A quick update on Kobe’s extension and the Lakers’ cap space

Today the Lakers announced that they have extended Kobe Bryant for two seasons. Terms were not announced, but Ramona Shelburne reported that he will make $23.5 million and $25 million, respectively.

[UPDATE: I have since confirmed that the salary figures are exactly $23.5 million and $25 million. He continues to have an accelerated pay schedule, no incentives, and his contract is fully guaranteed for lack of skill, injury or illness, death, or mental disability.]

Two years is the longest extension he could have signed due to the Over-36 rule. This rule takes effect when a contract is for more than three seasons and ends after the player’s 36th birthday, effectively mooting the salary in the later seasons. For extensions they always count the remaining seasons on the current contract — so Kobe now effectively has a three-year contract, which is the maximum allowed before running into the Over-36 rule. See Question number 56 of my FAQ for more information on this rule.

So where does this leave the team with respect to the 2014 free agent market? The players on the team’s books next summer are as follows:

Player Salary Note
Kobe Bryant $23,500,000
Elias Harris $816,482 Non-guaranteed
Steve Nash $9,701,000
Robert Sacre $915,243
Nick Young $1,227,985 Player option

The salary cap next summer is projected to be $62.9 million. The Lakers will also have their own first round draft pick. Based on their current record, this pick would fall around #15, and would therefore count around $1.5 million against their cap.This would give them a total of about $37.66 million for six players. We need to add another six cap holds totaling $3,04 million, which brings the total to about $40,70 million.

With this team salary, the Lakers would have about $22.2 million in cap room next summer. This will be enough for one maximum-salary player — for example, Carmelo Anthony is eligible to receive up to $22,458,401. While this is slightly above the Lakers’ maximum, there are other things the team can do to create more cap room if Anthony doesn’t want to take slightly less than the amount for which he ls eligible.

The team can save a small amount if it waives Elias Harris’ non-guaranteed salary. A larger savings will come if they waive Steve Nash and utilize the Stretch provision on him. If this happens, only $3.23 million of Nash’s full $9.7 million salary will remain on their books.

If they remove both Harris and Nash, their team salary will drop to about $34.44 million, which would give them about $28.46 million in cap room. This would give them the opportunity to sign one maximum-salary player, and a second player at around the mid-level amount. They would also be eligible to utilize the Room Mid-Level exception for around $2.7 million.

However, this assumes they let all of their free agents walk, including Pau Gasol, Steve Blake, Jordan Farmar, Xavier Henry, Jordan Hill, Chris Kaman, and Jodie Meeks. If the wish to retain any of these players, they will remain on the team’s cap — in fact, Gasol’s cap hold alone will eat up most of the team’s cap room. To free up the potential cap room, these players will have to either:

a) Re-sign with the Lakers, in which case their new salary will count against the team’s cap, which will reduce their cap room for signing free agents.

b) Sign elsewhere, in which case they will be lost.

c) Be renounced by the Lakers, in which case the team loses the ability to sign them using Bird rights.

Let’s say the Lakers really wanted to keep Gasol.While he’s an unrenounced free agent he would count about $20.25 million against the team’s cap, reducing their cap room to about $8.75 million. If he re-signs and takes a one-third discount (similar to what Kobe took) he’d receive about $13 million, which would drop the team’s cap room to about $16 million. If they renounce him they can reclaim the entire $28+ million, but then he’d have to be willing to sign for whatever cap space remains after the team signs other free agents.

So if the Lakers are going to follow-through with their 2014 plan, keeping Gasol would likely require him to take a steep discount.

 

87 thoughts on “A quick update on Kobe’s extension and the Lakers’ cap space

  1. Kris

    Couldn’t Gasol resign for 5 years where he gets paid 6 mil the first year then 2 million added each year of the contract? So by the final year he would be making 14. Wouldn’t that still give the Lakers 20 million in cap room next year?

      1. Kanser

        But, how about some contract like Jeremy Lin and Omer Asik had? If I’m not misunderstood, their contract is not really follow this “limited to 7.5 percent raise” rule, a Poison Pill Provision contract. what’s the difference between their contract and the contract that suggested by Kris?

          1. Kanser

            I mean with Gasol. What situation prevent Gasol to receive contract like Omer and Lin had? Also is it possible if Lakers sign Gasol for around 10-15M maybe and then sign a max. free agent this summer via sign and trade?

  2. Deven

    Kobe is so greedy! All he cares about is being the highest paid player in the league and winning titles. He’s the king of all ball hogs! Should have taken a paycut or something to bring in extra talent for next year.

