Lakers to Chase Kyle Lowry and Lance Stephenson?

Darius Soriano —  July 2, 2014

UPDATE: Well, so much for a potential chase of Kyle Lowry. The free agent guard has decided that Toronto is the “right place” for him and has re-signed with the Raptors to the tune of 4 years/$48 million. He will have an early termination option after the 3rd year of his deal, giving him the chance to opt out and test the free agency waters again when he’s 31 years old. As noted below, it was always a long shot that Lowry would be a Laker, but the idea of pursuing him still intrigued. The Lakers, though, never really got that chance. Instead, they will meet with Carmelo Anthony tomorrow as planned, hoping to land the superstar forward.

While I am admittedly a bit skeptical of how the Lakers’ free agency plans will play out, it doesn’t mean they should not be putting their best foot forward by exploring all their options and pursuing a path to improve the team. After all, even after the draft, the Lakers still have as many as seven roster spots to fill just to get to the minimum of 13 to carry for the season. There is work to do.

That work seems to involve exploring the tier below the superstar gets and targeting two perimeter players:

Before we get too ahead of ourselves, I’m not incredibly encouraged that either player will be a Laker next season. There are hurdles to clear in the form of contract terms likely to be offered (the Lakers are rumored to only do a 2 or 3 year deal for free agents not named LeBron or Carmelo) and the competition the Lakers face from other suitors who offer more complete rosters to join. Not to mention the Lakers are merely listed as “interested” or “bidders” which only amounts to so much.

In saying all that, I would be on board with the Lakers signing either or, if possible, both free agents.

For those who have followed this site for some time, you likely remember Reed, a fantastically astute basketball fan who posted thoughts here both on the main board and in the comments. Over the summer we have discussed all things Lakers’ and early this summer he had thoughts on these exact two players:

I see two really interesting unrestricted free agents this summer that are young, have room to grow, and reasonably likely to be all star level producers — Kyle Lowry and Lance Stephenson. They are rare unrestricted free agents in that they are very young and have room to grow. There is some likelihood they both produce at 15M a year levels. If we could lock up both for beginning at 9-10, stretch Nash to free up another 6, and bring back Gasol, I’d be pretty happy.

More on Lowry:

Point Guard is a critical position given the breadth of PG talent in the league, and he can match up physically with other elite players at the position. He would provide playmaking and take pressure off of Kobe going into hero mode. Plus, he is pretty low risk to bust, and would be a valuable trade chip in the future when going after even bigger fish (Westbrook, Durant, etc.)

And on Lance:

I think we see if we can land Stephenson on a favorable deal. I was actually happy to see his erratic behavior during the playoffs as I believe it drove down his price and probably limited the number of interested suitors. But I believe that Kobe + the right coach could maximize his talent, which is prodigious.  He’s the one FA out there that could probably be had for $8-9M a year, but who could provide max level returns. Maybe you give him an opt out after a year or two in case he breaks out, but try to get him in the door this year at a favorable price.

You can quibble with what it might cost to get either player (Lance just turned down $8-9 million a year from the Pacers), but this analysis is sound. Both Lowry and Stephenson offer prodigious talent are relatively young (28 and 23 respectively), and are physically gifted for their positions. (Yes, Lowry is only listed as 6 feet, but he is sturdy and strong and offers very good quickness as well.)

Of course there are questions about both players too. Lowry has bounced around the league in large part because he can be a pain in the butt to his coaches. He has reportedly matured in last couple of years, but there’s a reason that he’s 28 and just now seen as a player who will command $10+ million on the open market. And Lance is, well, Lance. He’s been seen as a head case since he came into the league and his antics in the second half of this season and in the playoffs (especially against the Heat) drew heavy critique and countless eye-rolls around the league.

There is a reason both players are on the market as unrestricted free agents as they hit or will soon hit their primes.

But, the Lakers are devoid of talent. Especially high end talent. Sure they have Kobe. And the hope is that Julius Randle becomes a steal of this draft and produces like a top 3 pick he was touted to be when enrolled at Kentucky. Beyond them, however, the cupboard is basically bare. It’s time to stock up and these two players have what the team can use.

Getting them to sign is another story. Will short term, high dollar salaries work? As I mentioned on twitter, would Lance decline a 5 year/$44 million deal from the Pacers and sign with the Lakers for 2 years/$23 million? Would Lowry sign for something similar? Again, this seems doubtful, but that is where the allure of the LA market, the franchise’s history, and the current front office brass making a solid pitch on building towards the future would need to close the gap.

As I said at the top, I am skeptical. But this is a plan, if executed, that I could get behind.

Darius Soriano

Posts

75 responses to Lakers to Chase Kyle Lowry and Lance Stephenson?

  1. No thanks

  2. I like Sir Lancelot …that’s max production we will be getting if we could snap him up.

  3. Garret Robinson July 2, 2014 at 11:45 am

    Don’t listen to Mega, DO IT!!! Lebron and Melo is a pipe dream

  4. All in for Stephenson. Not sure about Lowry long term – but if its a 2 or 3 year deal then I have fewer concerns.

    If you sign them both then you are suggesting that either Kobe or Lance plays SF. Only issue I see is that the Lakers would be small at a number of positions: PG (Lowry), SF(Kobe or Lance) and PF (Randle). Plus our likely center (Pau) has a reputation for playing smaller than his size.

    That’s why when I write my wish list I substitute Greg Monroe for Lowry. I would put Stephenson on the opposing team’s point guard as he has good lateral quickness. Monroe is a talent and if need be could play center (he did his first two years in the league).

