Half of the teams in the league next season are going to be way under the salary cap in the Lebron/Wade/Bosh/Amare sweepstakes. Not everyone can win. What I think you will see is that the losing teams will throw insane amounts of money at the 2nd tier guys on the market like Haywood because they will have the cap room to do so.
As we all know, Haywood is the anchor to our defense and we CANNOT afford to lose him. 19-63 happened without him and we don't want that to happen again unless we are in absolute rebuild mode.
I think Ernie needs to take preemptive actions here and approach Haywood's agent for an extension now. If we can get him resigned at 7 mil a year, that is a steal. If we can get him at 8 mil a year, that is an even deal. If we get him back at 9, maybe we are overpaying, but it is still a price we should be willing to pay for this man. I say we offer him a 3-year deal as well so that he can be let go once JaVale is truly ready.
I also think if we wait, it will hurt us. Varejao is trying to get 8 mil a year on the market and if he does get it, then Haywood will see that and demand a ton more money because he is easily the better player.