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Bronc
Member since Sep 2018
3856 posts

Who Pays Lonzo??? And How Much Would They Realistically Spend?
TLDR at the bottom, long-winded explanation below:


As the discussion about resigning Lonzo or trading him continues to heat up, I realized one of the things some of us are increasingly assuming is that if he isn't traded, his price come FA will be northwards of 20 million due to his recent uptick in performance. But practically speaking, price is ultimately going to be determined by the market, and the market rate is going to be determined by either New Orleans simply offering him that number ala Jrue so he doesn't test the market(unlikely at this point given the already failed negotiations and distance on the number and of what we know about Griff) or some other buyer comes out and drives the price to that place, and the question becomes, who would actually do that?

Below is Sporttracs list of practical cap space of teams that have the ability to put together at least 20 million to sign Lonzo in FA(they don't seem to update perfectly so this is a rough guide).


LINK

Basically, if he is actually going to get 20 million+, in all likelihood it will be coming from one of these 11 teams. And realistically right off the bat, you can eliminate teams like Toronto, Miami, Houston, Memphis, likely Dallas(unless they simply let Hardaway walk and Richardson opts out), and Cleveland because it's very unlikely these teams will either denounce everyone it would take to get to that space or have a fit for Lonzo.

San Antonio also seems rather far-fetched.

So practically speaking, the teams that could push Lonzo above 20 million are:

- Knicks
- OKC
- Chicago
- Charlotte

And frankly, OKC seems highly unlikely.

So we are down to NY, Chi and Char. And tbh, do we really expect Char to go after Lonzo when they have Rozier and the other Ball playing well? With Monk's contract up and big holes to fill up front? The fit with NY is highly suspect, but it's NY so you can't really rule out stupidity.

The old adage is that it only takes one, but it seems like the practicality of it will come down to whether Chicago or NY truly see Lonzo as a cornerstone piece, and want to make that godfather offer that makes us want to walk away. We always suspected they were in the mix, but conversations always seemed to infer the market would be more robust, all but guaranteeing 20+ million, but I'm not really seeing it once I've dug in. The potential for 20+ is still there, but I'm not seeing it as the foregone conclusion I once did.




TLDR: Practically speaking, diving into team projected cap space for this offseason, NY and Chicago are currently the only two well-positioned potential suitors that may actually drive Lonzo's price over 20 million, and both have good reasons as to why they shouldn't, or recent actions that suggest they won't. Which may mean fear of a 20-25 million dollar contract on the part of some of us, myself included, might not be the foregone conclusion we thought. Of course, not enough to truly eliminate the possibility, but enough to at least focus our eyes and reign in some of the biggest fears.


TigerinATL
New Orleans Pelicans Fan
Member since Feb 2005
54115 posts
 Online 

re: Who Pays Lonzo??? And How Much Would They Realistically Spend?
quote:

NY and Chicago are currently the only two well-positioned potential suitors


That also matches up with the only public information we've heard.

- That Chicago has interest, a leak that seemed to be more about creating a market than breaking news about Chicago's actual interest.
- That the Knicks could have traded for Lonzo and chose to go after Derrick Rose instead according to Thibs.

quote:

The fit with NY is highly suspect, but it's NY so you can't really rule out stupidity.


This past offseason they didn't operate like a dumpster fire for once. That and choosing Rose over Lonzo suggests that Thibs may be keeping Dolan under control for now. So the market may be even more limited. I would think you have to offer at least $15 per year or he might take the MLE from someone else out of spite.


Mickey Goldmill
LSU Fan
Baton Rouge
Member since Mar 2010
15048 posts

re: Who Pays Lonzo??? And How Much Would They Realistically Spend?
quote:

I would think you have to offer at least $15 per year


Yeah I think that's the floor in this situation. I think he likely ends up making around 17-18 per year in his new deal. There is still a lot of skepticism around the league on his game I feel like. At least enough to keep him under 20M.


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htran90
New Orleans Saints Fan
BC
Member since Dec 2012
26464 posts
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re: Who Pays Lonzo??? And How Much Would They Realistically Spend?
Maybe the best option is to keep him and come to an agreement like a 5/75mil with the last 2 years being a player option.


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Tigercowboy
New Orleans Pelicans Fan
Baton Rouge
Member since Nov 2007
2865 posts

re: Who Pays Lonzo??? And How Much Would They Realistically Spend?
Nice Post. I agree with you that market for 20+ mil may not be there but the Knicks like names and Ball is a big name. They may see it as a marketing ploy to get some interest back from Brooklynn. I could be wrong but the Knicks are the team that's going to make that Godfather offer.


