Around The World (Wide Web): 2014, Lakers, Cap Space, MDA

Ryan Cole —  July 23, 2013

From Jared Dubin, Grantland: The 2013 free-agency signing period isn’t even over yet, but already the basketball world can barely wait for the summer of 2014, when LeBron James, Dwyane Wade, Chris Bosh, and Carmelo Anthony can all become free agents. Adding fuel to the fire is the fact that the Lakers will be armed with loads and loads of cap space, and consequently will be writing checks to LeBron, Carmelo, Thor, and anyone else they damn well please, according to various reports. You can’t turn your head twice without seeing something about the Lakers’ grand 2014 plan, which is all well and good, except that the Lakers won’t have nearly as much cap space as people seem to think they will. Let’s stipulate a few things before we break down the most possible room under the cap the Lakers can have:

From Bill Paschke, LA Times: At first glance, the rebuilding Lakers will make you cover your mouth in shock. No Dwight Howard. No Metta World Peace. No Earl Clark. No new coach. No defined ownership. No clear plan. No Showtime. No Lake Show. No Bench Mob. No way in heck are you going to rush home from work on a Tuesday night in February to watch the fourth quarter of their game in Atlanta. But now wait. Look at what is left. Look at what has been added. If you really look at it, when you slowly remove your hand from your mouth, you might actually be smiling. In losing some of their hype and much of their hope, the Lakers gained something that has been missing in the three years since the final moments of Game 7 against Boston. These Lakers could actually be fun again. There is a little chance they will make the playoffs. There is a decent chance they will stink. There is zero chance they will play any defense. But with something to prove and nothing to lose, they are almost guaranteed to entertain.

From Kurt Helin, Pro Basketball Talk: While fans (and a lot of front office executives) around the league have enjoyed the Lakers stumbles last season, we all know the plan. And it’s a very feasible one. The Lakers will muddle through this season then rebuild on the fly through free agency in the summer of 2014 when virtually everybody comes off the books. They can attack free agency hard and sign a couple max players. They have reportedly targeted LeBron James and Carmelo Anthony. Except, the Lakers don’t have quite as much cap space as everyone thinks. Depending on what they do it could be more like $36 million.

From Dan Duangdao, Lakers Nation: After spending time with Colin Cowherd on ESPN 710AM to discuss the possibilities of joining the Lakers last week, it seems like Paul George can’t escape the continuing speculation that will only intensify throughout the season. George is currently at USA Basketball’s minicamp in Las Vegas and everywhere he goes, there are Lakers fans trying to persuade him to join the team next summer. While it’s getting a little repetitive, he does appreciate people wanting him in the purple and gold, according to Yahoo! Sports: “I understand it. I can’t really be mad about it. It’s a great feeling when people in the stands really want you.”

From Michael C. Jones, Yahoo Sports: The 2012-13 season was an unmitigated disaster for the Los Angeles Lakers, and when the time came for fans to place blame on someone, head coach Mike D’Antoni was an easy target. Does the former New York Knicks and Phoenix Suns head coach deserve some of the blame for what went terribly wrong? Absolutely. But in his defense, he inherited a roster full of players unfamiliar with one another, tried to install a new system in-season and had an absurd amount of injuries to every one of his key players to contend with.The most glaring reason he drew the ire of fans was because he wasn’t Phil Jackson, the coach who the Lakers teased everyone with by going public that they were considering bringing back. For better or worse, LA is sticking with D’Antoni for the foreseeable future. And to his credit, he deserves a shot to see what he can do with a full offseason and the chance to get familiar with his players before the season starts.

Ryan Cole

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52 responses to Around The World (Wide Web): 2014, Lakers, Cap Space, MDA

  1. Let me quote one of my two sources with the Lakers…

    “The Lalers are going to do everything to get LeBron. That means putting him (per his request) next to two other max players his age (Melo/Cousins). That means picking LeBron over Kobe if Kobe doesn’t accept close to the min next summer. The front office is okay letting Kobe walk if it means adding LeBron, Melo, and a third max young player (Cousins). Having said that they don’t believe Kobe will walk away from that team considering he could sign a one year min deal and turnaround and sign a three year max deal in 2015 with the Lakers.”