    Keep in mind Pau has only played in more than 65 games in a season once since 2007. So any scenario that has the Lakers resigning Pau has to factor in the need for a strong Plan B center. Signing Monroe gives the Lakers that protection.

  5. Very realistic especially if Lance and Pacers at an impasse.
    I’d say give Lowry and Lance 10 each, then pay Pau 10.
    That’s 30 plus Kobe 23 = 53.
    Randle 3 that’s 56.
    That leaves 6 for the rest of the rookies etc – (I assume Ko will take the ‘veteran’s’ minimum.)
    Ummm….. as long as we can somehow divest ourselves of Nash’s deal. Oops. Almost a perfect plan.

  6. Brooklyn has supposedly agreed with Hollins-4/18.

    I see no way that either Stephenson or Lowry will take a two-year deal, unless the money is way, way up there.

  7. Repeating a previous post because I think it is brilliant and its relevant to this discussion about who the Lakers should pursue this FA season. I am firmly in the Lance Stephenson and Greg Monroe camp.
    __

    Regarding Lance Stephenson and Greg Monroe: The Lakers need young building blocks. If they can be had on shorter deals (2 plus an option) as you have suggested then there is no downside. Aside from last season, when our roster was filled with young players trying to stick in the league, when was the last time the Lakers could roll our three talented starters (Randle, Monroe and Stephenson) who were 23 or younger?

    The Lakers are in a pickle, Kobe takes up 38% of their cap, and we’re not sure what he’ll produce, plus the Lakers have very few draft assets to look forward to in the next few seasons. If they can ‘reload’ with two 23 year olds and Randle then the future does not look so dark.

    My gut says signing Monroe and Stephenson gives the franchise hope for the future. Signing Melo feels like they are kicking the ‘inevitable rebuild’ can down the road a few years.

  8. Hollins gone.
    So we’re down to Byron!
    Last comic standing.

    Why do we need to limit offers to 2 years?

    Kobe’s contract will expire by then so cap space shouldn’t be an issue.

  9. Devoid of talent or not, the Lakers should have the class and dignity to stay away from a player like Lance Stephenson.

  10. I’d be OK if they threw a bunch of $ at Stephenson for two years. He’ll undoubtedly get longer offers, but even a 2/28 deal might get his attention — and still be an acceptable risk from the Lakers standpoint. I do doubt Lowry will consider a two year deal…he’ll get too many better offers. Stephenson’s antics might drive down his market enough that an offer like this would be worth considering.

    Past that, I think I’d rather target Ed Davis than Lowry or even Pau, though. You can argue that stopping penetration at the 1 is just as important as rim protection — and certainly we have to do better than Marshall — but rim protectors are increasingly rare, and Davis seems like one who could be had for a reasonable price.

    I’m just glad if all this suggests they’re ready to move on from Melo.

  11. JC,

    Yep. And, if the Lakers actually want a couple of good young/prime players, they are going to have give deals more than two years long. Shawn Livingston and Jodie Meeks just got three-year deals–why would a guy like Stephenson sign for two unless it was huge money?

    Also, from the last thread–apparently Jeanie is going to the Anthony pitch meeting. A few of us said in the Spring that she should be at pitch meetings with big FAs.

  12. minor,

    Yeah. The Lakers would need to offer Stephenson around that or even 2/30. But he would be be 25 when such a deal ended, so he might consider it.

    Lowry is 28 and has never had a huge payday–so I think he will want security and he is going to get pretty good $.

  13. Pacers reported as agreeing to a 4-year deal with Cavs C.J. Miles.
    Think that means they’ve moved on from Stephenson.

    I don’t love Stephenson as a head case, but no one can deny his talent and potential.
    Ron Artest worked out. We don’t have a lot of options. Got to roll the dice and take some chances.

    Was so glad to hear that Jeanie is going to the pitch. I’d love to see her more involved in the basketball side.

    -Steve

  14. Gee. I guess I am also “incredibly astute”–at least in regards to Lance. To whit: I started trumpeting Lance early on and in that time frame rr responded by posting some comments about Lance’s erratic behavior on the court and in the locker room. And I responsed to rr’s cautionary post with : Great! Buy low! (Ha!)

    Go hard on Lance; pass on Lowry–much easier to find/ develop 1s for cheap.

  15. Signing Lance would be a good move for the Lakers. I watched the majority of the Pacers games this past season, and came away from many of them thinking that Lance was the best player on the floor. I actually think he was underused offensively last season, and has the ability to be a high level point guard (Pacers were better off when Lance was running the point and Hill was playing off the ball).

    I actually think that Lance is more goofy than crazy… And even if he is crazy, he is not crazy enough to make his head coach and Larry Legend to not want him back.

    If the Lakers do sign Lance, I do think resigning Pau would be a good move. Lance worked an excellent 2 man game with West last season, where West would set a pick, and pop out to the elbow where he would often get a wide open shots from Lance. Pau is even more of a skilled shooter than West, so I think Pau and Lance would work great together.

    Very excited to see what the Lakers do this offseason!

  16. Steve: Pacers reported as agreeing to a 4-year deal with Cavs C.J. Miles. Think that means they’ve moved on from Stephenson.
    __

    I hope the Lakers are as on top of this as you are. I think signing Stephenson and Monroe are the keys to turning the corner.