        1. Kris

          Taking 12 mil less per year is not a pay cut to you? You wanted him to take what? 20 mil less then he could a year?

    1. Daniel

      Bro, kobe is a legend do you get that. He’s the 1st or 2nd greatest player of all time. He wouldn’t take 25 mil a year to rob the Lakers blind for his own gain. He would ruin his entire reputation in this city for 2 yrs of salary. Imagine he signed that big contract and got injured and didn’t play for 2 years, or just did nothing. He would get kicked out of his home, going from top 5 biggest celebrity to just reject. Seriously, who in LA wouldn’t recognize Kobe if they saw him? I personally wouldn’t recognize half these actors/actresses. But my damn mom would even be like That’s Kobe! He’s still feelin it. That dude is a city wide figure and legend. He’s not gonna screw that up because he was just trying to cash out. Honestly, when you’re the 1st or 2nd greatest player of all time, you deserve max money. I hope his play in the next 2 seasons and this will show you that. All-Stars get paid good for a few years and then their pay lowers with time. Hall of Famers even cap off. But legends man……. 25$ mil at 38 no problem. He’s in another league of basketball ability from all others

      1. Frankfrost

        Ball hog never more like the master of ceremonies think of how much schooling he’s gonna do in two yr his catalog speaks for it’s self he’s looking at mj excuse me MJ and 25 or 30 doesn’t matter god bless and did bless him and he grinded for it who knows who Kobe is gonna pass the ball to but when the lakers find someone it’s over he’ll teach him loyalty and everything thatcomes with it for25million#hesnotKurtThomas

    2. J.Roque

      Yo deven please don’t hate Kobe got paid what he got paid because he deserves it because he is the best player in the world so please don’t hate

      1. Chris

        In case you havnt watched the NBA the past few years, Kobe is no longer the best player in the World, Last i checked Lebron has been dominating the NBA and the basketball world the last few years. maybe you mean he “WAS” the best player years ago.

    3. Alex

      Kobe took the offer that was presented to him. I’m a Clippers fan and big hater on Kobe but he’s done nothing wrong here…

      1. lcoon Post author

        Yep. It’s definitely the TEAM’S responsibility to build a three-year and five-year plan, not Kobe’s. That said, keep in mind that Kobe values (or at least he SAYS he values) more rings before he retires. It would have been perfectly reasonable and prudent for him to say, “Let’s talk about the plan for the rest of my career.”

    4. Antonio Pio

      The sports world is the only business in the world where it’s frowned upon to make more money, I don’t see anything wrong with him making more money. And it’s not like he asked for that much, the lakers offered him that upfront with no negotiations, so get your facts right.

      1. lcoon Post author

        The sports world is one of the few businesses in the world with a salary cap. This means that personal income goals can be at odds with team success goals. I know that Kobe neither asked for nor negotiated that figure — but Kobe has also made clear his desire for more rings before he retires. This is a situation where the more he makes, the more he distances himself from his stated goal.

    5. ryan

      how is kobe greedy? they offered it to him and he signed it. if someone offered you a 2 year 48 mil contract would you sign it. he didnt negotiate it. they simply said here is our offer and kobe said sure ill take it. do you expect to be like nah i want less money? who would do that?

      1. lcoon Post author

        See my other replies to comments. The fact that the NBA has a salary cap means that financial goals can be at odds with team success goals. I never called him greedy — I said that he has repeated a desire to win more rings before he retires, and this is a situation where the more he makes, the farther he is from that goal.

  3. Tim

    “It is often reported that the Over-36 rule prevents teams from signing older players to long contracts, but this is false. Teams are not prevented from signing longer contracts — the Over-36 rule simply removes any incentive for doing so.” – http://www.cbafaq.com/salarycap.htm#Q56

    I do not understand why you say it is “Two years is the longest extension he could have signed due to the Over-36 rule” to sign him for over 2 years. When your FAQ contradicts that statement…elaborate?

    1. lcoon Post author

      Yes, technically it is true that the Over-36 rule doesn’t PREVENT a player for signing for more years, it just removes all financial incentive for doing so. Maybe that sentence should have read, “Two years is the longest extension he could have signed before running into the Over-36 rule,” but as the title of the post suggests, I intended this to be a quick update. I didn’t spend the time or space it would take to get every nuance correct. That said, I’ll go back & correct it.

