (G)
Damion Lee 1,537,872 Cap Hold (RFA)
Josh Magette (two-way) 1,337,872 Cap Hold (RFA)
Andrew White (two-way) 1,337,872 Cap Hold (RFA)
Roster Size  15 (19) 15 players + 4 draft picks
Mid Level 8,567,000 Estimation
Bi-Annual Exception 3,353,000  Estimation
Mini Mid Level ****
Room 4,410,232 Estimation **see note below
Trade Exceptions
Luke Babbit 1,471,382 2/8/2019
Projected Draft Pick 4,887,200 4th projection
1,859,800 19th projection
1,338,900 30th projection
831,311 2nd round (min)
IRC****see note below 4,156,555 for max space
Team Salary 100,135,177 w/ exceptions
w/o Exceptions 88,215,177 w/o exceptions
76,450,126 *see note below
60,389,470  guaranteed salary + IRC
Salary Cap 101,000,000  projection
Cap Room 864,823 current w/ exceptions
12,784,823 current w/o exceptions
24,549,874 likely
w/o Exceptions 40,610,530 max space possible***see note below
Luxury Tax 121,000,000  projection
Tax Room ****
Tax Hit ****

*This is Atlanta’s team salary without Delaney, Lee, Magette, and White’s cap hold. Without Taylor’s, Cleveland’s, and Morris’s non-guaranteed contract contract. I project this as a likely scenario.

**Atlanta will only have room exception available if Atlanta chooses to renounce rights to MLE and Bi-Annual to create cap space. Remember, the MLE and Bi-Annual count towards your team salary if below the salary cap. Most teams renounce these to create room, which then the room exception becomes available.

***This is the max space(without trade/and stretch) Atlanta can create. For this to happen, Atlanta must renounce all free agents, and waive all non-guaranteed money. Also Muscala and Dedmon would have to opt out. Also Atlanta must draft overseas players that will stay overseas, or trade draft picks away for future picks. Very unlikely situation.

****IRC stands for “incomplete roster charge”. This happens when teams fall below 12 players under contract. For every spot under 12, a team is charged the rookie minimum. For Atlanta to create max space, they would only have 7 players under contract. Therefor would be charged 831,311(rookie minimum for 18-19) 5 times. The charges go away after each spot is filled.

How Good Can Bobby Portis Become Offensively?

The 3rd year player Bobby Portis has had a solid 2017-18 season. He is finally getting over 20 minutes per game, and is showing he can be a productive offensive player. Let’s look at Portis’ career numbers.

Portis Numbers

You can see with minutes, Portis is showing his offensive potential. For a big he is a decent shooter, he gets offensive rebounds, and can get 15-20 points in starter minutes. Here’s a quick look at Portis’ per 36 minutes numbers.

Portis per 36.png

The per 36 stats just gives you an idea with more minutes, what Bobby can do. No it doesn’t necessarily mean he will put up these exact numbers. I do think however it’s fair to say with about 25 minutes plus a game, Portis is good for 15 points or more on average. Portis has shown he can be a solid offensive player, but the question really is how good can Portis become? Could he become a reliable starter? Or could he even become an All-Star? A more in-depth look at how he gets his points will help us figure out his potential.

Looking into Portis’ numbers, it’s clear he likes to shoot the ball away from the rim more than the average big.

Portis shooting freqency.png

The chart you see is from Cleaning The Glass. It is a site run by Ben Falk, previous Vice President of Basketball Strategy for the Philadelphia 76ers, and former basketball analytics manager of the Portland Trail Blazers. The stats from this chart exclude “garbage time stats”. You can see here what garbage time is defined as,  garbage time. Portis shoots 38% of his shots at the rim, which is below average compared to his position. You see he shoots 26% of his shots from 3 which is above average and 36% from mid-range which is above average at his position. Portis unlike most bigs, relies on outside shooting just as much as at the rim shooting. Let’s take a quick look at how he shoots from each of these areas.