  17. It’s crazy that people have ALREADY forgotten what we learned from San Antonio just a few weeks back. You MUST have your role players signed at reasonable rates. LA is a year away from committing to long term star contracts, holding out for Kevin Love and the 2015 gang. That means that they are looking for very good value for the role players. With Avery Bradley getting $8 million, Meeks getting over $6 million, Gortat getting $60 million guaranteed, Lance turning down almost $9 million, and Hayward turning down $12 million, this free agent market has already established its’ character as toxic for rebuilding teams. LA MUST be looking at the undervalued players, or they’ll get burned. That means giving a shot at Darren Collision and Jordan Hill, and if you can get both for $8-10 million combined, take it. But if not, go after Ed Davis fast, FAST, before the top pickings are gone, and maybe you can get him for $2-3 million, maybe Anthony Morrow for $2-3 million to gun 3′s, maybe Dante Jones (who only made 1 mil last year) for a million as backup wing defender, and maybe Elton Brand on a 3 million dollar deal with team option for year 2. Those are the guys to be targeting. NOT guys who are going to command salaries in excess of $140-$190% of their real value. I like Lance, but I like the Lakers rebuild more.

  18. To whit: I started trumpeting Lance early on and in that time frame rr responded by posting some comments about Lance’s erratic behavior on the court and in the locker room.

    ___

    …which is what makes him gettable, along with the obvious: he is an UFA. The Lakers don’t really have other options for this type of player–as I have said many times, there is almost no chance that Utah and Phoenix will not match any offers made to Hayward and Bledsoe. Stephenson is not a great option–he has limitations as a player and some behavioral baggage–but the Lakers options are, again, limited.

    And, mentioning me seems very odd. Other guys here have been far more negative about Stephenson than I have, including numerous posts in the last three days.

  19. To me resigning pau will be our main priority since there are no other quality centers out there ….next best is hill who I hope we keep as well.

    If we resign pau to a 10 mil per deal like he has said he wants that gives us about 14 mil to work with which could go up to 22 if we stretch nash over 5 years to sign lance and lowry at 11mil per each… which would give us a good starting 5 but we would lose hill, young, maybe farmar etc as they would be looking at other places unless we use our mid-level to keep one of them with my preference being to give hill the full mid level for 3-4 years

    We would need to hope that kane or clarkson can also play next year and that we would need to sign 1-2 other guys for the bench on the min level or bi-annual if we have that available.

    If we go this route young and farmar might be gone and maybe xavier comes back since hes injury prone

    Id much rather go this route than be hoping to get durant or somebody else next year as it most likely wont happen… we need guys to make the team competitive so starts Want to come back if we have lowry, randle, and lance when a spot opens up in 2 years when kobe and maybe paus contracts are up we would get that shot … its not happening next year

  20. I sense that Lance Stephenson is very get-able…for the time being. But the Lakers FO will have to move quickly. Otherwise, they could get beaten to the punch. Also, I don’t see Stephenson settling for a 2-year contract. Three years might be a possibility but he’ll probably ask for $10-12 Million per year. In any event, the Lakers will have to move. There’s simply too much action and volatility in the market.

    Lowry will be difficult to acquire. He has too many suitors. Several commenters had recommended signing Greives Vasquez. He’s a decent, if unspectacular, player. A combination of Vasquez and Farmar could be the best bet for the Lakers this season at PG. Bear in mind, we’re in a multi-year build. The re-constituting of the team will probably have to be done in pieces. And Vasquez, a solid, decent contributor, will probably come cheap.

    Finally, I fully expect the Lakers to stretch Nash’s contract. They may need every dollar of cap space that they can get. Let’s not be surprised if that happens within the next several weeks.

  21. Reading about the HUGE CONTROVERSY since Houston courted Carmelo with a picture of him wearing Rocket jersey #7 (currently worn by Jeremy Lin) — http://espn.go.com/nba/story/_/id/11168612/houston-rockets-dis-jeremy-lin-image-carmelo-anthony-no-7 — and for all the problems the Lakers have attracting free agents, I guess that won’t be one. Xavier Henry isn’t signed, right?

  22. Lowry’s history with coaches wouldn’t matter as much with the Lakers, since they don’t have a coach.

  23. Why do people always assume that a player would or wouldn’t do? I say this because there is a lot of Lance wouldn’t accept a 2 year deal. What is everyone basis for this thought. If he gets a 2 year deal for $23 million maybe he jumps on it because he figures in 2 years he can get another contract that is even better (making his life time money way more than what the Pacers were offering him). I think that everyone just assumes the player is so afraid of getting injured they would always take the most long term money. But each player feels differently than the next. Also a 2 year $23 million dollar contract maybe be the most he gets period. Most teams are too afraid of how unpredictable he is. The reported suitors are just three (and the Pacers probably no longer even have the $8 million to offer him anymore). That means he is choosing from LAL, Chi, or the Hornets. He probably isn’t getting more than 2 years with any team. So then it just comes down to the bidding of three teams. This reeks of Lance’s agent overplaying his hand much like Ariza’s did when the Lakers got Artest. He had no clue what the market was for his client.

  24. if all the teams that are interested in pau have only the MLE or less to offer him, what if the Lakers just use all their cap room on other guys and offer him the MLE just the same?

  25. What is everyone basis for this thought

    That he can get probably get a longer deal for nearly the same amount of money elsewhere. He has reportedly turned down a 5-year deal for nearly 9M a year. Seems very unlikely that he would take a two-year, the total value of which is roughly half of the one he just turned down.

    Reports coming in now that Avery Bradley got 4/32 from Boston. I think it is unlikely that no one will offer Stephenson more than two years.

    Also, Ariza got 5/34M in 2009.

