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NLL Insider - What's Next? Pacific Division

by merencio, updated on Sunday, July 02 2017, 03:42 am EST

The Pacific

Los Angeles Lakers

Approx Cap Situation: $71,000,000  ~28 milion under

GM Points: 46

Record: 44-38

Picks: #19 #57

Key Players Returning:

·        Nikola Vucevic $ 12,250,000

·        Dwyane Wade $ 23,800,000

·        DeMarre Carroll $ 14,800,000

Marvin Williams, Malcolm Brogdon, Spencer Hawes

Unrestricted Free Agents:

George Hill, Jordan Crawford, Michael Beasley, Manu Ginobili, Aaron Brooks, Marreese Speights

Restricted Free Agents:

Jonathon Simmons, Troy Williams, Josh Huestis


Will the Lakers bring back their free agents? Does Manu play on? Does Jonathon Simmons signs for the rumoured 9 mill or will someone offer 20? Is the reigning 6th Sixth Man Player of the Year going to hit the FA market? Has George Hill irritated the Lakers management with his nagging injuries? Hill looking for a 20 mill salary?


Well, the Lakers will have some tough decisions ahead of them as they have about half the GM bank and some really important pieces of last season’s roster set to be UFA’s. George Hill would certainly be nice to have back but his 20 mill rumored price tag and the signing of RFA Simmons at any cost would kill any existing cap. If the Lakers decide to go give up on signing Hill, they will certainly be a player for a top name in FA with about 28 mil in cap and would need to work on building up those GM points. Greenmig certainly has track-record behind him, just beware if the Lakers GM goes reeeeally quiet, he might be onto something. lol


The overall view of the Lakers right now looks slightly above average, with Vucevic and Wade being the key cogs, obviously, and their GM’s knowledge of the game always seeming to find important under-the-radar guys that turn into solid contributors while making people look silly for bypassing them. The Lakers always seem to pull together a competitive team, with put-it-all-on-the-line approach.

GM Greenmig will be competing again next year, but the question that remains is: Will it be with this version of the Lakers or will we see a shake up?

Malcolm Brogdon and Jonathon Simmons are the Lakers prized possessions for the future.

Possible Line-up

·         PG – Malcolm Brogdon

·         SG – Dwyane Wade

·         SF – Jonathon Simmons

·         PF – DeMarre Carroll

·         C – Nikola Vucevic

·         6th Man – Marvin Williams

Sacramento Kings

Approx Cap Situation $55,444,055 ~43,5 million under

GM Points: 49

Record: 57-25

Picks: Nil

 Key Players Returning:

·        Carmelo Anthony $ 26,243,760

·        Reggie Jackson $16,000,000

·        Boban Marjanovic $5,881,260

Al-Farouq Aminu

Unrestricted Free Agents:

Pau GasolJames Johnson, Taj Gibson, Gerald Green, Kyle Korver, Rajon Rondo

Restricted Free Agents:

Tyler Ennis, Marshall Plumlee


Kings GM Klemmelo is rumoured to have a preference for James Johnson over Taj Gibson as the Kings power forward to re-sign. Which of their 6 UFAs will they re-sign? Will Pau Gasol really re-sign after committing verbally or can he be persuaded by a crazy offer from the market? Will the Kings be the main player in Free Agency?


GM Klemmelo would be hoping that at least Pau Gasol and James Johnson both return for season 2017/18. If that happens I see him looking at a another big name Free Agent to complement the core, perhaps another wing, after parting ways with Batum. The Kings have a ton of cap space and will wait patiently to see where the chips fall so they can make their move and decide who they decide to bring back and if they decide to dump most of them, with that record, look for Sacramento to be a force in the FA market.


Rondo just got waived in the NBA so it will take some figuring out what to do with his situation, luckily, the Kings have Reggie Jackson who’s good, but then you’re left with a big gap on the wings positions. From the outside, if you look at this roster, it all looks like chaos and Free Agency hell, to be honest, but as GM Klemmelo puts it, they’re all “calculated risks” with a good chance to come back and re-upping or clearing cap space. Either way, the GM seems to be secure about his chances.

Who can he add to in the offseason to add another dimension to this team and make the final push? I think there may be some moves made to try and give the Kings yet another weapon to pair up with Melo and attack the West crown.

Possible Line-up

·         PG – Reggie Jackson

·         SG – ???

·         SF – Carmelo Anthony

·         PF – Al-Farouq Aminu

·         C – Boban Marjanovic

·         6th Man – ???

Phoenix Suns

Approx Cap Situation $ 78,132,519 ~21 million under

GM Points: 99

Record: 34-48

Picks: #44 Davon Reed, #55 Alpha Kaba

Key Players Returning:

·        Al Horford $27,734,405

·        Kemba Walker $12,000,000

·        Wilson Chandler $ 12,016,854

Meyers Leonard, Omer Asik, Wesley Johnson

Unrestricted Free Agents:

 Nick Young, Thomas Robinson, Omri Casspi

Restricted Free Agents:
Timothy Hardaway, Jeff Withey, Spencer Dinwiddie, Ian Clark


 Omer Asik was placed on the team’s trade block it seems like for an entire season. Entering the off season does that thought process remain intact or will GM Pennywise start with a fresh mindset? Is a rebuild coming or will the Suns sell the house to try and get a third piece?


GM Pennywise will have nearly no cap space at his disposal after the assumed signings of Withey and Hardaway JR  but will likely look to add another starter and some bench depth to the team in 2017/18, specifically at both wing positions and at the point.


Over the last few seasons Penny has developed a win now attitude but has yet to see the results neither he nor many others would have expected. While I don’t see that mentality changing for the next NLL season it may be time for a clearing of the roster and the trendy rebuild?

