Yes, you should want Carmelo Anthony

Daniel Rapaport —  July 3, 2014

The absolute chaos formally known as the NBA’s annual free agency period toys with fans’ imaginations each and every year. In an instant, a team’s fanbase can go from being depressed about what the next five years will look like to fantasizing about a starting five that includes every marquee free agent. I have to admit that during this free agency period, I’ve fallen into the trap. You guys, I’m really, really excited about having even a slight chance of landing Carmelo Anthony. And you should be too.

There’s a belief among a troubling amount Lakers fans on the Twittersphere that the purple blue and gold should not offer Carmelo the maximum 4-year, $97 million dollar contract that they’ve put on the table. Those who believe this claim that Carmelo isn’t a “winning player” because he’s yet to make it to the Finals in his first eleven years in the league. And while I respect the passion of the fanbase (it’s what makes ours the greatest in the sport), I feel as though the anti-Carmelo camp needs a stern talking to from the voice of reason. And I personally volunteer to act as the voice of reason.

I’d like to start by dispelling the rumors that Carmelo isn’t a winner. Sure, Carmelo hasn’t enjoyed deep playoff runs during his stellar career. But last season was the first of his career that he missed the playoffs. Carmelo has been the first option on every team he’s ever played on, so it’s not like he’s riding the coattails of other superstars, also. Clearly, Carmelo knows what it takes to win in the NBA. To knock the dude for not having won a championship is lazy; as a certain team from South Florida has shown, one, and probably even two, superstars aren’t enough to get a title in today’s NBA. I have zero doubts that if given a sublime supporting cast like LeBron was in Miami, Carmelo could contend and win championships.

And as Melo passes the 30 benchmark and heads toward the tail end of his career, you have to believe his main focus above all will be winning. He’s looking for his Miami, a place to go and join other players that he can trust in order to get that elusive championship. And for those of you who have watched Carmelo play for Team USA, you know that when he wants to be, he can move the ball very well within an offense and isn’t always the gunner ball-stopping type that his haters label him as. If he leaves New York, he’ll be desperate to win, no matter what it takes.

Kobe and Carmelo’s friendship has been well-documented and probably a bit exaggerated by the media these past couple days. But it’s true that the two are very close and that Kobe admires and respects Carmelo, and we all know that Kobe doesn’t give compliments easily. They’ve won two gold medals together and both share the ability to hit mind-blowingly difficult fadeaway jump shots (they probably don’t bond over this, but I have an image in my mind of the two playing absolutely epic HORSE games that last until the early morning). So the locker-room chaos that took place last year with Dwight having such a different approach to his job than Kobe and Nash wouldn’t realistically be an issue.

I’m somewhat confident in suggesting that Laker fans do, and should, trust Phil Jackson’s judgement. Hell, Phil is a borderline deity to Laker fans, and rightfully so. So my question is this: If Phil badly wants to keep Carmelo in New York, shouldn’t you want him in Los Angeles? Phil Jackson understands the inconvenient truth that these type of players don’t come along too often, and when they do, you simply can’t let them walk despite the fact that sometimes they may shoot too often.

Let’s be honest here. Signing Carmelo is virtually the only chance the Lakers have to get Kobe his coveted 6th ring, which seems to be the number one priority for the front office whether you agree with it or not. That’s why it blows my mind that some people truly believe the team would be in a better position to win and win soon without Carmelo. When you accept the reality that the Lakers have no shot of landing LeBron, it becomes shockingly evident that the Lakers don’t have many options here. Some are proposing LAL sign a younger player whose best days are ahead of him, like a Lance Stephenson or an Eric Bledsoe type. But those type of players are still 2 or 3 years away from entering what I like to call “prime championship years.” While your physical prime might come around 25, it takes more than being in your physical prime to win championships. It’s during a player’s late 20’s/early 30’s, when he’s still in the tail end of his physical prime while simultaneously understanding what it takes mentally to be a champion that he’s most likely to win (see James, LeBron or Jordan, Michael). Carmelo is in his championship prime. He’s ready to win now.

Lastly, let’s revisit just how special of a player Carmelo is. Sure, he has his flaws, but I don’t think people realize just how good Carmelo Kyam (isn’t that a sweet middle name) has been over the past two seasons. Over the past two years, he’s averaging exactly 28 points, 7.5 rebounds and 2.9 assists on 45% FG, 39% 3FG and 83.9% from the line. For those of you who claim he’s not efficient, he’s finished in the top-10 in each of the past two seasons in Player Effeciency Rating. Those are bonafide superstar-in-his-prime numbers. And that’s exactly what Carmelo Anthony is- a superstar in his prime.

When you have the opportunity to get a superstar in his prime, you should be pumped.


Daniel Rapaport

Posts

320 responses to Yes, you should want Carmelo Anthony

  1. All that is going on w/ the Lakers must certainly be enjoyable to Celtic fans.

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  2. I am so sick and tired of hearing about Kobe’s contract. He took a pay cut already. This is the CBA that the owners rammed down the players’ collective throat the last bargaining session. Now that it’s backfiring on the owners, in terms of team building, they are trying to brainwash the public and the fans of their respective teams that it is incumbent upon star players to sacrifice huge chunks of money in order for their owners to avoid paying the punitive luxury taxes that the OWNERS agreed upon!!

    I know BS when I smell it and the owners are full of it. If THEY want to win so bad and are not just in it for the money, let them go over the cap and bring in some better players. I’m not just talking the Lakers either. This CBA one of the worst things that ever happened to the NBA. Don’t forget that the players agreed to a 7% cut in revenue sharing as well during the last negotiations and that over the life of said agreement, that reduction could benefit the owners to the tune of $3.5B. LeBron is changing his tune too; he wants and deserves a max deal. The players know they’ve been scammed. It’s time for fans to see beyond the absolute nonsense the owners have gotten away with and to realize these owners are shameless in their quests to increase their collective bottom line.

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  3. Chris Y

    Relax you are creating a

    ag-grand-dis-ment

    to make a mountain out of a molehill

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  4. Warren Wee Lim July 7, 2014 at 7:34 am

    Chris Y, instead, why don’t you try to learn the cap and agree with it? Its only like the NBA bible.