  2. …basically… Kobe isn’t going to cost the Lakers anything on the cap that summer. If he doesn’t trust the Lakers will re up him for the max in 2015 he will leave this upcoming summer. In other words… If the Lakers can add another max player to put along side Melo and LBJ Kobe will either be playing for close to the min for the Lakers or won’t be playing for the Lakers at all. The Lakers rightfully believe they have all the leverage and also are not afraid to lose out on Bryant’s services in 2014 considering he would be a 36 year old SG on one achilles.

  3. @Aaron
    I find it hard to believe that the Lakers would put forward an ultimatum like you are describing. To give Kobe his walking papers like that would alienate the team in the eyes of not only the fans, but also many players who would see this as an enormous betrayal. If Kobe voluntarily accepts the min then that would be ridiculously fantastic.

    It’s very odd to consider Cousins as a max player even with his very good stats last year. I’d love it if this shook out like this though!

  4. Um, LBJ, ‘Melo, and Cousins can all get more staying with their current teams, right?

    A lot of this speculation seems to assume no competiton at all for any of the “top”* players the Lakers are supposed to want (*again: Cousins??).

    What about teams in states w/o income taxes (Orlando; Heat; Mavs; Rockets; Spurs) …. for that matter, Oregon has no sales tax, while here in CA they hammer us every which way with both income and sales taxes.

    Oh well, I guess it’s harmless enough to fantasize …

  5. KenOak,
    Why would you be shocked? The Lakers let a 32 year old Shaq (the greatest Lakers Center of all time) walk in order to get (keep) Kobe. Why wouldn’t they let a 36 year old Kobe (with one achillies) walk in order to get LeBron (in my opinion the greatest player of all time)? From both a business and basketball standpoint It’s not really a tough choice is it?

    R,
    Please read all my past posts and listen to LeBrons personal beat writer on ESPN RADIO being interviewed by Mike & Mike. LeBron will only go somewhere where they can offer him three max slots. One for him and two for Melo and a third max player. The Lakers as of now are the team best positioned to offer him that. He also says he wants to be the first billion dollar player. The lakers have the second biggest market in the states and have by far the biggest fan base in America and all over the world. This allows him to considerably increase his endorsement dollars with all his sponsors while also bringing in more sponsors in the first place. In the future please don’t make me repeat myself ;)

  6. KenOak,
    Sorry forgot to touch on your Cousins point. You’re more or less right. He isn’t a max player as of now especially because he is crazy. And that’s why the Lakers can get him since he is a RFA. SAC won’t be inclined to pay him max money because he isn’t worth that kind of money to be their number one player/building block. He also is crazy enough for him to threaten the Kings with “you better not match the Lakers offer or I’ll make your lives a living hell” and they will believe him. But for the Lakers he is worth it to be their third best player and a rare young Center who can spread the floor for LBJ. A Center version of Chris Bosh who also didn’t deserve the Max from other team but did for the Heat.

  7. Aaron,
    I am sure the Lakers’ front office is going over the scenario you have described and determining how to bring that about. However, I am also sure they are going over a lot of other scenarios for next summer, including a combination of summer 2014 and summer 2015.

    Should they really be serious about this I suspect we will see them get under the luxury tax limit before the end of this year, so that they can also be under for 2014/15 and won’t pay a repeater tax in 2015/16 and beyond. Should they do this, I still suspect the change will be a two-tiered one (2014, then 2015) rather than putting themselves back in the luxury tax business for 2014. Not only does this make more financial sense, but the 2015 free-agent class also has better true prospects below Lebron.

    Finally, I don’t really get the Melo desire at a maximum price – other than he is a buddy of Lebron. While a terrific scorer, he has not been a great locker-room presence (though not a cancer), is sort of a black-hole on offense, and isn’t a defensive threat. That doesn’t seem to be a winning combination for today’s game.

  8. I said I would go with Aaron’s pipe dream until someone came up with something better. Note to this entire board: I am still with Aaron’s pipe dream.

    Aaron: One issue is that there is no chance that LBJ leaves if he is coming off a three-peat. The possibility of going four-peat which is something neither Jordan or Kobe ever did would be too tempting. And the odds of Miami winning next year are probably about 50/50.

