And lo, as expected, both Derrick Williams and Arron Afflalo made it clear that they intend to opt out of their respective deals. As for Afflalo, the reaction over at P&T headquarters can be summed up thusly:
To Arron Afflalo pic.twitter.com/FnLK2mpz0w— Joseph Flynn (@ChinaJoeFlynn) June 21, 2016
On the other hand, there was much speculating on what to do with Williams, who exceeded expectations in his one season in New York. The 24-year-old forward, lead New York in scoring off the bench and was pretty much the team's only fast-break threat. At times he was downright dominant:
Is his combination of youth and scoring acumen worth another contract? We now go live to the P&T round table ...
Joe Flynn: Derrick Williams finished fifth on the team in points per game, fourth in PER and third in win shares per 48 minutes. That's pretty good! Would any of you actually re-sign him to a longer deal?
Seth: Not a longer one, no. But another "1+1" deal at the end of the summer, sure.
Matt Miranda: I'd give D-Will a three-year deal. And I'd make sure to add a guard who can push the pace consistently to get the most out of him. I also like the continuity with the Triangle.
Jonathan Schulman: I would give him a five year deal if it were a team-friendly salary. Seems loony, but he can switch 3/4/5 on defense (to an extent), he can fill it up now and then and he pushes the tempo. More with heft than speed, but he does it. And Carmelo Anthony and Kristaps Porzingis are monsters when they trail into the play. And in five years he'll only be like 29.
Joe Flynn: One thing about D-Will that gets overblown is his three-point shooting. He was quite good from the corners last season, hitting 39.6% of his attempts. The big problem is he can't hit from above the break, which is where the vast majority of the team's three-point attempts came from in their messed-up offense. He's also an above-average pick-and-roll finisher who rarely got a chance to show off that skill. It would be interesting to see if Jeff Hornacek's offense could get more out of him.
On the other hand, his on/off numbers are generally terrible, and the team's two best bench players (Langston Galloway, Lance Thomas) played so much better with him off the court. For example, Galloway's net rating with D-Will on the court is -8.9, with him off the court it's +2.7. Thomas's rating: -5.9 with D-Will on, +3.8 with him off.
Seth: I just think he hurts most lineups because he defends so badly. Would not give him a real contract; nothing that couldn't be boinked after a year.
Jonathan Schulman: Long-term contracts seem like a thing of the past because they are too team-friendly. That's why I would do it for D-Will at the right price. Obviously he's not worth 10-12 million per or anything like that.
Seth: Long-term contracts are player-friendly if the player is bad. Derrick Williams is bad and makes the team worse. Which is fine if he's like the 13th man; but at more than a veteran's minimum again or more than a one-year deal, no way.
Feel free to jump into the fray in the comments section.
* All statistics courtesy of NBA.com/Stats