Phoenix is in NLL limbo, and it is not a good place to be, as the team is not as bad so it can be a bottom dweller and go for a high lottery pick, and the team doesn’t seem to have the punch to affect the top tier teams in the Western Conference. After a few gambles in the last few seasons, namely Monta Ellis Josh Smith and Joakim Noah, the Suns are looking for their next star to pair up Horford and Kemba for a shot at the real thing.

Possible Line-up

·         PG – Kemba Walker

·         SG – Timothy Hardaway

·         SF – Wilson Chandler

·         PF – Al Horford

·         C – Meyers Leonard

·         6th Man – Ian Clark

Golden State Warriors

Approx Cap Situation $75,986,138 ~23 million under

GM Points: 64

Record: 38-44

Picks: #60 Ognjen Jaramaz

Key Players Returning:

·        Harrison Barnes $ 23,112,004

·        Nicolas Batum $ 22,434,783

·        Dario Saric $ 2,422,560

Jon LeuerMarcus SmartJose Barea, Lucas Nogueira, Paul Zipser, Jason Smith

Unrestricted Free Agents:


Restricted Free Agent

 T.J. McConnell, Shabazz Muhammad, Joffrey Lauvergne, Demetrius Jackson, Stephen Zimmerman, Frank Kaminsky


Will GSW bring back all of their RFAs? Will any team try to pry any of them away from the Warriors? Can Saric play PF? Is Marcus Smart really their PG of the future? Will Kaminski or Leuer be the permanent answer at C?


With most of the team already set for season 17/18, and a lot of young RFAs looking to get their extensions or their options picked up, GM Mailo should go quietly in FA, mainly because they should have no cap space or roster space, for that matter, to bring anyone in. Shabazz, McConnell, Lauvergne and Kaminski will be the priority to be signed in-house.


Mailo had a fine 2016/17 campaign with an unexpected rise to the 8th seed in the West, beating Utah for that spot at the very last game of the season. Can Mailo get this team back there for 2016/17? Im sure he can but it’ll take contined development of their young pieces in Saric and Smart, mainly. The addition of Batum cost them a nice draft pick, but it definitely solidifies the wing positions with Barnes continuing to assert his dominance over all the available shots on this team. In the NLL, Barnes is a legit star and the Warriors will ride him and hope their young players grow into more developed contributors so they can take that next step.

Possible Line-up

·         PG – Marcus Smart

·         SG –  Nicolas Batum

·         SF – Harrison Barnes

·         PF – Dario Saric

·         C – Frank Kaminsky

·         6th Man – Jon Leuer

Los Angeles Clippers

Approx Cap Situation $61,592,606  ~37.5 million under

GM Points: 96

Record: 17-65

Picks: #3 Josh Jackson, #4 Dennis Smith Jr. #14 John Collins, #22 OG Anunoby

Key Players Returning:

·        Clint Capela $ 2,334,528

·        Devin Booker $2,055,840

·        D’Angelo Russell $5,103,120

Rodney Hood, Jerian GrantCody Zeller, Michael Kidd-Gilchrist, Tyler Ulis, Ryan Anderson, Justin Hamilton

 Unrestricted Free Agents:


Restricted Free Agents:

Tarik Black, Joel Bolomboy


Clippers will be active as usual as they attempt to trade away excess players that don’t fit the team while trying to stay above the minimum. Guys like Ryan Anderson, Justin Hamilton and Tarik Black are rumoured to be out the door. Who’s going to start the year at small forward? How will D’Angelo Russell adapt to the arrival of Dennis Smith?


 With a horrible record and limited roster spots it may be a little too difficult. They do have cap space and GM points to spare, so maybe they can sign this year’s version of overpayed Ryan Anderson or Dirk Nowitzki when nobody else has cap.


LAC is expected to be a little better than what they were in 2017/18 as they reach a crucial point in their rebuilding process where the team has nearly concluded the infusion of talent on the roster and look forward to seeing those players develop so the team can start being competitive. The word here is potential and this team has a lot of it, plus a 2018 Portland first rounder that can accelerate things if they so choose. There soon will come a time where all of those players will demand extensions at the same time or just a year apart, and that will be a problem soon enough. Will the Clips start going for it as of now, or will we see another down year with youngsters that are still learning their way around?

Possible Line-up

·         PG – D’Angelo Russell

·         SG – Devin Booker

·         SF – Josh Jackson

·         PF – Cody Zeller

·         C – Clint Capela

·         6th Man – Rodney Hood

Ladder Predictor 2017

If the Kings can keep 2 of his main guys together, it’s their division to lose. The Lakers has found the 2k sweet spot in the past and GM Greenmig will be looking to hit that mark in a new engine yet again. Warriors seems like a team that still needs time to make noise here and Phoenix is still one good piece away to challenge the division. Finally, the Clippers have the potential, there’s that word again, to take control of this division in about 2 seasons if everything falls into place the way they’re hoping to.

1.      Sacramento Kings

2.      Los Angeles Lakers

3.      Golden State Warriors

4.      Phoenix Suns

5.      Los Angeles Clippers


  Comments (4) 
07/03 08:31 am
Good review Merencio, hoping to add another decent rotation piece through FA
07/02 06:12 am
Nicely done Merencio. Still deciding what course of action to take. I have been approached by 2 people about Horford, but neither deal was quite enough. If I were to get the right offers, it may be time for a rebuild.
07/02 05:43 am
An enjoyable read, well written and covering all bases. Thanks.
07/02 05:02 am
Nice work my friend :) yeah lots of variables this off season, going to have to work some magic.


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