      1. Peter

        Larry, basically what you are saying is that, the application trigger for the over-36 rule is a 3-year extension, and since Kobe only signed a 2-year extension, the over-36 rule is not applicable even though he will be over 36 during the last 2 years of his deal….

        1. lcoon Post author

          Correct. There are two triggers for the Over-36 effects — the contract/extension must cover at least four seasons, and it must end after the player’s 36th birthday.

    1. lcoon Post author

      Bird rights aren’t needed just to give players raises. It’s to give players any amount that leaves the team over the cap.

  4. Earvin Beavers

    I was listening to an espn podcast, and it was said that this takes us out of the conversation for the summer of 2015 to get Kevin love. How is that possible? What if, no max player is signed this summer?

    1. lcoon Post author

      It was with the assumption that they sign a max player this summer. My point was that in the best situation for the Lakers, they could have signed max player(s) both this summer and next summer. You are correct that if they forgo their ability to sign players this year, they can do so next year instead.

      1. greg

        Is it possible the reason for the contract extension ” now” is due in part to a clause in the new TWC deal, that if not written in the contact is at least implied, that the Lakers will use best efforts to resign and keep Kobe on the team for a minimum amount of years? Could the contract with TWC be worth less to the Lakers if Kobe is not on the team?

        1. lcoon Post author

          I haven’t seen the TWC contract, and haven’t heard that it contains any language specific to Kobe.

    1. Derek Hanna JR

      Why would melo stay with that geezer squad the knicks with all that cap space signed to bum Amare and never heard of the word defense JR Smith? Out of shape Felton, over hyphed Bargnani? Please!! Melo is out of there.

  5. Kris

    How do the Bird rights work? Can the Lakers sign a big name free agent for lets say 20 a year then use the bird right exception to re-sign Jordan Hill and go over the cap? How many Bird right provisions can you use a year?

    1. Brad

      Any Bird rights-eligible player is going to come with a cap hold, thereby lessening the amount of room to sign a free agent. They would need to be renounced or sign elsewhere to remove the cap hold and create the space to sign a max free agent. The $22.2M in cap space that Coon explains doesn’t include the cap holds for any of their free agents, so LA wouldn’t be able to use Bird rights to sign any of them above the cap.

  6. jason

    Okay Deven, let’s say you make $10 an hour as a wendy’s Grillman. You’re the first rated grillman in the regions, but, in order for your Wendy’s to make a run at top store in the region, you would have to take a pay cut to $5 per hour. Would you do it?

    1. Steveo

      First, you should’ve compared the Lakers with a restaurant a little more … classy. Second, he didn’t take a pay cut in half ($5 from $10, from your example). It’d be more like a $8 pay cut to keep the franchise growing. As a Grillman I’d say yes. From Kobe’s perspective, that’s cool. But from the franchise’s point of view, it isn’t that great. They would’ve saved a little more for other FA players. But well… thank God it’s not my money haha

    2. bizzmane

      But its more like you are a wendys grillman and you have like infinite money allready and all you can achieve is to make your store the top store for the 6th time and catch up with the best burger roaster all time and a pay cut from 10$ to 1 $ woult increase your chances from 0% to 25%.

    3. TR

      Thanks Jason for putting it in terms that the
      Average idiot can comprehend. I’ve explained it the exact same way to several people I know and they all looked at differently afterwards.

  7. Charles

    It seems to me that all kobe cares about is his money and not winning a championship the lakers should have never have him that kind of money

  8. davidse

    is it reasonable to assume that since kobe’s deal pays him more in his first year rather than the other way around, then the lakers probably intend to go “shopping” next summer and don’t expect to keep some or all of their flexibitliy for the more attractive 2015 offseason ?
    or is this 1.5 mil not enough of a difference for it to really mean anything ?

    1. lcoon Post author

      As I understand it he’s making $23.5M in 2014-15 and $25M in 2015-16 — however, I haven’t seen his actual contract yet.

      1. davidse

        sorry – I completely screwed up my question…

        meant to say that because they pay him more the SECOND year – can we assume they’re counting on 2014/15 and not the following “better” offseason – kevin love, etc…

        damn, the way i wrote it initially makes no sense at all… lol.

  9. Stan Anvik

    Hi Larry,

    Thanks for the update. What is your opinion on who the Lakers will target this summer? Do you think it more likely they wait till 2015 to sign a marquee FA?