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  5. Kenny T,
    Your only bad assumption is that the owners would rather win than make more money. I suspect the owners are just fine with the CBA and it is their GMs and the coaches who are pulling their hair out.

    It does seem rather unfair that when you make the ‘rules of the road’, then there are problems, and you now blame others for the ‘rules of the road’, that you actually get to skate on responsibility. We all should remember fans are not known for their perceptions beyond the actual performance of their particular team.

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  6. i agree with Kenny T, this CBA that the nba and owners agreed upon are pushing players to take pay cut, when in reality, when the season ends, its their teams that earns a lot. and players who sacrificed are patronize by the media… please remember that this is business and not just for owners but for players too…

    for me, i think that in LA or in other big market team, players should not take a pay cut.
    i wish this CBA will be change again to handle lots of loopholes… this is just the business aspect which makes players really sacrifice a lot to win.
    its not fault of the player if he chooses to have a big salary. it is the team who weighs their value, depending on their team aspirations and market. LA needs marquee players and players wanting to win.

    not sure about the past, but did this kind of sacrifice to win happened in the past? 80s and 90s?

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  7. C-B-A
    To steal from employee and give to owner.

    See Curt Flood/Andy Messersmith for reference

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  8. As a business owner i do feel the players are already well compensated to play a game that, hopefully, they love.
    Yes, NBA owners are trying to make profits.
    The players aren’t being forced to take pay cuts.
    The players have attorneys, representatives, and a union.

    Taking a pay cut from 22 mil down to 16 mil doesn’t seem like a crazy sacrifice to me,
    when it’s to play in a situation that is more favorable, in a warmer climate, etc.
    These are decisions that most hard-working Americans would gladly make.
    If you want to make the most dollars for your future, you play in Milwaukee, or Toronto, etc.
    If you prefer a different lifestyle, fame, the chance to win a title, you take a little less money.

    Feeling sorry for millionaire players being forced to play for annual salaries that amount to more money than most people make in a lifetime?
    Wow.

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  9. A few thoughts:

    1. Perhaps Aaron is right, but his scenario plays out over a few years. If media reports are correct, then LeBron might only sign a two year deal this contract. If he were to sign such a deal somewhere else, that would coincide with the expiration of Kobe’s current contract. Melo now, LeBron later, with a cheaper Kobe on board?

    2. I definitely don’t fully understand the CBA, as it appears that some new codicile is revealed every other day. Having said that, it is very interesting to watch this unfold for the players. I wonder if they had anyone advising them as to the potential what-ifs that would play out along the way? The pressure to “take less” in order to win essentially re-sets the max player salary without the owners having to negotiate that point away. The owners appear to have won no matter how this is looked at.

    3. I agree with rr that we now see the makings of the FO plan for the future. I’m not sure it is a great plan, for a lot of reasons, but I definitely hope there is a fallback if this plan fails and I hope that Mitch acts very quickly if the fallback needs to be activated. The scramble over the next week or two should be intense. Will the Lakers be left with the dregs again? If so, the future looks bleak.

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  10. First and foremost I will acknowledge my comment might be a bit contradicting but I feel it is appropriate. Although my preference of path for the Lakers is the pursuit of Monroe and Stephenson along with a solid PG (Thomas or Vasquez) this free agency, I completely understand the coarse Lakers Management has taken in going after Carmelo and Lebron. The Lakers brand was built by superstars, Wilt, Kareem, Magic, Shaq, Kobe and it shouldn’t be surprising that they are going and will always be going after the superstars of the League. Now, everybody is going to have their opinions, just like I do, but there is no reason to discourage the path they’re taking with Melo and Lebron, its the same path that has made me the Laker fan I am today.

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  11. JC
    With all due respect. No. I have zero sympathy for NBA owners. Trying to make a profit? Please man. Donald Sterling bought the Clippers for 13 million dollars and they had like 3 winning seasons in 25 years. He’s going to get 2 BILLION dollars when they sell. The owners are doing just fine. The players are the product and they’re getting screwed by the current CBA. I’m not “feeling sorry” for the players making millions. I’m just stating a fact.

    A player has a finite amount of years that he can earn money playing basketball. An owner has no such strictures. And finally, I love how some, so called capitalists, love everything about our economic system that supposedly pays everyone what they’re worth. Bankers. CEO’s. Hedge fund managers…. Not when it comes to basketball players though? Nope. We cap that.

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  12. J C
    my 2 cents
    lakers will always prefer to build w stars
    they have never favored building thru the draft
    so if its not melo now, it may be love next yr.
    the 2-3-4 yr patient rebuild just isnt the Laker way,
    for better or for worse.
    __

    That ‘Laker Way’ was conceived by the brilliant Dr. Buss and executed under a completely different CBA. Businesses must adapt or get left behind.

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  13. Dr. Evil (Darius): ” Scott come to Papa, and read this little salary cap.”

    Scot (Chris Y) : “No, get away from me!”

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  14. With all due respect. No. I have zero sympathy for NBA owners.

    Indeed. As much as I think Kobe’s deal will hurt the Lakers on the floor, I agree with him 100% in that the owners have clearly shown that they out for maximum dollars and maximum control, and they are trying to extend that control to college guys by increasing the age limit.

    And the owners

    a) Are not being forced to either buy or keep their their teams.
    b) Can sell at a massive profit any time they like, due to the intense desire of other superrich guys to be in the club.

    Players, OTOH, have very limited earning windows. It is understandable that people who own businesses sympathize with owners, but it is an extremely myopic view. And no one has ever bought a ticket to watch Jim Buss.

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  15. Ken Oak,
    Thanks for your response.
    This is an interesting dialogue to be sure.

    Historically, the owners at different junctures struggled to keep the league alive.
    Celtics great Dave Cowens was an MVP yet drove a taxi in summertime.
    Both owners and players sacrificed to varying degrees for a love of the game.

    Of course it’s true that Sterling is a jerk.
    Did he make a good investment? Yes.
    Do I wish I could afford to buy an NBA team?
    Yes I do.

    How many poster on this site have employees they pay 12 million dollars per year?
    16 million? 22 million?

    If Sterling’s attitudes are reprehensible, so are the actions of some of the players who father children with multiple women in various cities, waste their money making it rain in strip clubs (not that there’s anything wrong with that!) etc. Most of them didn’t complete college and valued short-term earnings over education, which is ok, but there are eventual consequences.

