I'm going to ramble a bit.
Rumors that Horford could opt out of his 30 mil and take 3 years making 20 mil per year. I also saw something that said Horford could potentially take a 5 year deal starting at 17 mil.
Before you scoff at 5 years... FWIW, Al Horford will be 33 years old next season. Horford is often called Tim Duncan-lite because of his style of play. If he ages similar to Duncan, the final year of his 5 year contract would put him at the same age Duncan was at (37) when he contributed to the Spurs 2014 championship (Duncan was great in that championship run).
For the sake or argument, let's just pencil in trading Marcus Smart (12.5 mil) + Jaylen Brown (6.5mil) + Tatum (7.8 mil) + picks (27 mil outgoing) for Anthony Davis (27 mil incoming).
That would leave you with:
- Horford - 17 mil
- Davis - 27 mil
- Hayward - 32.7 mil
- Baynes - 5.4 mil (if he opts in to his final year)
- Yabu - 3.1 mil
- Williams - 1.9 mi
For this exercise, we are letting Rozier, Morris, Theis, Semi and Wanamaker walk.
That's a total of 87 mil on the books with a salary cap set at 109 mil.
My preference is absolutely to keep Kyrie Irving. Obviously, using his bird rights to extend him pushes us over the salary cap. But for fun, let's just say the fans successfully drive him out of town and Kyrie decides to leave.
Technically, you could be looking at around 22 mil in cap space here to try to sign a replacement. Probably not enough to get a guy like Kemba Walker, right? But say you could find some teams to absorb the salaries of Yabu and Baynes (freeing up another 8.5 mil)... technically that could leave you with around 30 mil in cap space to find a star free agent to pair with Davis, Horford and Hayward.
The other interesting path here is... the team could consider salary dumping Hayward on a team like the Cavs. Cleveland was rumored to have some interest. I'm not going to get into a debate about whether we'd need to include picks to salary dump Hayward, but Cleveland might be able to absorb some or all of his salary. They have the non-guaranteed JR Smith deal they can trade. Shedding some/all of Hayward's salary could technically put Boston in position to add a free agent star to pair with Davis/Horford if Kyrie leaves. Meaning, you could make a pitch to someone like Kawhi to try and pair him with Davis.
One more semi-unrelated thing worth keeping in mind. If ultimately Kyrie decides he's leaving, it will be in our best interest to work a sign-and-trade. Say, for instance, he decides to go to the Knicks. Even if the Knicks have the cap space, it's in our best interest to convince them to do a sign-and-trade. New York doesn't have to give us any assets... we just need to get back a fat trade exception. Say we end up with a 35 mil trade exception, we then don't have to worry about letting guys like Rozier and Morris walk. If there's any picks left over after the Davis trade, we could try to trade the fat 35 mil trade exception + picks for a player like Mike Conley (on the books for 32.5 mil next season for the rebuilding Grizzlies).