    “The most glaring reason he drew the ire of fans was because he wasn’t Phil Jackson” Yes – this is truly an unfair comparison. Let’s be reasonable.

  9. “No new coach. No defined ownership. No clear plan. ” And there it is. I’m not sure how you start with that and end with “fun” but he did it. Whether the Lakers will or not – I guess it depends on your perspective, but when I hear Del Harris’ name, the last thing I think of is “fun”.

  10. Aaron,
    The only retort that I might have to the Shaq comparison is that Shaq pushed his way out of LA as much as the Lakers chose Kobe. You can’t scream yell at your owner to “pay me my money” without consequences. Especially a players owner like Jerry Buss. And Kobe is more beloved now than Shaq was then for sure. Kobe has only been a Laker his entire career.

    My claim would be that if Kobe asks for 10 you try to sell him on a min contract that you could max out like you suggested, but if KB balks at that, then you pay him 10 and sell LBJ on one other max player and a mid tier guy. It will be pretty fun to see this play out though!

  11. R replies:

    Aaron you repeat yourself over and over (and over!) without any prompting from me. :0)

    Nevertheless, thanks for the recap (seriously).

    However … regarding what the man child LBJ wants: “The Lakers as of now are the team best positioned to offer him that.” Well, that’s your opinion. May not be LBJ’s. Neither now nor a year down the road.

  12. The problem is, the Heat has the same options re: Grantland. What’s preventing them from getting another big three after securing a big paycut from Wade? They could just as well let Bosh go and get Cousins or somebody else with the way their contracts are set up.

  13. Robert,
    That goes along with the “if Wade isn’t healthy LBJ leaves,” if wade doesn’t get back to being Wade inte regular season it seems unlikely LBJ can carry a team by himself to a championship as a low seed. The reason LBJ carried the Heat to a championship all by himself last year was because Wade was healthy in the regular season and put up good stats as well. If he doesn’t the Heat don’t game all those game 7’s at home and probably don’t get to the Finals to begin with. But I started out saying if Wade is healthy and the Heat win another championship there is a 99 percet chance LbJ stays in Mia.

  14. Harold,
    The Heat are over the cap even if Wade goes crazy and opts out of his contract to take a pay cut in his early 30’s. They have a lot of old vets on the books for serious money. All they can do is hope Wade goes to Germany and gets on PEDs and they movie forward for another couple years with Wade, LBJ, and Bosh and bring in younger role players for the min like Farmar, Johnson, and Young. Oh wait….

  15. R,
    It’s not my opinion of what LBJ wants. Its what ive been told he wants. Like I’ve already said (here I go again repeating myself) my sources tell me this is everything Melo told Kobe about what Melo and LBJ want.

  16. Harold,

    Not that I am going along with the LBJ/Melo pipe dream, but Wade and Bosh have player options next summer. Bosh won’t get the kind of money he is getting now in his next deal. Why would he opt out? I can see Wade opting out for a longer deal that secures his money. But Chris Bosh knows he’s the odd man out. If he opts out he is basically choosing to either play elsewhere or take a steep pay cut to stay in Miami. I can’t see him doing either.

    They may have a little extra to play with thanks to Wade. But unless LeBron takes a sizeable pay cut as well I don’t see how Miami is going to restock their roster with top level talent outside the big 3 unless Arison is prepared to pay a steep tax bill.

  17. Craig,
    The soul reason to bring in Melo is he is tied with LeBron. That’s reason enough. Melo is also a very good offensive player (not great) and an average defensive player (though not average compared to other very good offensive players).

    Watch Melo in all star games and on the National team. He is fantastic off the ball as a spot up shooter and slasher. He was the second best offensive player on those national teams behind LeBron (even better than Durant).

  18. Honestly I am not familiar with the cap situation in Miami, but what if none of the three opt out (LeBron out of loyalty?) setting the Heat up for major cap room space in 2015? It’s a one-year delayed scenario compared to the Lakers, but LeBron will likely get Wade on the cheap, Bosh maybe or maybe not, with nobody else eating up cap space but him and he doesn’t have to leave Miami, doing away with the stigma that comes with changing teams often.