  26. J C: “Last comic standing” Very funny. It will of course be Byron, and you and everyone else here have known this for some time : ) However we are holding out hope that either:
    A) A new candidate comes out from under a rock. A real technician who is going to revolutionize the game. Rather than the trapezoid as I said before I think it will be called the Rhombus. Then when we play the Knicks the NY Post headline will be: Rambis to design defense for Rhombus
    B) We sign LBJ, Melo, and they say they want Pat Riley or Phil as their coach. We realize we missed the boat and hire Byron anyway.

    And then there is my prom scenario. After the Hollins signing today. Byron: “Hey Jimmy – you gonna ask me to prom yet? I hear your backup date is going with the quarterback now -so what do you say” Jim: “How bout you go buy your prom dress ($3k suit in this case), and wait for me on prom night. If I show up we will go, if I do not show up – then we will not go. – Sound good?”

    This of course causes no issues with perception of course

    By the way I talked about the Nets hiring a coach before we did. Wow – good thing I posted that quickly after the Kidd departure.

  27. Chibi,

    As a tax paying team I think the Lakers only have the mini mid level which is about $ 3 million a year. The full mid level is a little over $5 million a year. I don’t think Pau would take that steep of a pay cut. But if he did entertain the idea it he’d probably only do if he was going to a contender. As an example OKC could offer him the full mid level.

  28. “The Lakers are in a pickle, Kobe takes up 38% of their cap, and we’re not sure what he’ll produce, plus the Lakers have very few draft assets to look forward to in the next few seasons.”

    Is why you hope with all your heart that they finish the next two seasons with one of the two worst records in the league.

    That way, they have a 1st rounder next draft and also a 2nd rounder (i.e., their no. 1 is top 5 protected and their no. 2 is 31-40 protected)(and if their 2nd round pick is protected, the obligation to convey a 2nd rounder to Orlando is extinguished, i.e., no carryover into the future).

    Then in ’16, if they keep their ’15 1st rounder, their ’16 1st rounder is top 3 protected (when it becomes well and truly crucial to finish in the bottom two, hopefully, the absolute worst, and so unless three teams sneak into the top 3 via the lottery, they’ll have a top 3 protected pick).

    And then in ’17, the 1st rounder can go to the Suns, and the ’17 1st rounder owed to Orlando becomes instead a ’17 2nd rounder and an ’18 2nd rounder.

    In other words, if the team svcks wind, completely and utterly, over the next two seasons, they’ll only lose but the one 1st rounder in ’17.

    And if they draft well and have some luck, maybe they glob onto a true franchise stud or failing that, two all star caliber players. If either of those occurs, they are in a much better position when Kobe’s contract ends, as their draftees will still be on rookie scale contracts and Kobe will free up 25 mil.

    And the true beauty would be that after their 4 year rookie contracts are done, they are restricted free agents, and so the Lakers can match any offer, and so if they are worth keeping, the Lakers, what with all that money, can keep them. That’s Durant, by the way, himself a 1 and done, who will be 28, so 9 years after his draft selection, before he ever becomes an unrestricted free agent.

    Just me, but I don’t want to rebuild again in 5 years (LeBron, Melo), and why pay for Stephenson and Lowry when the draft might provide the same for half the cost and with much better timing in relation to the expiration of Kobe’s insane contract. So, please, for the love of all things holy and pure, lose, lose, and lose some more. For entertainment value while losing, Kobe can go for 50 a night and Randle can go for 25 (and also use the losing seasons to refine his game in the game circumstance, as opposed to scrimmages). If all goes truly well, Randle has 2 seasons to perfect himself, the ’15 pick the one year, and the ’16 pick turns out to be an NBA ready stud like Magic. One hope and dream.

    And in the meantime, Ken, if you are here, put me down again for 20-62, and then the same for the season after this one. Oh, and for more entertainment, MOAR bobbleheads, perhaps even a double bobblehead night, say, a Julius Randle bobblehead and a Zelmo Beaty bobblehead on the same night, a retrospective introduces the future kinda thing, meaning, although he only played the one, his final season with the Lakers, for a while there ole Zelmo was indeed what we all hope Randle becomes:

    http://www.basketball-reference.com/players/b/beatyze01.html

  29. rr: I get a kick out of you. You’re an officious, cautious sort. Thus a perfect foil for my attempts at humor–don’t take it amiss.

  30. @T. Rogers No they have the full mid level. Once you go under they get it (despite what they paid out this year). Techinically they could not have it if they kept all the cap holds and stayed above line, but I believe even with their current cap holds they are under. Either way it would be easy for them to get the mid level (even if they signed Lebron and Melo to the max, because they would have to release their cap holds and then the mid level would be back).

  31. the lakers are under the tax apron. once they meet certain conditions they can use the MLE.

  32. @ Mike K, “It’s crazy that people have ALREADY forgotten what we learned from San Antonio just a few weeks back. You MUST have your role players signed at reasonable rates.”, Lol, I think your a bit confused, San Antonio has EVERYONE signed at reasonable rates.

  33. @rr My whole point is you are assuming that because he turned down $55 million that the other three teams would each have to pay him for 3 years for it to be worth it to him. But that is a poor assumption. The Pacers offer just disappeared with the signing of CJ Miles. So they literally couldn’t offer the same contract without going into the tax. Only three teams (Lakers, Chicago, Hornets) are even talking to him and have interest. So if none of those three teams give him more than 2 years he has no choice but to accept a 2 year deal. And why would any of those teams give him more when he couldn’t even go this whole season on his best behavior? Any team that signs him will do it for very few years just because the worst thing you can do is give a long term contract to a player that is not in control and never lived up to his potential until his contract year. I will bet you he signs a 2 year or less deal. But my point stands, the assumption should be that he gets less years (far more likely) than more years (long shot).