Bronc
Member since Sep 2018
3856 posts

re: Who Pays Lonzo??? And How Much Would They Realistically Spend?
quote:

This past offseason they didn't operate like a dumpster fire for once. That and choosing Rose over Lonzo suggests that Thibs may be keeping Dolan under control for now. So the market may be even more limited. I would think you have to offer at least $15 per year or he might take the MLE from someone else out of spite.


Yeah I think below 15 if he keeps this level of play would be an insult, and it's probably also the price point other teams might just throw their hat in to see if they can pull it off.

But I think if NY is truly out, and while I don't want to rule them out completely, I'm with you on everything you said, Chicago also has opportunity costs to consider. Do you godfather Ball, who if they have even a modicum of competency should recognize there are some serious fit questions? Or do you maybe consider any one of the potential alternative options on the market like Lowry, Conley, Shroeder, Oladipo, DeRozan?

Since if you do make that offer, you basically take yourself out of contention for all of those players(and likely the tier below) since none of them are going to be waiting around on Chicago as we decide on matching the offer.

That all said, if you can get Lonzo back on 16-18, and confirm he'll be bought in, I think that's an instant yes.

That's a pretty fair market value price and if, say, as I worry, his shooting is a bit of a mirage due to defenses not yet adjusting, and he dips down to around 35-37% and never develops a solid half court game, 17 million for a ball moving defensive guard that can get hot from three is at worse, a neutral asset. With the upside he does develop into the 20-25 million dollar player some think he can be(or in some cases already is) and then the Pels are cooking.


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Bronc
Member since Sep 2018
3856 posts

re: Who Pays Lonzo??? And How Much Would They Realistically Spend?
quote:

Nice Post. I agree with you that market for 20+ mil may not be there but the Knicks like names and Ball is a big name. They may see it as a marketing ploy to get some interest back from Brooklynn. I could be wrong but the Knicks are the team that's going to make that Godfather offer.



Yeah, and I also wouldn't eliminate the possibility, however slim, of Klutch and Lonzo throwing a stink and willing to go to NY or Chi for 15-16 million on the allure of marketing potential, trying to publicly make things ugly, but that might also open the door for sign and trade opportunities if they try that.


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TeddyPadillac
New Orleans Pelicans Fan
Member since Dec 2010
18061 posts

re: Who Pays Lonzo??? And How Much Would They Realistically Spend?
I think the Knicks are the only team that would outright sign him in FA.

While I do think chicago wants him, i think they would want a S&T where they can send out Thad Young or Sato so they can still have a lot of cap space to go out and get more players.

I think the list of other teams that are interested in him would be doing S&T's, Dallas, Miami, Denver, GSW, Sac, Tor, Orl, ATL, and i think the wildcard is Portland.
I know Lillard is loyal, and he loves McCollum, but with the emergence of Gary Trent Jr, a swap of McCollum for Lonzo may be the extra defense they need, while still surrounding Lillard with a great 3 point shooter.

I think the question is if you decide to keep Lonzo, what are you looking to add to this team in regards to starters? You'd pretty much be saying if you keep Lonzo that your team is Lonzo/BI/Zion/Adams, and if that is the case, what are you looking for in the 5th starter?
Do you want a PG like Kira, or do you just want to add another 3&D player while you pretty much let BI and Zion initiate the offense?
I think an ideal player, if he wasn't always hurt, would be Justice Winslow (before he was hurt when he was knocking down 38% from 3). He's basically a slightly bigger Lonzo, or i guess i should say was. no telling what he will be like when he comes back from his 2 years worth of injuries. He's still only 24, and he's supposed to be back any day now, so we'll get an idea of what he looks like to close the season out, but i doubt Memphis would want to move him if he looks good.

Bledsoe was supposed to be that guy, and while he is knocking down 3's at a rate he's never done before, his defense has been abysmal, the worst Drtg of his career by a good bit. it's at 118. his average is 107 for his career. The only other time it's ever been above 108 is his last year in PHX when he was being a jackass and wanting to leave. I think it's obvious he doesn't want to be here.
It would be awesome if we could make a Bledsoe for Huerter/Snell trade today, but i doubt ATL would go for that, even if we threw in some 2nds.


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