    1. lcoon Post author

      They obviously will take a look at the market this year, and if someone is out there whom they feel is worth signing, they’ll make an offer. LeBron would be an obvious yes. Melo would probably be a yes, although I could come up with a list of reasons why that’d be an unwise signing. The question, though, is what happens if the Lakers don’t get any of those tier-one guys. Do they pay big money to the likes of Luol Deng or Kyle Lowry, or do they practice patience, make some short-term signings, and hold tight until 2015? Teams generally don’t exercise that kind of foresight — if there’s money to be spent, teams generally spend it, especially in big markets where fans are more fickle.

  10. Jarahawk

    I’m surprised that anyone is surprised that the Lakers are all in with Kobe. Once they decided to let Dwight walk this was the only move they had to make.

  11. Steveo

    Does this take into account the amount of money the Lakers raise in other markets with Kobe on their roster?? CHINA? Philippines? Turkey? Africa? South America? This is all well-planned. Let’s see how it goes.

    1. lcoon Post author

      The problem with this line of thinking is that Kobe has a limited shelf life. The team will eventually need to re-tool for life after Kobe, and the shorter the turnaround, the better, obviously.

      1. Derek Hanna JR

        Well that point poses an interesting question. Should the Bulls have rode the carriage till the wheels fell off in 1998, or not give jordan his retainer fee contract money and start rebuilding during his twigjlight years? Bulls were mediocre for a while when MJ retired. Just a price they had to pay.

        1. lcoon Post author

          The Bulls also recognized that they needed to re-tool, and set the wheels in motion. Prior to the 1997-98 championship season, Jerry Krause told Phil Jackson that this was his last season no matter what happened (i.e., even if they won the title), and after the season, Jerry Reinsdorf asked Phil if he’d be interested in returning for a rebuilding season if they let Michael & Scottie walk (Phil said no, and told Michael not to base his plans on whether or not he (Phil) was returning).

          In other words, they COULD have kept it together in 1998-99, and, as you said, ridden the carriage until the wheels fell off — but chose not to.

  12. Aaron

    Well, then I think we know what needs to be done….. even tho I love Gasol, we need to trade him. If you keep anyone, it should be Hill. BUT…….a trade involving Blake, Gasol, and Henry could get some teams to entertain a look. Nash should be used with the SP because he above all players has been a total disaster of an experiment (not taking the Howard fiasco into account). Even if we get Melo would that mean that MDA is still the coach? Or does Melo feel better that Kobe would keep MDA at bay? Thanks Larry!!!!

  13. Kevin

    Hey Larry,

    Crazy question, but could Kobe give back some of his money to get another player, essentially renogotiate down?

    1. lcoon Post author

      No. Players used to be able to do that (for example, Magic Johnson did it so the team could sign Terry Teagle), but they can’t do that any more.

      1. orion stirtz

        Could kobe have a contract provission that states that he will have another contract that will supercede his new one and take less money should they sign melo or lebron?

      2. orion stirtz

        If he signed a contract “extension” like it says rather than a “new” contract does that mean that the lakers can still waive kobe at a high salary (but still a huge paycut, thank you Kobe!!!) and resign him when noone else can afford to take over his contract thereby putting the lakers over the cap?

        1. lcoon Post author

          His extension is fully guaranteed, so if they waive him, it will stay on their books — whether or not the re-sign him.

  14. Jason

    Could Kobe took more pay-cut than his current $48.5 million extension Larry? Hypothetically could he have a $30 million/2-years contract? (in other way, what is the minimum amount of salary that Kobe could have?) Cheers!

  15. Tim Womer

    Kobe has enough money for the rest of his life. If he really wanted to win, he would’ve settle for a couple of million, and teamed up with two superstars.

    So here is the theory: Kobe went for the high salary to prevent someone else from becoming The Man in LA as long as he is there. What a horrible personality. I can’t believe someome like that has so many fans.

    1. Derek Hanna JR

      Kobe is from a different old school breed then new school jump to someone else’s team cause they can’t take the pressure LBJ and Bosh Spice…. and! You and no one else for that matter are even stating who the other 2 superstars would even be, relative to the lakers signing 2 big stars. Only 2 stars are Melo and LBJ and both aren’t coming to LA

  16. Derek Hanna JR

    So many idiotic un-informed individuals out there. Quite baffled by this. One comment even said Kobe doesn’t care about championships. The man has 5! People would rather favor a player like CP3 cause he plays team ball, yet loses every single year. Hasnt even sniffed the western conference finals! LAL fans don’t want LeBron due to all the comparisons to Kobe for years. LAL fans will take Melo. But after that where else is that money going? Kyle Lowry??? Please! Maybe Loul Deng at a discount. Wishful thinking for K-Love 2 years from now? LA and the rest of the league. I’d rather pay Kobe then any of the sub-par free agents in 2014 not counting LBJ and Melo.