    Many players are afforded opportunities to earn money thru endorsements, post-career TV and radio gigs, etc. Again, these are opportunities the general public would love to have.

    I love NBA hoops for sure.
    I don’t feel sorry for millionaire players nor for ownership, nor do I villify either.

    It is what it is, baby.

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  16. @KenOak,
    RR, pretty much read my mind. If you sign Anthony at the max and want to keep Gasol then fill out 2 more starters and want the salaries to work out realistically about the only plausible idea is to trade Nash and use Randle as a sweetener. That would clear about 12 million off the books. Stretching Nash only leaves a little over 6 million to offer Gasol. Also as RR pointed out I’m really not that high on Randle and I’ve already spoken about why at great length.

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  17. I do not exist in a universe where 6 million dollars less a year is an insignificant pay cut. This isn’t Monopoly money.

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  18. Renato,

    I look forward to reading your rant.

    KenOak,

    Spot on about the CBA.

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  19. Ken Oak
    Thanks for your response.
    Mine in mod.

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  20. TheNumberOfFLopsIsTooDamnHigh July 7, 2014 at 10:12 am

    KO, Warren, Kenny, Renato, Fern, J C, rr, and of course Darius, I wanted to thank you guys for making this such a great board!
    I always enjoy the read, lots of good insight and personal thoughts, all without the typical numb-skull and incompetent chatter I find on most other basketball blogs.
    Not to mention that you guys even have command over the English language.
    We should all get together for a beer sometime,
    and come up with a plan to educate Jim Buss on how to get our team back on top.

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  21. like most things in life, the amount of money is relative. how someone making $70K views multi millionaires is likely not much different than how someone in poverty views someone making $70K. whatever your income class may be, everyone deserves to make their worth.

    its becoming increasingly clear that the most recent CBA was a major victory for the owners. part of the blame goes to the players. they hired an incompetent lawyer, and in previous lockouts, the players did not have the resolve and financial discipline to hold out longer…..but at the end of the day, the owners used their money, power, and accounting loopholes to get away with highway robbery.

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  22. @ JC, I am going to try to say this without disrespecting you, but I am also a business owner and you are completely wrong. When you grow in size you will understand this more. Most companies pay 70% of their revenue to their employees. In this case this would include the people working in the front office as well. Paying the players (in an industry that is talent driven) 50% is the biggest joke in the business world. Take a loom at comparable industries to help you understand. If the music industry decided it would only pay singers 50% of the revenue there would be no big studios left (as no well known musician would agree to that). If movies did away with paying big name actors and just signed a bunch of no names for every movie the movie industry would collapse. Same would happen for the NBA. If the players decided to all play in their own league (would never happen because of the infrastructure that is needed that is more complicated than people think) the NBA would go out of business immediately (as they could get the consumer to pay to watch non NBA level players).

    See at every level business changes. And saying that a pay cut of $22 million down to $16 million is no big deal tells me you have never earned anywhere close to a million dollars. People who have never made that kind of money don’t get it, but to help you understand you have to realize that when you make more money you spend more money and your life style changes. Players want summer homes, cars, houses for their relatives, etc. But don’t forget that they also throw parties where they pay for everything. They want to enjoy life and it may seem like a waste to you to spend $200,000 on a party but they made the money through hours at a gym and should be allowed to use it as they see fit.

    And also remember that taxes are involved. $16 million is more like $9 million once you take out taxes. And while it might be worth it to take less money to go from a small town like Milwaukee to LA in a normal business. In this case the money is equal.

    But the weirdest thing you said was that we shouldn’t feel sorry for the millionaire players. I would agree if it we didn’t feel sorry for the billionaire owners making record profit for doing nothing but owning a team. You realize that the owners do almost no work. They let the money basically work for them. (Another reason why you would take $22 million over $16). Why don’t the owners take accountability for the spending of their money? You seem to be ok with taking money from the players and forcing them to take even less, but what about the owners? When did we totally side with the corporations of the world?

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  23. @JC
    “If Sterling’s attitudes are reprehensible, so are the actions of some of the players who father children with multiple women in various cities, waste their money making it rain in strip clubs (not that there’s anything wrong with that!) etc. Most of them didn’t complete college and valued short-term earnings over education, which is ok, but there are eventual consequences.”

    Again WADR, this is absolutely irrelevant to the conversation. I don’t care what kind of guy Sterling is, nor do I care what kind of person any of the players are. This is about what they’re worth. The late great Jerry Buss once said that Kobe is worth like 75-100 million dollars a year for what he brings to the Lakers and the league in general. He never made that much money as a player. That’s a travesty -> if you truly believe in capitalism anyway… Also, what he makes off of endorsements is irrelevant to this conversation because he is making those companies money as well. (That’s why they pay him endorsements…)

    Instead, the league puts a cap on what players can make. How is that fair when a perennial losing franchise like the Clippers can sell for 2 billion dollars? Or, the Bucks selling for 550 million? By the way. No NBA team loses money. They all make profits because the league profit shares. Skimming money off the most profitable franchises like the Lakers and Knicks. So, there is virtually zero risk involved for buying a team. How awesome is that! You buy a team and then you’re pretty much guaranteed a profit each year, regardless of how poorly you run the franchise, *and you stand to make a huge profit when you decide to sell!

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  24. ESPNSteinLine Marc Stein
    ESPN has learned that McRoberts will receive Heat’s full midlevel for the next four years ($23 million) with a player option after Year 3

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  25. That McRoberts signing leads me to believe that Bosh may be gone. And if that’s true, then LBJ and Melo to Miami might be true.

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  26. how about this?
    i know as much about Kobe’s actual situation as ANY of you here.
    Kobe is perfectly healthy. in fact, he hasn’t been this healthy for quite some time…

    of course, none of us know anything. and…none of our opinions matter, whether we are correct in our opinions or not. why is picking the worst case scenario a sign of great intelligence?

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  27. @MarkG_Medina: I asked Kendall Marshall about the Melo meeting. Marshall: “I knocked on the door and they said go away.” Hahahahahahaha!!!!

