Con No. 2 – Hefty price tag for an expensive team
Kristaps Porzingis currently has a player option available for this next season worth $36 million, which he is expected to exercise (who wouldn’t?).
For comparison, Jarrett Allen signed a flat 5 year/$100 million contract, putting him $16 million cheaper than Porzingis.
Not only does that make Porzingis a higher cost for the year (also a threat to leave in unrestricted free agency the following summer), it means the Cavaliers couldn’t simply swap Porzingis and Allen and call it a day. The salaries just don’t match.
The Cavs would have to surrender more players in order to receive Porzingis, which could include Rubio, Wade, and/or Okoro. Maybe this means it becomes a three-team deal. Sending Jarrett Allen to a third team would mean Washington gets off of a lot of salary and opens up their options for the future. Is Portland still building around Damian Lillard and looking for a center to replace Nurkic? Who knows.
With depth already a necessity this summer, filling the Cavs cap sheet even more could hurt their flexibility in free agency. According to Spotrac, the Cavaliers owe $126.9 million across their already guaranteed contracts for next season. This leaves them with roughly $35 million of breathing room before they breach the luxury tax threshold.
Porzingis would shrink that to $19 million. If the Cavs would hope to keep him after his current deal, that could add even more stress with Evan Mobley’s eventual rookie extension and Donovan Mitchell’s looming free agency.
Is the cost worth it? How could the Cavaliers maneuver this deal to make it work?