    1. orion stirtz

      I think the lakers need love and durant with a decent point guard and a defender like deng and kobe and they can make a REAL run at the title!

  17. David

    If the Lakers dealings with top flight free agents over the past 6 months were summed up as social media conversations.
    Lakers: #stay
    D12: not while ‘he’ is in town, I don’t want to have to wait 3 years to take over the team
    Houston: hell yeah
    Lakers: $!@#
    Lakers: will anyone #stay?
    Kobe: only if you give me a cap space crippling amount of money and ensure that I am the unquestioned alpha dog in L.A. until the day I retire
    Lakers: somebody loves us! done deal
    Kobe: time to start complaining about not having enough help for ring 6 :p

    I joke a bit but when stars hit their mid 30′s they aren’t worth as much. Everyone takes a pay cut, but the team players are the ones who drop multiple pay grades. Laker management had their reasons to keep Kobe around, and the ultimate perfectionist will play hard for them. It just seems like shot himself in the foot by eating up so much of the available cap room.

  18. anthony williams

    first off kobe new contract is great for him and the team !!! next the free agent market in 2016 is great ,i think kevin durant is the lakers target in 2016 , in 2014 you go get a greg monroe , 9/10 million a year , next a eric bledsoe 7/8 million a year thats 16 to 18 million a year, then get loul deng 15 million a year next you keep jordan hill , nick young , xavier henry jordan famar, westley johnson ,chris kaman,1 draft pick, you let go paul gasol , steve blake, steve nash ,the lakers will always pay the lux taxes , thier payroll will be between 79 to 81 million , they have a 3 to 5 billion dollar deal with time warner cable so the lakers payout to the leauge is 20 to 30 million a year tops ,thats nothing

    1. Carey Adams

      Monroe and Bledsoe are RFAs. Worst thing they can do is get in a bidding war for either. Detroit can’t afford to let Monroe walk for nothing and Phoenix has already said they are signing any offer even a 4/25% MAX deal (which is essentially cheaper than the 4/25% MAX deal they would offer him because of the % raise is smaller). Also, they can’t keep all those guys, they have to renounce them, and none of those guys are signing for the veteran minimum except maybe Farmar and Johnson.

      1. lcoon Post author

        One argument is that other than LeBron, there really isn’t a player out there who justifies paying the maximum salary. Melo is the obvious guy to think about, but there would be issues with both Melo/Kobe (two guys who need the ball in their hands) and Melo/D’Antoni (didn’t work well in NY), plus Melo really hasn’t won anything — and might not EVER.

        So maybe the lower the bar in 2014 — try to acquire building blocks like Monroe, and look to 2015. I should do a full analysis of this and write it up.

  19. anthony williams

    also people are not thinking kobe bryant is a top 5 all time nba player
    next skill wise ,there’s only one player thats maybe a little better from the black top to the nba hardwood is micheal jordan ,but a one on one match up on the playground
    kobe would win some games and micheal would win some ,next the lakers can feild a championship team , eric bledsoe pg / kobe bryant sg, loul deng sf, greg monroe pf, jordan hill CENTER, BENCH jordan farmar pg, nick young sg, xavier henry sf, wesley johnson pf , chris kaman center, and 2 bench warmers

  20. Keith

    Kobe is still a top 5 player in the league or dare I even say top 2 (Kobe & Lebron). There is no other player in the league aside from Lebron who has been able to elevate their game consistently each and every year. Kobe at 34 had a better season than 90% of the league. Given he is, at a minimum 6 years older than Lebron and KD, to be able to still compete at the level he does is nothing short of astounding. What you all should be saying is why is LA paying Gasol, Blake, and Nash the money they are paying them. As big a jerk as Jim Buss is, he would not have paid Kobe that amount of money if he wasn’t worth it. If Kobe was washed up, Buss would have let Kobe walk and tried to sign other players but my BIG MILLION DOLLAR QUESTION IS, WHO? Who would or could they get in LA without being what they are now while Kobe is sitting. Lebron? not!!! That would be like Lebron in Cleveland all over again. Kevin Love – then they would be The Timberwolves of LA (but a trade that included Love for Gasol and others – I like). Carmelo maybe – but with who else because he needs a star along side him. KD just resigned with OKC, Blake and CP3 are across the hall – so who else is out there. Wait on the draft and hope for Jabare Parker (he needs at least 3 yrs). They thought D12 was the man, but he is even stinking it up in Houston with his none aggressive – poor free-throw shooting self. So WHO other than Kobe could keep the Lakers name synonymous for the next 2 years – I’m waiting while you think.