    Also, he may not want to help Kobe get another ring (although I think it would weaken Kobe’s case further if Kobe wins one with LeBron as opposed to strengthening it), and the tax situation in Miami, if i remember correctly, is better than in CA. Plus, the western conference always seems to be a bit tougher than the eastern conference.

  19. @ Aaron, Shaq is not the best Laker center of all time, i think a certain Lew Alcindor would have something to say about that.Shaq and Kobe could not coexist at the time which is a shame bc they could had won probably 2 more rings. But the Lakers were wise in trading the 32 y/o center that was starting to decline while disrespecting the owner and keep the 24 y/o sg that was in the verge to enter his prime, easy decision for Dr Buss. About those “sources” they look awfully familiar to every 2 bit Lakers dirt sheet out there, full of wild guesses. I really really doubt LBJ is coming to LA, why would he? He has a great situation in Miami 3peat or not. About Melo why the Lakers would max a 30y/o? To be where we are right now in 3 years? And if people think Kobe is going to accept a vet min for the promise of a max the next season is insane. Like he is going to take a 29 mill paycut, get real.We are hoping he takes a paycut on Timmy or KG level. And i think Kobe and the FO have made abundantly clear that he will retire a Laker. And lastly i seen the Lakers go thru a 7 and gasp!!! 12 years drought, im certain the team will get back to his usual place way sooner than that, i hope they dont blow all their cap load next summer and be wise with that. If they are not back in contention in 2014? Im ok with that there are some good names in 2015, people need to stop whinning bc the Lakers havent won a championship in the last 2 weeks.

  20. Another thing is that players of LBJ caliber worry about this little thing called “legacy” after the Decision fiasco how would it look for him to bolt to yet another team? Not good at all. If im am to guess i say he would opt in next season, sign another max after that with Miami and finish his career in Cleveland. Melo is more posible because he really dont have any legacy, but not desirable in my opinion because we dont need another 30y/o plus Melo cant play a lick of defense.

  21. Warren Wee Lim July 23, 2013 at 7:16 pm

    I may have mentioned this but Melo is the best fit beside Kobe. A natural scorer like him would thrive with a creator/scorer like Kobe.

    LBJ and Melo is shooting for the stars. That is the plan, but we all know that isn’t realistic. The most realistic guy for this plan is Carmelo. For the Lakers not to mention Lebron James in the discussion is careless and not doing due diligence and weakening your position. You have to always assume that the top 2 free agents in the world is coming to LA.

    On a more realistic landscape, I would build my summer around Carmelo Anthony, Kobe Bryant, Pau Gasol, Steve Nash… then perhaps a Marcin Gortat. That would be a team that works offensively but at the same time can work defensively. Everything depends on Kobe’s health and contract but I doubt Kobe sacrifices “too much” as much as taking the MIN to do it. He knows that 2014 is his last best chance with 2015 as a backup. He “could” take the MIN, but he wouldn’t.

    Nash – 9.7
    Sacre – 0.9
    Young – 1.2
    sub total: 11.8M

    Bryant – 12.5
    Gasol – 10.5
    Carmelo – 22.0
    Gortat – 8.0
    sub total: 53.0M

    Plus-Minus 2 million to be worked out within the 4 of them, this team is more or less the ultimate form of a coup to beat Miami’s.

  22. @ Warren i concur with a lot of your points but the thing is that Melo needs the ball on his hands too, he is the most posible but like i said we dont need another 30 something signed for a long term. And already mention what i think about his D.

  23. As dubious as we all are of Aaron’s “sources” I for one am at least entertained by the thought of what he says coming true. It’s fun to think about just like dreaming that Kate Upton wants to date me.

    Keep it up Aaron! Your posts may be the only thing that keeps me reading during this upcoming (disastrous) season.

  24. Harold: “the tax situation in Miami, if i remember correctly, is better than in CA”

    You got that right!

    Florida Sales Tax: Florida sales tax rate is 6%.
    Florida State Tax: Florida does not have a state income tax.

  25. Aaron,

    Have you read the articles saying that signing Lebron and Melo would be extremely hard? If this is true, how can the Lakers sign them both AND Cousins??? That’s 3 max players. I hope you have a good answer to this because I’d love to believe it. I hope your source is good with math.

