Monthly Archives: April 2013

Is Pau Gasol washed up?

As I look at the Lakers’ upcoming salary commitments, it seems pretty obvious that somebody has to go for financial reasons. Assuming the team is able to re-sign Dwight Howard, their 2013-14 payroll will once again push $100 million. But this time being that far over the luxury tax line will carry a much steeper penalty. Being $30 million over the tax line in 2012-13 will cost a paltry $30 million in luxury tax. In 2013-14 that bill will rise to $85 million.

But the Lakers still haven’t used their amnesty waiver — a one-time opportunity to waive a player with his salary exempted from the salary cap and luxury tax (although they still have to pay his salary). Only players who were on the team continuously since the CBA was signed in December 2011, and who are still playing on the same contract, are eligible to be amnestied. For the Lakers, only Kobe Bryant, Pau Gasol, Metta World Peace and Steve Blake meet these criteria.

You can forget about Bryant, for obvious reasons. Unless he loses a leg in an industrial accident between now & July, he’s safe from the amnesty axe. Continue reading

What will happen to the Lakers’ draft pick this summer?

There are still lots of questions floating around about the Lakers’ upcoming first round draft pick, so let’s review.

This story starts with Cleveland. They were involved in a number of trades which included 2013 first round picks. As a result, they have (or potentially have) the following picks — not including the Lakers trade: Continue reading

What about Houston and Dallas?

This week I wrote a piece for ESPN Insider (you need an Insider account to view it) looking at the cap situations for the entire league heading into this summer’s free agency. Teams naturally fell into categories:

  • The big spenders: Teams way over the luxury tax line.
  • The low-tax teams: Teams between the luxury tax threshold and the apron.
  • The teams just below the tax line: Teams that are capped-out, and which will likely want to stay out of the luxury tax.
  • The teams with big cap room: Teams able to offer at least $20.5 million to a free agent (i.e., enough for Dwight Howard).
  • The field: The remaining 15 teams that aren’t in one of the above categories.

Due to space constraints (yes, space constraints exist, even on a web site where a page is theoretically infinite in length) I had to gloss over the field, and only mentioned this category in passing.

Of course, this gave rise to many “what about _____?” questions, naming one of the 15 teams I had glossed over. The most frequently mentioned teams were the Rockets and Mavericks. These two teams will have a lot of cap room, to be sure — but not enough to make my “big cap room” category.

Let’s take a look at these two teams now, and assess their ability to sign Dwight Howard this summer. Continue reading