[If you have any questions about how the Mid-level Exception functions, feel free to ask in the comments. But, I'd also recommend checking out the Salary Cap FAQ for all your NBA Collective Bargaining Agreement needs]
Since I started typing this morning, Jerry Zgoda's put up a story about Gomes on the Strib blog.
Well, sure there's Michael Doleac, Kirk Snyder and Chris Richard. But the only significant free agent remaining for the Wolves is the former Friar. We've bandied about here at Hoopus on how much Gomes will be looking for and who's interested and willing to give it to him. While there's no source cited, this little nugget at Yardbarker caught my eye:
Word is that Gomes is looking for a 2 year contract for the full MLE. The Celtics may offer that, but since Gomes is restricted, the Wolves will probably match.
Wolves fans should be extremely happy to get Gomes on a two year deal, and if the price is the Mid-Level Exception, that shouldn't bother anyone. Comparable players (some lesser in my opinion) have gotten bigger deals already this offseason:
Boston: spent $2.7 million on Eddie House (2yrs)
Dallas: full MLE ($5.585 million) on DeSagana Diop (5yrs)
Golden State: $4.5 million on Ronny Turiaf (4yrs)
- LA Clippers: renounced MLE to get cap space
Miami: spent $4.01 million on James Jones (5yrs)
- New Jersey: $3.4 million on Eduardo Najera (4yrs)
- New Orleans: full MLE on James Posey (4yrs)
- New York: full MLE on Chris Duhon (2yrs)
- Oklahoma City: $3.35 million on CJ Miles (4yrs)
- Orlando: full MLE on Mickael Pietrus (4yrs)
- Philadelphia: renounced MLE to get cap space
- Sacramento: full MLE on Beno Udrih (5yrs)
- San Antonio: $3.6 million on Roger Mason (2yrs)
So if Gomes is really looking for the full MLE, who's out there with money to spend on him? Cleveland and Boston have been oft-mentioned as destinations, but each has problems of their own. Boston, as you can see above, doesn't have their full MLE left. They had to spend part of it on House.
And Cleveland may have their MLE, but they're heavy into luxury land and Gomes doesn't qualify as a player that would make LeBron want to stay. If and when they decide to re-sign Delonte West they'll have 14 players under contract.
Other teams with the full MLE remaining (along with reasons I don't think they'll sign Gomes to an offer sheet in the near future):
Atlanta: won't do anything until the Joshes situations are sorted out
Charlotte: won't do anything until Okafor's situation is sorted out
Chicago: already have Nocioni, Thomas, Gooden and probably Deng at the 3/4
- Denver: luxury tax problems
Detroit: already have Johnson, Maxiell, Prince and McDyess at the 3/4
Houston: 15 players under contract, creeping up on the luxury tax
- Indiana: 16 players under contract, creeping up on the luxury tax
- LA Lakers: luxury tax concerns
Memphis: already have Gay, Warrick and Walker at 3/4. OK, that's not a strong argument, but Memphis is so cheap I'd be very surprised if they use their MLE.
Milwaukee: getting close to the luxury tax; Jefferson, Villanueva and Alexander are already at the 3/4
- Phoenix: luxury tax problems
Portland: their roster's at 13 with 2 more under consideration (Batum and Koponen). I suppose Portland makes the most sense thus far as they could use a young leader like Gomes, but I have trouble believing they'll spend free agent money this summer.
Toronto: close to the luxury tax; if that's not a concern to them, Gomes would probably fit well as a glue guy with the Raptors' twin towers and shooters.
Utah: their roster's getting full and their payroll's getting large, but both are well managed; although they're different players, I'm not sure Gomes and Millsap wouldn't duplicate roles
Washington: luxury tax concerns
So, in this fans opinion, it looks like the cap space is gone, teams are creeping toward the luxury tax, rosters are getting full, and most teams already have a solid rotation at the forward positions. Even the teams who have a portion of their MLE left don't have over half. I can't imagine Gomes would bother signing an offer sheet for less than half of the MLE.
Gomes and his agent are likely having the same trouble Craig Smith and Sebastian Telfair had with finding teams to make offers for the Wolves to counter. It's a saavy approach from the Wolves front office to let their players go out and find the best offers instead of their traditional approach. In case you were wondering, the traditional approach was to overvalue and overpay the team's own free agents.