  34. Saw that Cleveland is preparing a max deal for RFA Gordon Hayward. Given my choice I would prefer Chandler Parsons, also a RFA. Each can shoot the three but Parsons seems like he is a tougher rebounder/defender. Hayward always struck me as soft.

    Interested in others’ opinions

  35. There will be no tanking. That’s absurd as is a 20 win season. Only happens if Kobe goes down again. We are the Lakers, we don’t need no stinkin draft picks, except for this year of course.

  36. LakerValentina July 2, 2014 at 4:02 pm

    PREACHING PATIENCE

    Well what about dreaming of this starting 5? Lowry/Bryant/Melo/Randle/Gasol That’s arguably what the media say it’s Lakers best case scenario! Even though the chances of that happening are approximately next to none (don’t even consider the one pairing Lebron and Melo in purple and gold since Lebron is not even taking calls…) are we sure that’s a championship team? I understand taking the best available FA’s at the 3 vacant positions may make rational sense… but that doesn’t build championships!
    What do we need then?
    1. A young and capable PG, possibly good at defending (Bledsoe… maybe UFA in 2015?)
    2. A rim protector next to Julius (I don’t see anything significant available here…)
    3. A capable wing player who excels defensively (Ariza surely fits here… but at what price?)

    I would welcome Stephenson’s addition since he can play both the 2/3 spot and he’s a good 2-way player but wouldn’t be worth giving up 4 years at 10-12 per year!

    So… what course of action?
    1. Wait for Rondo or Bledsoe in 2015… i’d rather be riding with Marshall/Farmar or a cheap option instead of surrendering cap space… and who knows? Maybe Clarkson can contribute right away at a high level.
    2. The Lakers need a young Chandler-type player… since that’s tough to find: BE PATIENT! (even trading for Sanders would be questionable because of his huge salary)
    3. Get Ariza or Stephenson or whatever decent defensive SF at a reasonable deal

    Round out the roster keeping most of our productive bench from last year and just let the team grow!
    No reason to wait or trade for Kevin Love now… since Randle might be even better in a few years and playing them together would be a bad fit!
    As the Spurs showed it’s not just a matter of talent but a matter of hard work and chemistry!
    And in 2016 there would be a guy named KD35! Still want to spend it all?

  37. Funny that all the contending teams are triying to sway Pau OKC looks like the frontrunner now,(Ibaka and Pau down low is a scary proposition) and people here wanted to trade him at the deadline for a freaking 2nd round pick. He is going to get between 10-12 million a season EASY.With all the turmoil the last 3 seasons i doubt he will be back because he is going to become trade bait once again unless he get a no-trade clause. I think the die is cast :(

  38. If we get both Lowry and the wacko, somehow keep Pau, Randle contributes and Kobe returns at 85% of what he was we could have a very good team, at least a starting 5, i think the Lakers should go for it, its a tall order but it could be done. Im sure is just wishful thinking of my part, but i dont think is impossible

  39. Chibi,
    Once the Lakers fall below the cap — which will happen if they renounce the rights to their own free agents (mainly Pau) — they will no longer have the MLE. Teams who fall below the cap don’t get an MLE, they only have the “room” exception which roughly equal to the tax payer’s MLE (about 3 million, though the room exception will be a bit less).

  40. the other Stephen July 2, 2014 at 4:35 pm

    Speaking of Gordon, I might assemble a team thusly:

    Nate Robinson / Ricky Rubio / Jose Calderon
    Gordon Hayward / Goran Dragic / Kyle Korver
    Chandler Parsons / Andrei Kirilenko / Chase Budinger
    Dirk Nowitzki / Kevin Love / Ryan Anderson
    Marc Gasol / Pau Gasol / Andrew Bogut

  41. Ugh if okc amnesties perkins im pretty dure they can pay pau around 7-10 mil

    Pau , ibaka, durant, lamb/jackson , and westbrook would be pretty destructive

  42. I reaaaallyyyy doubt Pau will take 7 million when Z-Bo got 10 million from the Grizzlies. Thats what the market set.

  43. Pau has always been a perfect fit for OKC. The only draw back with Pau now is his durability. If OKC had figured out a way to acquire him two years ago, when he was still in his prime, now that would have been a team.

    If OKC is serious about keeping KD beyond these next two years then winning it all is the best way to get him to stay. I think Pau can get them over the hump.

  44. I thought that if the Lakers renounced their free agents, then used up all their cap room up again, the MLE would become available.

  45. “Chicago Bulls officials have scheduled a Thursday trip to Los Angeles to court Lakers free-agent center Pau Gasol, according to sources close to the process.

    The Oklahoma City Thunder, meanwhile, have unexpectedly emerged as a leading contender for the services of Gasol despite the Thunder’s financial limitations to try to sign him, according to ESPN sources.”

    Fern,

    Pau said on his website that money will not be his main consideration in choosing a team. He may not follow through with that, of course, but Pau is an atypical NBA player in terms of his background. Also, I do not think Pau is generally seen as being worth as much as Zach Randolph.

    OKC is the best fit for Pau on-floor.

  46. Great news for those who want LeBron and Melo…

    Sources: Big 3 not acting in concert
    http://espn.go.com/nba/truehoop/miamiheat/story/_/id/11170322/dwyane-wade-chris-bosh-unsure-lebron-james-plan

  47. Aaron: Miami using ESPN to spin the situation. With the amount of money in play for Wade and Bosh I don’t see how they can leave this to chance. I believe they are working in concert. ESPN is just providing cover for those thinking the obvious.

  48. Justin,

    You have no way of knowing whether anything you wrote is true; it is all spec based on your perception of Stephenson’s value and what you have read on the net about the market for him.