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  28. Simple, the mist recent CBA was devised so players make less, players taking less money for a chance to win is exactly what the owners intended. The CBA is working to perfection, i dont see why players should take a paycut to “help” the team win. If a owner really wants to win he needs to pay up and be willing to get in tax territory. This CBA is a scam and need to be changed.

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  29. Chris I was making a joke.

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  30. KenOak,

    Maybe. Miami has also gotten Danny Granger 2/4.2, which seems more like building the bench than dealing with the loss of Bosh.

    FWIW, many people in NY and CHI think Melo is just using the Lakers for leverage and actually has no intention of coming here.

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  31. @rr what kind of leverage, the offers are pretty cut and dry. If he wanted to get the max in NY he got it offered already.

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  32. If he wanted to get the max in NY he got it offered already.

    Which would indicate that it worked. Also, some Chicago people think that he is trying to leverage a S&T to Chicago.

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  33. Great thread.
    Glad I could stir a few things up.

    TheFlops- thanks for mentioning me in your list of entertaining posters! (Curious how Ko got top billing :-))

    Justin, not that it’s any of your business, but I have earned over a million in a year. That doesn’t mean I’m not ignorant. It’s a bit crass to discuss such things in this forum.
    I’d never presume to know your net worth or income based on a comment here. That would be condescending in a way that doesn’t benefit anyone.

    As you say, every business has different economies of scale and profit. I never referred to how much companies generally pay their employees in other fields.

    I only said I don’t feel sorry for people who earn millions, ownership included, and anyone taking less such as Duncan probably has his reasons.

    If the current CBA is slanted in favor of the owners, good for them and too bad for the players. The union had representation. If that representation failed them, so be it. They’ll strike a better bargain next time and as Chris Y suggests, perhaps the cap will increase dramatically.

    If the % of profits weren’t acceptable to the players and the union they should have negotiated better.

    However, no one succeeds every time and lessons can always be learned, and sometimes learning can be expensive.

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  34. @rr Yeah you don’t need the Lakers for leverage. Melo can say either you pay me the max or I go to Houston,Chicago, or Dallas or even the Heat. He doesn’t need LA to be leverage with so many teams trying so hard to get him. You only need leverage if you don’t have options.

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  35. RE the Heat’s signings: Using their full MLE on McRoberts gives the Heat a hard cap. They can now not go over the tax apron, which is around 3 to 4 million above the tax line. Unless Bosh and Wade take ridiculous pay cuts, the Heat have essentially used their cap exceptions to sign free agents on these two players.

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  36. of course, none of us know anything.

    Speak for yourself.

    On a simplistic level, the fans-are-ignorant meme has truth in it, in that obviously many things go on behind the scenes of which we are unaware. OTOH, the NBA is a very public business. Players’ performances are recorded, analyzed, observed, contextualized, and dissected in any number of ways and through many media. We have all seen Carmelo Anthony play, we all know his stats, his age, his salary history and what the Lakers offered him, etc. so the idea that fans are ignorant about everything is a non-starter.

    As to the idea that our opinions don’t matter, well, no, but I think for most people, mattering in that sense is not the purpose of commenting on a board like this one. It is simply a leisure activity, and a way to root for our favorite team.

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  37. We are really leveraging our own opinions. None of us know any real facts, because the players themselves are keeping their opinions to themselves. Therefore, we are just trying to read the tea leaves. Why all the emotion? We will know what happens soon enough. Meanwhile it is fun to follow who signs where, so I keep reading to find out. Then I can make my own opinion correct.

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  38. @rr Yeah you don’t need the Lakers for leverage.

    Leverage is crucial to any negotiation; alternatives are one form of it–but only one.

    And I wasn’t endorsing it, just reporting it. Lot of spec out there right now, so who knows, but given the Kobe, Jeanie, and Wife factors, the Lakers may be a better bluff for Melo than Houston was. Also, remember he can’t get the max in Chicago if he simply goes there.

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  39. Is this where I rsvp. for the Renato rant?

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  40. Why all the emotion?

    1. This site is very measured compared to most.
    2. People who do show some emotion simply care about the team. Nothing wrong with that.

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  41. ok Daniel; like you say: When you have the opportunity to get a superstar in his prime, you should be pumped.

    so here’s what we know:

    Carmelo and Kobe are good friends both on and off the nba basketball courts.

    Carmelo and LeBron would like to play together.

    Under Dr. Jerry Buss’s reign; laker organization was always aggressive in obtaining top nba players via free agency and/or thru trades.

    Under the current Buss regime, this tradition of obtaining top players remain the same.

    Based on what we see so far, laker front office will try their best to obtain their objective(s) of signing Carmelo; LeBron and/or both is the impression i’m getting.

    luxury taxes be damned is what i’m seeing coming from the aspirations of present day laker organization.

    who do they think they are, owners with deep pockets willing to sacrifice the future???

    I’m with you Daniel, I’m pumped.

    Go lakers.

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  42. The option to become a world wide meda icon, like Shaq, Magic, Kobe and having Silver sitting in the room offering big time movie deals for LALA crushes what Ny can offer.

    Name a media king from the Knicks?

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  43. @rr I get your point it is a better bluff, but I just don’t think it is needed. Houston offers an immediate winning team which forces the Knicks to offer the max. Plus it isn’t like Melo couldn’t come out and say he will stay for the max and thus force the Knicks to either pay him or give him a way out (thus just buy saying it he gains the leverage if he really wants to stay). I get the opinion that he is actually really conflicted. I don’t think this is all about leverage. Remember once you live in a place for 3 years it really does become home. So it isn’t easy to leave (if the Knicks had made the 2nd rounder you wouldn’t hear anything about him seriously looking to leave).

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  44. Justin–

    Maybe. That stuff is coming from NY and CHI guys, so obviously they have their own biases.

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  45. @David H, Yeah I don’t get why fans would not want Melo. I hear a lot of just wait for Durant, Westbrook, etc. But if you have a chance at a superstar you take it. Who knows what any of those players do. I remember how Dallas cleared up cap space and was going to get D Will, Paul, or D Howard. They ended up with none. Targeting FA is really difficult. Yes the Lakers are probably more desirable than most but this is a non playoff team. If the Lakers can get back to winning they can then worry about picking and choosing who to go after. I mean just imagine if they went the next 2 years as a lottery team and then Durant signed with the Spurs and Westbrook stayed with OKC. I would rather get back in the playoffs and figure out how we can convince someone to push to come to the Lakers (which I think would happen if they were winners) or wait until Kobe comes off the books and a FA comes to a playoff team.