  21. Carey Adams

    Does this make a lot of sense for them? In addition to what you said, cap exceptions like the MLE, any TPE’s, and bi-annual exception are treated like cap holds. In order to access all that cap space they have to renounce the exceptions as well. So they’ll have Nash provided he doesn’t retire very soon, Nick Young provided he doesn’t opt out (he should), the aforementioned 1st round pick, and Kobe. If you spend $22M on Carmelo you literally have to fill the roster out with veteran minimum players or UDFAs don’t you?

    Unless you find someone to take Nash for some picks, but the earliest 1st that can be sent out would be 2017.

    The Lakers are in serious trouble with this extension money wise. As a player I think Kobe will come back and be productive. He’ll literally will his body to produce. But as we’ve seen you’re not winning with just 2 stars and a bunch of scrubs. It just won’t happen.

    1. lcoon Post author

      Right — but one thing I mentioned in the piece is that they would be able to waive & stretch Nash, which would take 2/3 of his salary off the books in 2014 (at the cost of adding salary in 2015 & 2016).

  22. rahiim

    As much as you guys bash kobe, he isn’t to blame here. He basically accepted what they presented. I highly doubt that they would present such an offer if it was going to handicap them in coming years. Seems as though you guys are expecting a super team to be formed.

  23. Terry

    What so many of you are overlooking is that Kobe took the first offer they presented him. According to multiple people, there was no negotiation. Lakers made Kobe an offer, and he said yes. Its not like he held out of training camp or threw a big fit. Even though BOTH parties have said they want to see Kobe retire as a Laker, everybody knows Kobe had little room for negotiation given his age and health. It is unreasonable to expect a player to say “please pay me less!” when they have what seems to be a reasonable number staring them in the face.

  24. MAMBINO

    Larry – can’t find this anywhere, but feel like this is an important point of contention. Is the paycut that Kobe took the maximum allowed pay cut he could take on an in-season, over-36 extension? Could he have possibly taken less? Feel like this changes the conversation completely if he couldn’t possibly take less $.

    Thanks.

    1. lcoon Post author

      He could have taken the minimum salary in an extension.

      The only rule limiting a pay cut in the first season of an extension is when the contract is extended and simultaneously renegotiated, which isn’t the case here.

  25. Tony

    Hello there Mr. Larry let me make sure I understand something. If the Lakers don’t sign a max guy and Pau takes a 1/3 paycut, would they be able to sign someone like a Monroe or Deng and still be players for say Love and/or Durant in 15/16?

  26. Tony

    Amendment to my original comment, would they be able to keep this current roster together, add Monroe/Deng, AND be players for Love and/or Durant in 15/16

  27. rick

    What do you mean by “minimum salary in an extension”? Could he have taken the vets minimum or the minimum allowed by an extension?

    1. lcoon Post author

      The leauge-wide minimum salary. There is no limit to the pay cut a player can take in the first year of an extension, except under a specific circumstance that doesn’t apply to Kobe.

  28. Anthony

    You know , some people forget that , James , wade, bosh wanted to play with each other , next Miami signed players that were role players , Shane , birdman, Lewis, are not all stars but they play thier role well , ray Allen is a spot up shooter , so Miami got players who haven’t won anything to take lest to win one , now the lakers are in that same position , kobe , deng and Bledsoe, with Pau , and hill are just as strong as any team in the nba , what would make them champs is thier bench players , famar, young, Johnson , are sure bets to stay , so kaman , Henry could be had too , that ten players plus 2 players that see any game action, that 12 players , the lakers will be at 75 to 79 million every year in player cost if being 1 to 6 million over the lux tax apron can bring you title , then why not , Los Angeles is not a small market , next the lakers have a 3 billion tv deal , and the lakers make a lot of money for the nba

  29. William

    The Lakers must know what they are doing, throwing that kind of money on the table. The 5 rings wouldn’t be there if not for Kobe. BUT, the fact remains that he could have made it easier for the Lakers to rebuild a championship team before he starts using a walker. Unfortunately he is a egotistical ball hog and can be locker room cancer. That being said, there isn’t a b ball player out there that is anymore prepared to play….

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