    Also, you are misusing the word assumption. I am giving an opinion, which is that Stephenson will get more than two years. I am basing that on Stephenson’s profile as a player and the market to this point. BK wrote more or less what I said:

    “The idea LA won’t sign any non-elite FA to deals longer than a year or two, and there’s been plenty of chatter about that, basically means they won’t get any of them. Jodie Meeks got three years and nearly $20 million from the Pistons. Golden State gave Shaun Livingston 3/$16 million. Do the Lakers really think Kyle Lowry is going to take two years?”

    BK didn’t mention Stephenson, but I think this applies to him as well. If it turns out that you are right, fair enough.

  49. @could be a great fit but they only have 5 million to spend, he wont take that paycut, when he could be a great fit with the Bulls too who have made him their biggest priority right after Melo, that is a big statement on Pau’s value. Unless OKC ammnesty that useless waste of cap space Perkins or Chicago do the same with Boozer neither one have a chance. Im sure neither one of those teams would do that for Z-Bo, dont get me wrong, Z-bo is a great player that make teams good, Pau can make a good team great. The Bulls get Melo, sign Pau and pair him with Noah? Ufff tough situation for the East, in OkC pair him with Ibaka tough for the West.is the amnesty still in effect? I thought last year was the last time it could be used. Can someone clarify that for me?

  50. basquiatball July 2, 2014 at 2:07 pm
    Lowry’s history with coaches wouldn’t matter as much with the Lakers, since they don’t have a coach.
    ——-
    Thank you: This made me laugh out loud.

  51. Perkins was signed before the new CBA, so they can still amnesty him. Ditto Chicago and Boozer.

  52. ‘y know, I suddenly realized the FO is much smarter than we all suspected.

    No coach = no player/coach issues.

    Brilliant!

  53. @rr thanks i thought it was a 3 year window to use it but i stand corrected if those teams want Pau one of those players has to go you can’t have your cake and eat it too, Another team i forgot to mention is the Heat God forbid, the big three and Shabazz Nappier spreading the floor and Pau down low? A nightmare, and i agree with Leo this Heat situation is a charade. I think we all know it.

  54. and i agree with Leo this Heat situation is a charade

    ..and you I agree there, as well. First time for everything. ;-)

  55. ESPNSteinLine Marc Stein
    Pau Gasol Addendum No. 2: Hearing Pau, as with OKC, indeed giving legit consideration to San Antonio if he looks at places where $ is scarce
    43 minutes ago

    ESPNSteinLine Marc Stein
    Pau Gasol Addendum No. 1: Sources say Bulls’ rising interest in Pau IS indeed reflection of concern they can’t convince Melo to leave NYK

  56. Randle cleared to play, no surgey necessary great news!!!

  57. James is not coming.
    Pau is gone

    JC no way I will take the minimum.

    Not playing cheap on a team with no coach, no players and I horse trainer as a owner.

    I will wait from an offer from a team with a plan.

  58. Big City Sid: I’m far from confused. I fully understand Parker is making 12.5, Ginobli’s making & and Duncan’s making about 10-12, off the top of my head. That wasn’t my point. My point is that you can’t compete for a championship, or even the WCF without good value contracts for your role players. Star players are star players. They are going to cost you about $15-20 million. That’s now where your team wrecks it’s cap space. It’s on the overpaid role players that they get wrecked. San Antonio only paid $10 million for Boris Diaw, Patty Mills and Danny Green combined. Miami paid more than that for Chalmers, Battier and Ray Allen. You switch those 6 players, and the championship changes hands. In any case, you focused on the non-issue. The issue now is that LA is saving cap space for next year’s free agents, and needs to fill out their roster, regain competitiveness as a FA draw, and still maintain flexibility. The way to do that is NOT by signing overpaid guys like Lowry, Stephenson and Monroe. All of those guys will be $10 million a year plus, and none of them are going to accept a 2 year deal. AND none of those guys makes LA a contender; not even any two of them. The smart move is to sign the reasonable role guys now, and then pay star money in a year, for the right guy. If they could get Collison or Jameer Nelson, along with Anthony Morrow and Dante Jones, and Ed Davis to go along with Hill… if.. if… then they’d be stacked, and competitive, and ready to add a guy like a Kevin Love in a year and go all the way. If they signed Lance and Greg Monroe for 25 million plus now, they’d have no room to get anyone of quality to play point, wing shooter, wing defender, power forward, big defender. And they’d be the Atlanta Hawks of the west, treading water in the 5-8 seed, before slipping back to obscurity.

  59. Mike K,

    One problem with that is that Love may get traded to GS and be locked up next year, and Aldridge will probably just stay in Portland. As I have said a few times, if the Lakers were really serious about the 2015 FA market, then they needed to give Kobe one year.

    Another problem is that the Lakers need everything–not just role players, and it’s easier for role players to thrive with big guns and starters in place. And, finally, what the Spurs did with Diaw, Mills and Green was pretty unusual; it is not likely that the Lakers can just pick up guys off the scrap heap and get them rolling immediately. The Spurs are a special organization.

    I like Ed Davis as a pickup; Morrow would be OK. The other guys–not so much.

  60. “San Antonio only paid $10 million for Boris Diaw, Patty Mills and Danny Green combined. Miami paid more than that for Chalmers, Battier and Ray Allen. You switch those 6 players, and the championship changes hands.”

    Didn’t Miami go to 4 straight Finals with players like that? Are they now not looking to retool for good chances at more titles?