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  46. Ira Winderman @IraHeatBeat · 34m
    In fact, this is the way the Bosh camp wanted it to go. With Heat not needing space, there basically is no need for Bosh to take any cut.

    Ira Winderman @IraHeatBeat · 34m
    To sum up: The storyline of Heat asking Bosh for major cut no longer is a storyline. Plenty of room left before luxury-tax “cliff”.

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  47. rr: “Other than KO and Robert, both of whom were being totally facetious, no one here has ever, to my knowledge, suggested that anyone in the Lakers’ FO would pay the slightest bit of attention to anything posted here or at other sites.” In general I agree, with your comment, except for the fact that I still think it was my badgering on this very site that caused Jim to sign DH and will cause Jim to hire Byron : ) I can’t account for why Jim has not changed his hair style, or his apparel as I may have addressed those topics even more than Byron or DH.
    Hale: “You don’t know who the coach is. You don’t know who I am going to be playing with. They made no commitment to me on that part.” What a complete mess and I do not blame Jordan for leaving, except for the fact that if he read this board, at least he would know who was going to be coach : )
    Aaron: D Wade is a punk so I do not care what he makes That said – why did he opt out? Is it not clear that a pact has been made and the Heat have LBJ locked up. Why would Wade opt out of a total windfall otherwise?

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  48. Justin: we agree and appears laker front office is committed to that thinking. hopefully their plans work out.

    by the way, what’s Carmelo and LeBron waiting for, Christmas ??

    Go lakers

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  49. “Name a media king from the Knicks?” Spike Lee not being on the Knicks pitch is going to be the deal breaker lol

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  50. Lots of different opinions here on just about every issue dealing with our Lakers. Well one thing appears to be pretty clear…Laker fans, as a group seem to be rather frustrated the way things are going. Hoping for the best, not knowing what to expect, nor willing to bet more than $2.00 on this season having a happy ending.

    It may take a little longer than any of us would like, but the cream (our Lakers) will again rise to the top.

    Note: Special thanks to D for letting us vent, appreciate it.

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  51. Darius,

    Regarding your post. Bosh, Wade don’t have to take pay cuts to sign with the Heat. Both of them and Lebron can sign for max extension since Miami owns their bird rights. The only reason the pay-cuts were in the conversation was to ‘help’ the Heat sign higher end free agents.

    THAT is basically out the door with the signings they did though.

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  52. Robert: I think Jeanie Buss is listening; she sent mitch with tim harris to visit LeBron’s agent last week.

    on a related note, the hair and the cap are a matching set.

    Go lakers.

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  53. Could a team built around Carmelo and Kobe contend in the West? This is what five of ESPN’s B-Ball experts had to say today:

    Amin Elhassan: Have you taken a look at the Western Conference? The Warriors, Mavericks, Rockets and Grizzlies are all deep, talented and young — and those were the teams that were bounced in the first round! The Nuggets, Suns and Pelicans are competitive and up-and-coming — and they didn’t make the playoffs! A Kobe-Melo Lakers squad would have to fill out the remaining 11 roster spots with roughly $25 million. That’s not enough to field a roster that can contend for a championship out West.

    Israel Gutierrez: Sure. It just depends on who’s around them. They would need a rim protector and floor spacers to give them room to operate. It wouldn’t be ideal, especially in the first season while they attempt to figure one another out, but it’s possible. With the Clippers, Thunder, Rockets and Spurs all potentially improving, though, I wouldn’t bet on that duo this season.

    Dave McMenamin: If Bryant is back at 100 percent and that team also has Pau Gasol, a healthy Julius Randle and a host of talented, veteran-minimum guys taking pay cuts to jump on board to try to win it all, sure. They wouldn’t be the favorite with teams like San Antonio, Oklahoma City, Portland, Golden State, Houston and the Clippers looking how they’re currently constructed, but the Lakers would find a way to win a bunch of games and maybe even put a scare into a contender in the postseason, kind of like the Brooklyn Nets last season.

    Ethan Strauss: Not really, but the Lakers should still pitch Melo. Right now they don’t have anything to build on, and getting that first big star can help you lure some others. (Kobe at this age and health is only a nominal star.) Anthony isn’t a perfect player, but L.A. doesn’t have the luxury of choice. It’s crazy to think of the Lakers like this, but beggars can’t be choosers.

    Michael Wallace: Yes, especially if Gasol finds a way to return. A starting core of Steve Nash, Kobe, Carmelo, Randle and Gasol would certainly be interesting. Of course, their biggest challenge is to find depth on the bench and to avoid injuries to the AARP portion of the roster. I see contender, not championship material just yet in the wild West.

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  54. To weigh in on a very tiny part of this for which I do have expertise, Joel Silver does NOT have the ability to do that much for LaLa– he may be able to fool her into thinking that he can, but this idea that he could unilaterally cast her as a lead (let alone THE lead) is absurd. He releases through (and his deal is with) Warner Brothers– they (along with Silver and the director, but mostly the studio) have the greatest say on principal cast. At best – BEST – MAYBE she could get the #5 role in some kind of ethnically diverse-cast car racing ensemble. More likely, she would even have to audition for that kind of crappy role. And how many of those types of actors then segue into lead roles?

    Exactly.

    Don’t get me wrong, if she buys it, great. Producers have been lying for years; at least no casting couch involved, as far as I know….

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  55. Robert:
    Several reasons Wade opted out. The big one is he knows the heat will take care of him in the long run. Also he didn’t want to be the reason LBJ leaves. If he doesn’t opt out everyone blames him. The funny thing is its Wades fault he leaves regardless. If Wade wasn’t washed up LBJ would never think of leaving.

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  56. On a periphral note, if Lebron does in fact sign elsewhere, I would love to be a fly on the wall when Riles has to meet with DWade and his agent. Priceless.

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  57. @Anonymous The idea wasn’t that Silver could give her a lead, but that she would meet many of the Hollywood types that would help her career (And not just that he would but that the Lakers would help with that). And remember she just wrote a hit movie (Think like a man) this year. She could easily take that and get a few picture deal (on low budget movies like that). It would be really good for her, because a few Hollywood parties could get her in with a lot of the bigs in Hollywood. So for her career it is a no brainer.

