DECISIONS TO MAKE: CENTRAL DIVISION
By Aitor Tilla
Colorado Pioneers: Controversial GM Marc Hameleers knows what he needs to do to be competitive. Tom Henderson and DaRond Lyons have refused to sign an extension and they will explore the turbulent waters of the free agency. While every analyst in the league firmly believes that both players will endup resigning, the situation adds some uncertainty. Colorado really needs them. Every other key player is in their 30s, so the window for Colorado is now. There is a fun scenario associated with this situation. What if Lyons and Henderson decide to hold his signing and that allows Mr. Hameleers to sign a max contract free agent and then extend both players?
Kansas City Blues: The Blues’ offseason revolves just about one name. Jeremy Sims. He is the big fish in this free agency and he’s waiting for all the maximum offers he can collect. While Kansas is the top favorites to resign him, Sims has stated that he wants to compete, and the Blues will have a hard time improving this team. Will he have the guts to look for a better situation? If KC extends Sims’ contract, expect them to use their mid-level exception to improve the PG spot. Daren Benson has been playing well, but he is still the weak link.
Salt Lake City Fanatics: It looks like Brad Bangerter will have an interesting summer. They have a lot of players full of potential, and probably four more players selected in the top next draft. It is well known in the league that Brad is not one of the best talent evaluators in the league, but some of those players selected have to be good. Expect the Fanatics to try to pack a pair of these picks to trade up and secure some top talent. The big question is the conflict with Abel Desbuisnes. He didn’t even listen to extension offers and he will be one of the most sought after free agents. The good news for SLC is that Abel wants a big contract, and no other team can offer him more. The problem for the Fanatics is that Abel is approaching his 30s and the rest of the team are rookies or second-year players who are a long way from contributing to a winning team. We could expect Brad to pack some young talent to receive a star player,
Cincinnati Hitmen: Sheldon Gorman is signed long term, so Cincinnati can be happy, but he is the only good player in the team, and they are really close to the salary cap, so improving via free agency is not an option. The summer of 2020 will be a different animal. GM LoMonaco has a top 7 pick this draft and two potential lotto picks for the 2020 Draft. Meanwhile, the Hitmen should take the smart route and get some young talent. And if they feel that they can’t wait for youngsters to improve, Mr. LoMonaco should choose between youngsters and Gorman.
Forth Worth Warriors: The Warriors have not a lot in their roster to keep. At this point, Curtis “Black Hole” Starman is the only keeper. Starman is a compulsive scorer capable of leading a bad team. Once he has to share the ball, the problems start to show, but he is young and hopefully will improve in this area. The good news for this team starts with the Draft. They have their own pick high in the lottery and 40 millions of cap space. Sadly, history shows that teams with such an awful record have a bad time in free agency. But they could make a move as facilitators. Some teams could try to trade a star to free some money to play in the free agency. That way they wouldn’t need to overpay for mediocre players