    San Antonio won because of great managing for over a decade, and by getting players to play really well together. It wasn’t because they grabbed up the cheapest players until expensive stars could be had.

    There’s more than one way to build a champion. How the Lakers might do it again remains a mystery.

  61. it will take 5 years and 60 mil to sign Lance worth it or not. I love Kobe but his contract and age makes the Lakers mediocre at best unless they get lucky somewhere other then over paying a free agent this summer.

  62. “The Oklahoma City Thunder, with Kevin Durant and Russell Westbrook acting as lead recruiters, have unexpectedly emerged as a leading contender for the services of Los Angeles Lakers free-agent center Pau Gasol, according to sources close to the process.

    Sources told ESPN.com that Durant and Westbrook made a face-to-face pitch Wednesday to Gasol in Los Angeles to join them in Oklahoma City despite the financial limitations the Thunder would face in signing him”

  63. WindhorstESPN Brian Windhorst
    Kyle Lowry will re-sign with the Toronto Raptors on a four-year deal, sources tell ESPN

  64. I still dont get why people act like Kobe’s contract is 24 million for the next 167 seasons, is a two year contract, and he has stated that he plans to retire after that. Was it premature? Yes, but he took what the FO offered, it makes me laugh that people think that Kobe should had said ” gee that’s a nice contract but take 14 million dollars off and we have a deal”. Even if the FO played hardball he would had still get paid a near max level salary people like it or not because off all the revenue his mere presence brings to the team which basically pay his contract off and then some. I think we will have a way better team next season. After DH chickened out the Lakers still assembled a decent team with spare parts, band aids and junk. It wasnt a world beater but if healthy that team could compete as we saw at the beggining of the season even w/o Kobe and just when it looked that Kobe was starting to find some kind of rythim, he went down and the team wheels fell off in the worst case scenario that not a single preson could predict. This year we have cap space we have a rookie that looks promising and if we spend without sacrificing that hard earned purchasing power we are in the right path.We dont need a max salary superstar this season we need a foundation. Mitch can build a team…

  65. Lowry is 4 yrs 48 mil with a 3rd year player eto option

  66. I’d love for Pau to end up in OKC or Chicago. I’d hate for him to end up in SA or Miami.

  67. Agree KenOak, if he goes to any of those teams we should try to get a S&T for him, im sure we could get something better than a 2nd round pick, which is what some people were willing to accept for him in the trade deadline. Which was absurd, a late 1st round pick on the next draft would be excellent and that fat 9+ million trade exception Chicago has would be even better, or both lol. So i would prefer the Bulls.

  68. Wow Wojnarowski says Gasol is done in LA

  69. its a good thing that Lowry is returning in Toronto, i agree that he’s good but that money and years we cannot and should not give him. we still have a PG in our team…
    same goes with Lance, for me, is a good basketball player, but we do not have the coach and personnel to handle him, that is why he’s a 50-50 for us, a big gamble.
    he’s not accepting low salary so we should avoid him then.

    i like the idea of securing our own players first, then start chasing Ed Davis, check Collison or Isaiah Thomas. how about Deng and Evan Turner, Marion?
    there are lots of FA that will not command high salary, at least some that comes with reasonable price.

  70. Too bad, no matter the negatives he may have, he is one of the most skilled big men in the NBA.

  71. It’s ok. Lakers have Sacre.

  72. Eric any link for that?

    Man … losing dwight and gasol for nothing will set us back awhile …. stupid nash trade ….I can just see jeanie/jim trying to sway free agents saying nash could be part of a big 3 or 4 and them just laughing in their face

    Top 5 protected!!!!

    Jahil Okafor 2015!!!!

  73. Good news, it’s just been reported that Pau says he’ll stay if Carmello will come to LA.

  74. Shaun he presented it as his opinion on a podcast I think but the quote was floating around by many sources on twitter. The guy is rarely wrong so I could see him being right.

    I’m not big on Jahlil Okafor I think he will be the next Jared Sullinger. Struggles with length, he couldn’t score on Texas center Myles Turner in matchups.

  75. rr: I don’t think Love resigns in Golden State, if they get him. WARNING: obscenely long, detailed analysis of why. skip it if you don’t care. otherwise, read on and be persuaded.

    Love is probably going to Golden State, but until he signs the extension, nothing is certain, and I think it is unlikely he would sign an extension until next summer. The reasons why are: # 1, he will be the TOP free agent on the market next summer, and knows he will get crazy offers then. # 2, Golden State isn’t his top choice in the first place, all else being equal. # 3, He won’t even know how good they’d be until next year’s postseason.

    I can’t imagine he’d get to Golden State, and immediately commit the next 5 years of his career (this year + 4) to a team that isn’t in his preferred locale, isn’t a top market, and doesn’t have any record of success. No way he binds himself to Golden State until he’s 32. He wants to win, and he wants control over his career.

    Golden State has committed over $22 million a year, for the next THREE years to Iguodala and Bogut. Iguodala’s contract is pretty bad, given that he put up a PER of 13.7, a year after a PER of 15.2, a year after a six-year straight stint of PERs over 17.3. In other words, he’s had a linear desecent from borderline all star level to well below league average for the last 28 months. And it’s not just in one area. He’s putting up less rebounds, assists, blocks and steals. And he turns 31 in the middle of this season. There’s no doubt about the cause of this decline; he’s in the top 1% of NBA players who are dependent upon their athleticism in order to be effective. Love doesn’t even have to think about this season if he’s traded. He just can assess where Iguodala will be in another 16 months, when the first year of Love’s extension would start, and Iguodala will be turning 32. It’s fair to say that this contract will be a bad contract by then, and for the first 2 years of Love’s new deal.