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  58. Sid,

    Hate to be the break it to you, but ESPN expert is an oxymoron.

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  59. @BigCitySid
    I actually don’t think that the team could “contend” per se, but that they could be competitive and make the playoffs as a 7 or 8th seed. With that plan being that you try to get better again next season in free agency and then once again once Kobe’s contract comes off the books in 2016. Then, you try to make the jump to contender. The focus right now should be getting a competitive squad on the floor that excites the crowds and TWC -> if you’re the FO. Getting Carmelo is huge step in the right direction. Just my 2 cents.

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  60. Nobody feels sorry for millionaire ballplayers. However, I don’t understand the logic behind a statement that it doesn’t make much difference if a player makes $23m or $16m, because it is more money than most people will ever make. Business has to adapt, but the current CBA is strangling the owners as well as the players. I don’t understand how people can say millions of dollars shouldn’t matter to the players. That is a premise I totally disagree with. The owners are making money….why should the players be browbeaten into taking less money??

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  61. http://www.nba.com/lakers/news/140707clarkson_introduced

    Sorry to interrupt, but take a look at young Jordan Clarkson (and watch Julius Randle in the backround make and clang some baseline shots at the end of practice). Summer league starts on Friday! Can’t Wait! (Seriously!)

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  62. Interesting discussion about the CBA and the spiraling cost of player salaries and franchise worth. One important point being left out is that professional sports league in the US, which is supposed to represent a community, a city, is increasingly being priced out of most middle-class families budget. Yes athletes might deserve all that money and more, as the revenue they generate for their franchise through merchandising and broadcasting rights can earn hundred of millions for their franchise. But that increase in compensation, that spiraling value for franchises like the Dodgers, Lakers, & Clippers mean that even games which were once on free television is increasingly being placed behind the pay TV wall. Never mind going to the Staples Center and paying $500 to watch a game, now you need to pay $100/month to watch the games on a dedicated sports channel through a cable/satellite provider that pays a broadcasting fee for that team/channel. At a certain point, a popular sport will be relegated to a niche audience. See the fate of professional boxing.

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  63. Why Melo and not Lebron? Wouldn’t pursuing the best FA who plays the same position as Melo, only ten times better have made more sense. Add lance Stephenson and then you have a team that gets out of the West.
    SF Lebron
    PF Randle
    C. Pau
    SG Kobe
    PG Stephenson

    If you’re going to dream at least dream big.

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  64. Anonymous: Why Melo and not Lebron? Wouldn’t pursuing the best FA who plays the same position as Melo, only ten times better have made more sense. Add lance Stephenson and then you have a team that gets out of the West.

    I’m sure Mitch pitched this to Lebron’s agent last week :)!

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  65. “SF Lebron
    PF Randle
    C. Pau
    SG Kobe
    PG Stephenson”

    dude, if you have no clue about the salary cap, why post theoretical lineups? this is impossible. even if Lebron came on his own and Nash was stretched, Pau would use up the available cap space to sign. Stephenson just turned down 9M annually and he is going to sign with the Lakers Room exception for 2.7m? not like the numbers aren’t posted several times in this very thread. but hey, don’t bother reading other people’s posts, just throw crap against the wall and post anonymously.

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  66. I read almost all of the posts, and reality is getting closer, but it won’t hit everyone right in the nose for quite awhile yet: it’s still all about Kobe, the superstar–and that Kobe doesn’t live here any more.

    It’s gotta be about the new Laker plan–the strategy to become the Lakers of old once again. I wonder who will come up with that plan . . . .

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  67. Good idea from Tom Kennedy

    Solution: Phil Jackson and Jeanie Buss play rock, paper, scissors and the winner gets Carmelo Anthony. Sound good, Knicks and Lakers?
    7:57am – 8 Jul 14

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  68. When Kobe signed the extension last year, amid the uproar, the FO said that it would still allow the team to sign one max FA this off season. I don’t know why, looking at the roster at the time, that they didn’t assume the team would need at least two max FA’s. The extra flexibility would have come in handy now.

    Its almost as if the FO didn’t anticipate that Lebron would be on the market this summer and that the FA market would be just Melo. This is why I’d love to see Jim promote Kupchak and allow Mitch to hire a really talented GM to help them. Someone should be noodling this stuff out and say, ‘You know there’s a chance that due to Wade’s health Lebron may want to check out the market this summer. Let’s leave ourselves the flexibility to go after him.’

    Businesses need to reinvest a fair portion of their revenues back into the company to remain successful. With the revenues that the Lakers produce there is no reason that we should not have the smartest minds sitting at ‘the table’ mapping out the future of the franchise. The Lakers’ scouting, analytics, and training staffs should be second to none. It frustrates me that the Lakers seem to be run like a mom and pop operation.

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  69. Drrayeye,

    You aren’t the only one feeling this way. A few here have questioned what Kobe really can do at this point. They are taking a wait and see approach. My own opinion on Kobe’s health going forward is pretty bleak. I think that is main reason I want to see the Lakers start a full scale rebuild now. Chasing Carmelo only puts it off for a few more years. Now, if Kobe really can perform at a high level then I’ll gladly accept being wrong.

    Bobby,

    You are spot on about the mom and pop thing. Another poster made the same point a few weeks ago. The Lakers with all their income should be out front on every cutting edge trend. The CBA limits what can be spent on salaries. But it doesn’t limit the amount of investment that can go into everything else. Of course, the Lakers could be making those investments and we fans are just unaware.

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  70. @Bobby, I think most fans agree with you. The problem is you don’t truly understand how this all works (really none of us do because we are not in that industry). The Laker’s didn’t have as much of a choice as you think. If they didn’t sign Kobe and waited until he was a FA, he would have a cap hold of over $33 Million (His cap hold would assume he got a 7.5% raise). Meaning they would have less money than they do now. So they would have to sign Kobe first (and likely at the same number he signed for). So you have no additional flexibility and you can’t go after Melo or Lebron until after you deal with Kobe (who is now unhappy you didn’t pay him during the season. He might make you wait while he talks to other teams as well). It would be a nightmare for the Lakers.

