here on a slow morning.
I start from the premise that Nic is a 3. What's more, in the corner-flex offense the 2 and 3 are virtually interchangeable on offense. Second starting premise: until proven different D-WIll is a 4. I'm actually very happy that he has fixed his breathing and reduced his weight (those who note these things will recall that I've been optimistic in the past of D-Will becoming Granger-ish). That being said, D-Will's transformation will not be "Poof! I'm a 3!" It just isn't. I will be ecstatic if I'm wrong. In the end I'm a Wolves diehard and just want us to win. However, this is not now and has never been Derrick's position on the court.
I also assume the S&T is hung up on Derrick's inclusion. He's the only player that makes sense from the Portland side of things: young, can grow in PDX with what Olshey is building, etc.
Numbers and more argument from me after the jump.
It's a 6 million per year difference for a few years and then shrinks to 5 and 4 in the last two years. Some have noted that with Wes gone as well that the Derrick + Wes contracts can nearly account for a Nic addition. I find this to be a plausible rationalization.
For further fun, I made a B-R query that put Nic right behind KD in awesomeness. I was intrigued to see Brandon Rush on this list but don't quite consider him with Batum because of the age difference and that Rush's season was his first one at this level. Same for Cupcake. Sadly, this just rubs in the missed chance that was Paul George. SIgh.
Despite my above query results, I actually think the proper comp for Batum is Danilo Gallinari and I would have ZERO problem sending Williams out for Danilo.
One last point, an argument for keeping Derrick has been that he will get better and thus be more valuable to us. I think this assessment hinges on him becoming a 3. Again, I don't see that as a viable plan in the immediate, given the stated team goal of playoff participation. Also, the hunt for Stiemsma & Jordan Hill signifies less desire to play Kevin at the 5. Obviously, small-ball lineups will serve a strategic place in any good coach's arsenal, but the search for these "truer" fives to back up Pek indicate minutes for Derrick will need to come at the 3 going forward. I'm skeptical of this plan but will rejoice will all of you if proven wrong.
In the end, Kahn is weighing the difference between these salary numbers in his attempt at having a properly situated SF on the roster versus an ill-constructed one, albeit one he drafted. Despite my cavalier approach in the comments sections over the last week it isn't n easy decision, but one that I think is defensible.