    Bogut ? Amazingly, he played in all of 67 games this season ! Why do I say amazingly, you ask ? Because that’s more games than Bogut played in any season since 2009-2010. Think about that for a second. You have 65, 32, 12 and 67 games played over the last 4 seasons. By the way, these 67 games rank as the 4th most games Bogut has played in the NINE seasons he’s been in the NBA. Oh, and should I mention a fractured rib caused him to miss the playoffs this year, certainly costing Golden State the series victory over the Clippers in a battle that ended up going 4-3 against them without him playing a single minute. As of today ? He’s skipping international play in order to continue his healing. More wonderful Bogut facts ? Let’s see, he’s failed to shoot over .500 from the free throw line in 3 of the last 4 seasons… he posted a below league average PER in 2 of the last 3 seasons, and he turns 30 in a few months. So, he’s not going to be an appealing allocation of cap space for Love when love is projecting Bogut’s durability at age 31 and beyond.

    Steph Curry is their only positive asset going forward if they make this trade. And he’s good. He has a PER of 24. But PER has some limitations, and one of them is that it doesn’t factor defense, which is an aspect of play that Curry is neither inclined nor physically able to handle with competence. In addition, PER only cursorily addresses assist rate. Assist rate calculates how many of the players possessions result in an assist. Chris Paul posted 36%. This is why the Clippers led the league in offensive efficiency, despite carrying DeAndre Jones, and an underperforming Jared Dudley in the linuep. Steph Curry’s assist rate is 26%. That’s a huge differential, and it explains why Golden State posted only TWELFTH (12th) in offensive efficiency despite the fact that Curry is their best player, he only has competence on offense, and he played next to one of the three three point gunners in the league, in Thompson, and also had David Lee and Bogut scoring in the post. He’s not really much of a point guard. If you like metrics, Curry ranked 33rd amongst the league’s point guards in assist rate. That’s backup level. He got beat out by Brandon Jennings, John Wall, Nate Wolters (yeah !), Norris Cole (!), J.J. Barea, Mo Williams, Will Bynum… get it ? Those are combo guards and scoring points, and they beat him out in assist rate. He’s a great shooter, who can handle the point with league average competence. In other words, he’s Jeff Teague with Steve Nash’s shooting ability (but not playmaking or pick and roll action). Oh, and Teague can defend. This is a bit overly harsh on Curry. But the point is he’s a very flawed superstar. Livingston will help a bit on that. But in trading Thompson, they have no youth, and really no other valuable players besides the non-defending, score first point in Curry.

    I’m not sure that Curry is enough of a draw for Love to commit 4 years of his career, whilst the team is on a clear downwards decline based upon the contracts of Iggy and Bogut, and no significant valuable youth. With Curry in the mix, the team will have about $33 million on the books until the 2017-2018 years. Throw in Livingston at $5+ million per year for the next 3 years. That’s now $38 million. And if Love comes in trade, he’s coming with Kevin Martin, which is another $7 million per year for the next 3 years. Now the total is $45 million. Let’s say Love grabs about 20 million, which isn’t even his max, then they will be at $65 million until 2017-2018. That leaves Golden State capped out for the next 3 years, with a few exceptions to use to fill roster holes, and only leaves them with:

    pg: Curry
    sg: Kevin Martin
    sf: Iguodala
    pf: Love
    c: Bogut

    Keep in mind that Bogut and Kevin Martin have two of the worst injury histories in the league. Curry and Martin will form the WORST defending backcourt in the league. And if Bogut misses ANY time, then Golden State will post the WORST team defense in the league during every game, because, as much as we love Love, Dwight Howard from 2009 he ain’t.

    Their bench would be:

    Livingston, Harrison Barnes, Speights, Draymond Green and Festus Ezeli and some guy named Nedovic.

    Not good. The only ones you can play are Livingston and Green. That’s not going to help the defense when you have wide open guard penetration. Green has skills vs. bigs, but not as a shot blocker; he’s 6’7″, 230.

    So, I don’t think Kevin Love is necessarily going to resign in Golden State. Given that he’ll be coming with Minnesota’s unwanted salary, and the bad contracts of Iggy and Bogut, Love will almost certainly check the free agent market and consider places like LA, even New York, teams like Chicago and Houston, if they don’t blow their free agent money this summer…

    ——————————-

    End of the day, it’s a bad idea to put all of your eggs in one basket, but, on the other hand, the Lakers have only one goal – to win championships. A lot of other teams can overpay for highly flawed players like Lance, but that’s because they will be thrilled with a 5th seed in the East and maybe 1 round of advancement in the playoffs.

    LA needs to angle for superstars, and they need a supporting cast that a superstar will want to play with. That’s why LA should be trying to put together a team based around cost-effective, good character, defense oriented players, with a couple decent outside shooters. Let Kobe run the team this year, aim for the mid-40′s in wins, and by all means, keep $25 million in cap space for next summer.

    If Kevin Love is looking at joining a team with guys like Jeremy Lin, Anthony Morrow, Kobe, Randle, Jordan Hill, and a bench of guys like Augustin, Dante Jones, and Ed Davis, he takes that $20 million or so and comes home. Especially true if LA makes the 7th or 8th seed, which will confirm to Love that he’ll immediately be back in the playoffs, and have Kobe’s vacated $25 million of cap room to get him a top flight point guard his second year in. And if you don’t get him, get some more short term deals, look again for an undervalued high quality player (like a Lin, an Asik, Meeks of a year ago, Hill of a year ago) and reboot the effort to grab Durant in 2016 as the new franchise player.