    So the only real way to do it would be to just let Kobe go and target Lebron and Melo. There are two problems with this. One if you fail to get Lebron and Melo you really fail. TWC’s deal is affected. See the Lakers only made $140 million this year on the TWC deal. That’s because you have the Lakers channel ratings and playoffs that account for what they can get (It can be over $200 million if things fall right). Remove Kobe and miss on Lebron and Melo and you cost yourself over $100 million dollars. I know you think the Lakers don’t care about money, but the reason they don’t is because they make a profit every year. Once you miss on Melo and Lebron you are forced to build through the draft because then the FAs definitely aren’t coming. So now you lose over the next 3 years rebuilding: $300 million dollars from TWC, an area $50 million on tickets, and lastly an extra $100 million on advertising. Congratulations you just gambled nearly a half a billion on the chance that Lebron loses in the finals, Wade is unhealthy and Lebron might leave the Heat. See even the Lakers can’t afford those kinds of losses. And that isn’t even accounting for the Laker’s legacy and the Clippers ascending.

    Problem two, half of Laker fans are Kobe fans. Again this affects ratings, ticket sales, advertisements, and things like jersey sales. Kobe is still worth $75 million to the Lakers off what he generates regardless if he is still good.

    The Lakers do employ some of the best in the industry, but that can only help so much. They got a $3 billion dollar deal from TWC. That is because of the best marketing in the NBA. The Lakers have had more coaches (including Kareem for Bynum when they had 5 other assistant and developmental coaches already on staff the most by any team). The Lakers are also paying $50 million a year to revenue sharing. That is also why they are going so hard after Melo. They need something that generates buzz.

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  71. Bobby: Many of us ask the same questions. Its as if the Buss kids are using the Lakers as a cash cow. The key component is control, the Buss kids do not want to give up ‘control’ – even if it would make the Lakers more successful and generate even more revenue.

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  72. Pursuing Melo is a no brainer. Simply put, its LA’s most viable path to acquire another superstar, albeit one who’s a cut below superduperstars like LBJ and Durant. If Mitch & Co. can pull that off soon, I tend to think that enough pieces will fall into place for LA to make LA a legitimate contender (subject to health, of course).

    That said, the longer this drags out — the longer the Lakers remain in a holding period – the more likely it becomes that we’ll continue to see the roster depleted by the exodus of role players who aren’t willing to indulge LA’s ‘wait and see’ approach. WIth Farmar gone, perhaps Young, Henry, Hill, and Johnson aren’t far behind. No, those guys aren’t premier players. But each is a useful contributor, at the very least. Collectively, the represent a stable of youthful athleticism and critical depth on a roster that could afford to lose neither.

    To exemplify the perils of LA’s waiting game , jump towards the end of this article highlighting the dismal field of remaining free agent point guards:

    http://leaguebeats.com/2014/07/07/free-agency-quick-hits-intrigue-in-la/

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  73. Meanwhile, back at the ranch, the Excessive Self Promotion Network is now trying to sell us on the idea that lebron’s “inner circle” is leaning toward having Lebron play (again) for the Cleveland Cavaliers. This is the same network that four years ago today staged the “decision” and later the “celebratory”, not one, not two, not three…..mini nba three ring circus of all time.

    so, it would be fitting that today we hear that lebron has spoken to pat riley and came away with the announcement to the effect, I’ve tapped my ruby red slippers and exclaimed, there’s no place like home, to which riley quipped: you can never go home again……….except for the fact you happen to live there.

    Which brings us to Carmelo, I live in los angeles with my family, Anthony. We say, what’s your story?
    And, by the way, what did you and kobe have for dessert the other night??

    do the lakers need to make an announcement that they hired a coach finally before you make your “decision’???

    Go lakers

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  74. This is for those of you who want the rest of us to stop bringing up Kobe’s contract:

    “The Lakers begin summer league Friday in Las Vegas, but Randle will not be on the court until he signs with them. The team is waiting because it can save about $500,000 if his signing is delayed, money that could be used toward free agents such as Anthony and Pau Gasol. Los Angeles Times

    With the Lakers already allocating $23.5 million to Kobe Bryant next season and $9.7 million to Steve Nash, every dollar counts. So Randle waits. “We’ll see,” he said. “It’s kind of really out of my hands right now. I’m ready to play whenever.” Los Angeles Times
    – See more at: http://hoopshype.com/rumors/tag/los_angeles_lakers#sthash.q7cTIgfM.dpuf

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  75. Miami seems to be the center of this year’s free agency. Houston wants Bosh. But Bosh wants to stay in Miami if LeBron is staying. Otherwise he’s going to H-Town. Carmelo wants to play in Miami, but he can only do it if Bosh leaves. Otherwise he’ll take the money and stay in New York. LeBron seems to prefer Carmelo over Bosh. But Bosh is waiting on him and that makes things difficult.

    At least this is what I have put together while spending way too much time following all of this. Miami makes the most sense for players who want to win now. With Stephenson leaving the Pacers and no other “great” teams in the East the Heat can continue to dominate. They will have an easy path to the Finals. No top level player who wants to win will favor coming to the West. Even with Bosh in Houston the path to the Finals will be difficult.

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  76. 300 comments and you have to scroll down to the bottom of the page to see the latest. Simple solution is to have the latest comments first. Another request would be to open the comment section immediately when a new post is clicked on. Upgrade this site to from the dark ages.

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  77. upgrade upgrade

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  78. Big City,
    I saw that.
    (I stopped mentioning ‘the contract’ to appease our most sensitive posters.)

    Hopefully Randle can play soon; getting him on the court should be valuable experience for him.

    Seems like using the stretch provision on Nash is a forgone conclusion.
    I guess they’re waiting just in case they absolutely cannot get a single FA to come here other than undrafted prospects and D-leaguers.
    If that’s the case, they just may let Steve play 🙂

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  79. Anyone who wants Carmelo is chasing fools gold.

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  80. The Phoenix franchise’s team medical staff has a high reputation. Is the value of medical help just hype (no pun intended) or is it reasonable to believe the Lakers could spend money to better effect in that area?

