From Daniel Buerge, Lakers Nation: The idea of uncertainty is one that frightens many people. As humans, we get comfortable with our surroundings and are afraid to step beyond our own grounds and put ourselves in a place we do not know. This is why such a large percentage of the world’s population die within 15 miles of where they were born. We get used to something, and we do whatever we can to hold onto it. Yet that doesn’t stop the change from coming. No matter how much we long for things to remain the same, especially when things are going well, we can’t avoid (or ignore) the change when it does happen.
From Ramona Shelburne, ESPN: The Los Angeles Lakers have until July 16 to decide whether to use their one-time amnesty provision, or to give peace a chance. Metta World Peace, that is.The veteran small forward is one of four players – Steve Blake, Pau Gasol andKobe Bryant are the others — who the Lakers can still use the amnesty provision on to help lessen their luxury tax burden next season. The Orange County Register reported Monday afternoon that “barring some late change” World Peace and his $7.7 million salary would be amnestied to help the Lakers save approximately $30 million in luxury tax fees. The time frame to amnesty players is July 10-16. Lakers sources indicated to ESPN that the team is still weighing the situation carefully and “looking at everything.”
From Kurt Helin, Pro Basketball Talk: Especially without Dwight Howard sticking around, the Lakers are loaded with cap space next summer — right now only Steve Nash is on the books for the summer of 2014 (and they could waive him and use the stretch provision to provide more cap space). The Lakers will ink Kobe Bryant to a new, discounted deal (ala Tim Duncan and Kevin Garnett) to get his massive cap hold off the books, then they will have wheelbarrows of money to spend. And Carmelo Anthony could be their target. Anthony can opt out of his deal with the Knicks next summer. People on both coasts are speculating a move to Los Angeles is possible.
From TheGreatMambino, Silver Screen & Roll: The short term ramifications of losing Dwight Howard in free agency are obvious: even the most fanciful dreams of returning as title contenders next season are officially dead. The Lakers watched a 27-year-old center–whose capabilities, when healthy, make him a top-5 NBA player–walk right out the door. Gone is a future face of a franchise, whose defensive dominance would have kept the Lakers competitive even in the most dire of injury situations. The Lakers have lost their starting center, the fulcrum of their D and a perennial All-Star.
From Rob Mahoney, Sports Illustrated: Over the past 15 years, the Lakers have built and bridged empires through stout basketball operation and uncanny good fortune. They’ve run through a wealth of basketball riches that might seem incomprehensible to some of the league’s long-suffering franchises, and in the process become both beloved and reviled, largely because of a string of star player pairings that goes beyond the serendipitous. When it comes to the acquisition of prized players, the Lakers seem to get their way — be it in the signing of Shaquille O’Neal, the re-signing and appeasement of Kobe Bryant, the acquisition of Pau Gasol, the fulfillment of a long-rumored trade for Dwight Howard or even in flipping a few draft picks to land Steve Nash. All teams have grand designs, but the Lakers seem to follow through on their pipe dreams at an outrageous rate.