Over the weekend I was told by a reliable source that the Phoenix Suns are looking to offer Cleveland Cavaliers restricted free agent Alonzo Gee a multi-year contract in the $4 million per season range. I was also told that the Suns were in the lead for Gee's services right now too, and I posted my tweet from Saturday morning below. On Thursday, two days earlier, John Telich tweeted that he "heard at least three teams interested in Alonzo Gee of #Cavs, Phoenix, Minnesota, Detroit". My source didn't tell me who the Suns were in the lead over, but I assumed it meant Minnesota and Detroit with respect to what Telich had said previously. Regardless of what offers do eventually end up coming in for Gee though, the Cavaliers will have the opportunity to match since he is a Restricted Free Agent.
What my source also did not indicate was how many years the Phoenix Suns were looking to pay Alonzo somewhere in the neighborhood of $4 million guarunteed however. If I were to generally speculate, I'd imagine the life of this possible contract offer would end up somewhere around three to five years, but probably more like four. The how many years part will be tricky though, when it comes to deciding whether or not the Cavs would want to match a competing offer for him, whenever one does hypothetically come in. The right around $4 million annually doesn't really surprise me at all. Reserve rotation players, 7th, 8th, or 9th men in today's NBA with some promise moving forward, typically sign deals that pay somewhere around $4 million. Daniel Gibson, for example, made $4.4 million this season and will make $4.8 next year. Luke Walton made $5.7 this year, and will make just over $6 million next year too for some additional perspective. Gee is going to be a rotation player in the NBA somewhere next season, and he has demonstrated some promise to be sure moving forward. He's going to command those types of dollars.
I think the Cavaliers would re-sign him for sure if the contract came in around $4 million over a guaranteed period of three years too. This is me speculating here, because again, my source did not tell me anything about the life of the hypothetical contract offer. To further speculate though, there's no way the Cavaliers would go as far as committing to Gee for as many as five seasons I wouldn't think, nor would I really think they should make that long-term of a committment either. I kinda doubt anyone else would go five years too for whatever that's worth, but four years guaranteed is probably what Gee will be looking for. I'd imagine teams will counter with three years guaranteed, and a club option for the fourth. I'm not sure the Cavaliers should go any further than matching a deal like that too. Four years guaranteed might be too many, and probably unnecessary.
I'd be glad to run with Gee for the next three years however to be sure though. Alonzo averaged 10.6 points and 5.1 rebounds in 29 minutes per game this season and he always played hard. He's a high flier at the rim, he's down to dig in defensively on anybody too, and maybe even more important than all of his athleticism is his work ethic. The position that Alonzo Gee has put himself in right now, coming up through the D-League, is called working your a*s off to achieve the American Dream. He's offered plenty of reason to believe he'll keep working hard from here too. That's important, and it's also important that Kyrie Irving and Tristan Thompson get along off the floor with Gee, and play well with him on it too. They do that, in both cases, and that's going to give plenty of reason for the Cavaliers to think long and hard about re-signing Gee. The money and cap space will be there for the Cavaliers to sign him if they want too, so we'll see what happens. If I find out anything else I'll be sure to let you know.
Great work here Brendan.
I think it ultimately comes down to where the Cavs go in the Draft. If they end up with Kidd-Gilchrist or Barnes, Gee is an expensive backup with Casspi already on the roster.
Personally, I think the 2011-12 Gee is as good as we're ever going to see, as his numbers were inflated by a relatively high usage rate and a higher number of FGAs than he would ever see on a good team. His offense took a nosedive after the All-Star break (39% FG, 29% 3PT), and he's just not a good enough shooter to play the Bruce Bowen role as a spacing shooter and wing defender.
Match the offer.
If rookies supplant him, trade him for draft choices.
Don't let him go for nothing.
He can guard 2 positions, shoot pretty well from deep, and can drive.
Hard to replace all that, and you need a deep rotation to go anywhere in the playoffs.