  26. Rubenowski,
    The facts are the lakers can waive Nash and use the stretch provision. That means they literally only only would have Nash’s 3 million on the books (if they don’t trade him) and Nic Youngs min contract. That’s literally enough room for three max contracts. Anybody who says the Lakers would have a tough time signing two max contract under the cap didn’t do their homework and/or can’t count.

  27. Fern,
    I go by eye test and PER. Shaq literally out weighed Kareem by 100 pounds. It wouldn’t be fair. Kareem was already past his prime when he came to the Lakers and was winning championships. That’s why I put Shaq ahead of Wilt as well. Wilt was going against 6-5 white guys. But if anyone could compete with Shaq it was Wilt. No doubt.

  28. Goddamn, what a monster that Wilt.

  29. Shaq was bigger but it dont make him a better player than Kareem. Your right about Wilt though.

  30. I thought you are not allowed to discuss unconfirmed rumors on this site.?

  31. “Kareem was already past his prime when he came to the Lakers and was winning championships.”
    I hope this is just bad grammar. Let’s briefly review just the highlights of KAJ’s accomplishments as a Laker: One time Finals MVP; Three time league MVP; All NBA First team six times; NBA Rebounding Champ once; League leader in blocks four times.

  32. consistently one of the first down the floor, every basketball shot, great passer, always making the basketball play, getting blocks even when beaten on the play, wow…yes, a monster. modern players wouldn’t know what to do. oh yes, he was stronger than he looked too. i like the play where here gets tied up and wrestles the ball from two other players. he swung both of them around…yes, a monster. did i mention he had the energy to do that for an entire game, not just 20 or 30 minutes? i was fortunate to be old enough to be aware of the end of his career when he became a Laker in 68…

  33. Aaron,
    I do disagree with you on some things, but you generally keep it interesting. However, on this Kareem and Wilt thing you simply don’t know what you are talking about. Did you ever see these two play basketball? – I have!

    Kareem,
    Simply the most complete and talented center ever to play the game. His weak spot was that he often didn’t outweigh his opponent, however, his footwork, agility, and sky-hook simply embarrassed a number of very good centers.

    Wilt,
    The most dominant center to ever play the game – bar none. Russell stopped him because of the team around him, not because he individually could handle Wilt. There were some bums playing center in the 60s and 70s, but there were a number of very good centers who could give Shaq all he wanted, especially with the rules they played under. Incidentally, there have been a lot of bums playing center over the last 15 years – as a matter-of-fact there are a lot of players who shouldn’t be listed as centers playing the 5 position. Wilt was as tough as they come and often had welts over his body at the end of games from the pounding he took. Let me know when you think Shaq could have averaged 48min over a season and I will admit he was as well conditioned as Wilt was. Until then Shaq is one of the greats, but he certainly wasn’t clearly better than Wilt.

    When I say both Kareem and Wilt were better than Shaq I am not putting Shaq down. He may have had the talent to be the best there ever was, but he didn’t get everything he could out of his talent and that is on Shaq.

  34. Did you ever see these two play basketball? – I have!

    There is a lot of value in seeing guys play, but timeline bias cuts both directions. Older people tend to go on memories and images a lot when they talk about guys from their youths, just as young people and middle-aged people tend to assume that the guys in the current generation and from their generation, respectively, are the best ever. Also, stats–including playing 48 minutes a game–need to be adjusted based on context, and global timeline adjustments are very difficult, since all players are in some ways products of their time.

    Aaron is certainly adding some intrigue to this off-season here at FBG. He is definitely the July FBG MVP (Most Valuable Poster, other than Darius and the site writers) IMO.

  35. Craig,
    If you’re old enough to watch Wilt play you’re too old to correctly remember ;) I have seen many games on tape of Wilt and many more games of Kareem in his prime playing for the Bucks. Kareem just would never be in Shaq’s league. I won’t really talk about it and validate the conversation. Nobody has ever gave up so much size and weight and been able to compete. I doubt Kareem would be the first one.

    Wilt though I will listen to arguments. But the facts his PER was the same as Shaq’s and Shaq was going against modern day athletes and Wilt was going against 6-6 white guys you just logically need to give the edge to Shaq. But you at the same time need to give Wilt credit for being way ahead of his contemporaries. And nobody that knows basketball thinks Russell was in the same league as Wilt. He was a 6-8 Center who shot 44 percent for the field. Everyone knows Russell was the product of playing on a all star team. You can’t just play on one side of the ball. 44 percent from the field for a center who doesn’t shoot threes???!!!!!