Portis accuracy.png

You can see why Portis likes to shoot as many jump shoots as he does. At the rim Portis shoots 57% which is in the bottom % compared to his position. Portis is a good mid-range shooter though as you see he is in the top % compared to his position from there. From 3 he is slightly below average. We will dive deeper into whether or not Portis can improve at the rim, but looking at these stats his game reminds me of someone similar. Someone who is a former 4 time All-Star. That player is Paul Millsap.

I’m talking about the Paul Millsap from 2013-14 to now. The Paul Millsap who became a better shooter once he signed with Atlanta. Let’s take a quick look at how Millsap likes to score. Here is where he likes to shoot from since 2013.

Millsap 2.png

You can see the numbers are very similar to Portis. Millsap takes more shots from mid range, than he does at the rim. For a big, Millsap shoots a lot of jump shots. Let’s take a look at how he shoots from these areas.

Millsap 3

The numbers are very similar between Portis and Millsap. They both shoot about the same from 3. They both like to rely on jump shots really when you break it down. For 4 seasons in Atlanta, Paul Millsap was an All-Star. Let’s take a quick look at those numbers.

Millsap ATL

These are Millsap’s numbers all four All-Star seasons. When you compare these numbers to Portis’ per 36 numbers, they really start to look similar.

Portis per 36

The question becomes can Portis be as good as Millsap? What are the differences between their games? One thing difference you notice is Millsap gets to the line more than Portis. Let’s take a look at their drawing shooting foul numbers.

Portis foul.png

Millsap foul.png

Looking at the SFLD%(shows the % of the shots player is fouled on), clearly Millsap gets to the line more than Portis. One of the reason for this is likely speed. Millsap blows by his man more, which causes defenders to foul him more than they would with Portis. Defenders are caught out of position more guarding Millsap. This is important because neither are great shooters. Not just relying on shooing and being able to get to the line produces more consistent numbers, which has helped Millsap put up All-Star numbers.

But one advantage Bobby Portis has over Millsap is offensive rebounding. Portis offensive rebounds 10% of his team’s misses, which is way above average for his position. Being able to rebound and get easy baskets should help Portis, but he needs to get better around the rim. You saw as we talked earlier, Portis doesn’t finish well around the rim. But why is that? It seems to me it is mainly a lack of explosion. He is athletic but just not explosive. He also struggles to finish over players with similar or longer height. Here are a few examples of this:

I don’t expect Portis to ever become great under the rim, or even good. But he needs to get closer to average for his position. Getting stronger, working on jumping, and getting better footwork will help Portis. I also think getting more comfortable with his left will help a lot. Portis at times forces shots with his right, when the shot would be easier with his left. Working on these little things can get Portis 2-6 extra points a game.

I think the potential for Portis to become good offensively is there. The things I would like to see Portis improve is his shooting, footwork down low, his left hand, his strength, jumping, and offensive awareness.

I think Portis can become a better shooter than Millsap. He is a better free throw shooter, and I do believe Portis has a nice shot. I think the more he works on his shot, he can become closer to a 38%-40% shooter from distance. Footwork down low can improve which ties in with his left. Portis most of time is looking to finish right. All his set up moves in the post are to set him up going right. Defenders know this and will play him that way, getting them to respect his left will only help his game. Getting stronger comes with age, and the stronger Portis becomes the more separation he will be able to get for his shot down low. And just offensive awareness but more so his shot IQ. This has improved but still needs work. Portis at times settles for bad shots. Contested 3’s or just quick 3’s in general. Usually experience will fix this, Portis just needs to learn what a good shot is and when it’s better to just pass the ball.

If I had to guess I don’t think Portis will ever become an All-Star but I do think he will become a good offensive player teams can rely on. Portis has at least shown the offensive talent that can keep him around the NBA for another 5-6 seasons. Maybe more with hard work.  The Bulls for now should realize they have an offensive talent in Portis, that could help their bench for a long time moving forward.