  36. R,
    Sorry… Bad grammar. I meant by the time Kareem was on the Lakers and winning championships in LA he was already passed his prime.

  37. In Kareem´s book `Giant Steps´ he writes about his on-court battles with Wilt and off-court relationship as well (which went back to when he was at Power, if I´m not mistaken), good stuff

    I´d like to add my two cents to the ongoing speculation about Summer `014:
    With all due respect, can´t we put our collective energy into THIS upcoming season instead? That is, let´s live in the now folks! Things, as most of you must know, have a way of working themselves out, right? So let´s give our fellas the push they´ll need to get to wherever they may go.
    I, for one, like our `barely an underdog´ status for the `013 season.

  38. This site is being dominated by someone who claims to have sources…Well I have sources too…and they told me that Lebron doesn’t want to play for the Lakers….My source is inside the Lebron circle…OK lets all comment on that. See my point….anyone can claim sources and its has no truth to it…. ” I won’t really talk about it and validate the conversation” …….Really???? You need to take communication classes…and learn that you can/cant validate a conversation..Its not up to you…BTW….KAJ way better then Shaq…..Defense and offense…

  39. ahhh, gene adds another ray of sunshine!

  40. there were almost as many 7 footers(well, 6-10 and bigger) in the NBA in 1967 as there are today. y 1972, that was REALLY true. there were extrodinary players just like today. there were astonishing physical specimens, just like today. they had crappier shoes…and a guy like Wilt could run full speed for 48 minutes. Shaq would be on the floor gasping for breath. Wilt would win the strength battle against Shaq, too. as you can see, Wilt was bigger than Shaq:
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bU43dTuMuig
    check the other players featured on Youtube in the Wilt Chaimberlin Archives channel. the NBA had less teams and only the very best played in those days. talent was more concentrated and there are a number of forgotten players who were as good as anybody today. basketball is basketball. steroids and shoes don’t change that.

  41. Stats are a way of confirming information or of bringing previously unexamined areas into the conversation. I posit that stats should never be the determining factor deciding who is the greatest.
    A) Stats always have their own bias built in.
    B) The game and the players evolve, resulting in different emphasis, both in play and in approach to the game – not necessarily better or worse, just different.

    It does take seeing these players to derive final judgements and the quality of video makes this difficult today. That is one reason I think we should not have any GOAT discussions. If someone is in the discussion, that is about all we can agree on.

    I followed Kareem from his high school days and Wilt from his college track-and-field days so yes, I am biased. But I also followed Shaq from his college days as well. Shaq did dominate the NBA, but no one has ever dominated the game like Wilt did in the 60s. It had the added flavor of a black man simply putting everyone else in their place and not bowing to any kind of convention – at a time when the country was extremely riled up. The atmosphere was incredibly charged.

    Aaron, you are right – he was way ahead of his time, as was Bill Russell on the defensive end. Bill Russell was 6’9″ and changed the way we played defense throughout basketball everywhere.

    P.S. Thurmond, Lanier, and other very good centers of those days would not like to be characterized as 6’6″ cream puffs. You wouldn’t survive a confrontation with them.

  42. Thurmond is on TeeVee in the Bay Area for the Warriors, and he STILL looks like he could put the hurt on somebody.

    Oh, and Bill Russell was a champion in College, too. It wasn’t by accident the dude has all those rings.

    I’m slow to minimize the accomplishments of past superstars because the competion was arguably weaker back in the day. All any champion can do is compete against the best of his era. Russ won 11 titles in 13 NBA seasons. The two teams his teams lost to were (also) stocked with HOF players and coached by a HOF coach. What more could reasonably be asked of the man?

    BTW, I happen to hate the Celtics!

  43. I am a regular reader of FB&G. I can clearly see we don’t have anything interesting to talk at this time of the year. I can’t see LBJ in a lakers jersey next season, not happening. And Melo said he ‘doubt it’ if he’s gonna sport a purple and gold next season.
    Right now I am more excited for the 2013 season. The only thing that interests me is any changes in the team or management.

    I am sure the LBJ/Melo/Cousins topic would be clearer by the end of the season. And it would be worthy to spend time upon it.
    And yeah KAJ> Shaq in my personal opinion. I personally skip Aaron’s posts now a days. :D I am just saying, now a days.

  44. …but no one has ever dominated the game like Wilt did in the 60s. It had the added flavor of a black man simply putting everyone else in their place and not bowing to any kind of convention – at a time when the country was extremely riled up. The atmosphere was incredibly charged.
    _______
    well stated Craig

  45. PurpleBlood,
    I think we should take our que from the front office who have said they are putting all their energy into the summer of 2014, not this upcoming season and follow suit. The most we can hope for out of this season is a top lottery pick. Lets keep it real on this site please.

  46. Everyone… Always remember as more and more reports come out always remember who told you first. When Wade continues to be broken down and LBJ leaves Mia and arrives with Melo and a third star in LA remember who broke the news first. I thought of it all on my own. Although I didn’t write it in the site until I got confirmation from a couple difference sources. I’m just saying I wasn’t the credit guys. Pretty please?

    http://www.latimes.com/sports/basketball/nba/lakers/la-sp-lakers-2014-20130724,0,5529055,full.story

  47. Aaron,
    thanks for the heads-up from the FO –
    As to keeping it real,
    my statement above simply stems from a never-say-die optimism, which is rooted in my FB&G heart, hence my commenter´s monicker (obviously lifted from Magic), but I got ya, it´s all good

  48. Yeah we’re lucky Aaron has his sources. (The best friend of the wife of the guy who cuts the hair of the pool guy who works for Riles in Malibu?)

    PurpleBlood – I vote with you; let’s try to enjoy whatever the upcoming season brings. For me maybe it’ll be watching the Lakers play the Warriors in Oakland.

  49. One thing to keep in mind: A lot of people assume that next season is only about signing Free Agents. However, the Laker’s expiring deals also allow them to pursue trades with other teams that may want the same cap space flexibility. A certain ex-Bruin in a state near Canada comes to mind as a possible in-season target, but it would cost the Laker’s a near max spot for at least two seasons. I personally think we would be better off with a trade like that going into free agency then betting all of the marbles on free agency.

    Then again, If Kobe and Pau sign for pennies on the dollar…. then getting two near-max free agents seems possible – but do we really think that BOTH of these guys will take a pay cut?

    I wonder what Aaron’s sources would say about this.

  50. Aaron,

    Kareem is not only the greatest center on all time but the GOAT. Check out the career from high school to pros. Nothing but championships at every level. And you forget they outlawed Kareem from dunking in college because no one could stop him. It was because of that he had to learn the sky hook. Also Jabbar was much stronger than people realized. Think about it his go to move the Skyhook required him to balance on one leg absorb contact usually from multiple defenders and get the shot off. Remember, it was Kareem who knocked out Kent Benson, so he had a mean streak also. The order is Kareem, Wilt then Shaq. Wilt was a phenom himself and held various records, he was probably the strongest man ever to play in the NBA. Now Shaq had size and brutish force but with athleticism never before seen in a human being that big. He was a great player and maybe the last great pure big man we will see in the game (hope not). Having seen all three I do believe that Shaq could have been the greatest if he dedicated himself his entire career like he did his MVP year but we all know that Shaq loved his double-cheese burgers! Also, Kareem was in his prime when the Lakers traded for him not past it…he became in the league in 69 became a Laker in 75 thats only six years into his pro career hardly past his prime.

    CraigW

    Your right the centers back then were not cream puffs nor were they 6’6″. Wes UnSeld was only 6’7″ but he was big and bad man. Big Bob Lanier (winner of the NBA 1on1 I believe) was 6’11” huge like Shaq with great footwork and Nate Thurmond people forget is a Hall of Famer and one of the best Defensive players of all time.

  51. Manny,

    The only way Minnesota is trading Love here is if he tells them that there is no possible way that he is staying after 2015, which seems very unlikely. Minnesota is trying to make the postseason to make Minny more attractive to Love long-term. Also Love’s dad is buddies with Adelman–that was one of the reasons Adelman got that job.

    So, your scenario is not really any more likely than Aaron’s.