    The Lakers had some interesting players last year that missed a lot of games because of injuries and chronic problems. And since the team is always going to have to cobble together a supporting cast no matter who it’s marquis players are, I’d like to know as a fan how to tell if the team is doing the best it can in these areas that aren’t affected by the cap.

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  81. JC,

    I actually think that if Anthony doesn’t come here, they will probably just play it out with Nash. Caveat is whether they somehow get Monroe.

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  82. Tweet from Darius:

    When someone says “I’ll be happy if I’m wrong” when making a prediction, do you think they’re really ever happy to be wrong?

    ___

    Can’t speak for anyone else, but I will be very happy if I am wrong about Kobe’s deal.

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  83. J C July 8, 2014 at 12:04 pm
    If that’s the case, they just may let Steve play 🙂

    rr July 8, 2014 at 1:07 pm
    … they will probably just play it out with Nash.

    ———————–

    Only one slight problem with that “option”: Nash can’t play anymore.

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  84. rr,
    really? Interesting.
    I confess – I’d like to see Nash get a last run at this.
    As long as he’s healthy and can make a somewhat ‘Nash-like’ contribution.

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  85. The only future activity I’m expecting from Nash re: the Lakers is cashing checks.

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  86. R
    Nash will be signing autographs at the bank

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  87. @rr

    I actually believe you when you say that. And you would probably admit it if you are wrong. Can’t say that about some others.

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  88. J C July 8, 2014 at 3:29 pm
    R
    Nash will be signing autographs at the bank

    “I’ll be happy if we’re wrong.”

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  89. KenOak–

    I am good at admitting when I am wrong; I get a lot of practice. Things I have been wrong about:

    1. Ramon Sessions–thought he would have a bigger impact than he did.
    2. Odom trade–thought team should have worked with him, helped him, and thought he had something left in the tank.
    3. Nash deal–saw core of downside risk as 2015 pick that is still in flux, but backed deal as reasonable gamble.
    4. Xavier Henry–didn’t think he would either make or help team, although I was fine with the signing.
    5. D’Antoni hire, although I didn’t know when I backed it how much Howard wanted Phil. Had I known that, I wouldn’t have backed it.

    So, if Anthony comes here, I absolutely hope that he and Kobe re-vitalize the franchise, and it leads to bigger acquisitions down the road. But based on the evidence that we have, I don’t see it going down that way.

    And while I have been wrong about these issues, what I have been right about more often than not is the team’s general trajectory.

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  90. J C/R: Nash will be doing nothing of the sort. I am sure the Lakers have implemented all home office cost cutting measures imaginable. Fire scouts, fire Lester, and implement direct deposit to save on postage.
    rr: “Can’t speak for anyone else” Well I hope I am wrong about Kobe’s deal too. And I hope I am wrong about Jim. And I hope I am wrong about D’Antoni. Ooops – I guess it is too late for the last one : )
    Site: It appears as though the site has a “hard cap” of 300. We need to get back under 300 so earlier posts are readable. Does anyone want to “opt out” of any of their posts so we can get back under the cap?

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  91. No one should feel compelled to stop talking about Kobe’s contract. Just don’t expect dwelling on an irreversible agreement to be anything but an exercise in futility. At this point, it was it is.

    My two (unsolicited) cents? The problem isn’t that the Lakers’ brass foolishly awarded the contract. Nor is it that Kobe presumably didn’t offer to take, say, $15 million. As Zach Lowe touched on today, the problem is the development of a bizarre ethos in the league today, a mob mentality that admonishes stars to either take heavy pay cuts or face relentless allegations about misplaced priorities and groundless accusations of greed.

    The billionaire owners must be pleased. For certain, they’d hoped the latest CBA would dampen the market for stars. But they couldn’t have anticipated this state of affairs. That’s because a sufficient number of those stars have – wittingly or otherwise – been complicit in effectuating this prevailing dynamic: it’s okay for owners to enjoy exponential returns on their investments, but only a selfish star who cares little about winning would seek to capture a semblance of his worth. (Sure, no other team would’ve paid Kobe $23.5 million. But don’t think for a minute that he’s not worth every last cent to the Buss’s bottom-line.)

    Assisted by quire boy Duncan and a frail KG, each of whom took huge pay cuts, the league and a supine media have acquiesced to an environment in which acting irrationally isn’t just praised, but required to avoid scrutiny.

    That’s crazy. First, the most frequently cited analog – Duncan’s $10 million annual salary – invoked to justify this trend simply hasn’t a leg to stand on. Two trips to the finals appears to have worked amnesia on those who suggest Duncan could’ve fetched $20 million + on the open. Indeed, appreciation for Duncan’s clutch play and infectious selflessness on the court have rendered to a footnote the fact that he’s been flirting with DH status since 2009. In a critical game 4 in OKC, Duncan delivered just 9 points and 6 rebounds in 24 minutes. That’s not a knock on his legacy; it’s a stark reminder that this isn’t the same guy who dominated on both ends night in and night out. Credit Pop for maximizing Duncan’s utility with well timed rest and light minutes, and Duncan for making a seamless adjustment to his new role. Just don’t let Pop’s brilliance and Duncan’s affable nature distract you from this reality: Duncan would not enjoy the same success elsewhere, and the line of suitors to offer him a multi-year deal for $20+ million would be nonexistent. More likely, every contender with space would’ve chased Timmy, but not past $12 million annually, and not beyond 2 years for a part time player, albeit a damn good one.

    Garnett’s case requires little explanation. He’s done, and has been for several years. A contract that pays KG $10 million annually is a gift to the Big Ticket, not to the team cutting those checks.

    Now consider Kobe. Routinely dismissed as far removed from his reign amongst the elite, Kobe maintained elite form up until the moment his Achilles snapped. I’ll concede that it feels like forever since we saw him dominate. Truth is, Kobe missed the majority of ONE season — a season that saw him earn ESPN’s designation as the game’s third best player during 2012-2013. To some extent, LA banked Kobe approximating that production upon return. In hindsight, that seems foolish. Then? It didn’t feel so far fetched. So they agreed to a short term deal in which Kobe accepted an $8 million annual salary cut. It’d have been wiser to let him regain form before inking that deal. But it doesn’t follow that the reigning 1st team all-nba face of the franchise deserves derision for getting paid like he was 6 months removed from being the game’s consensus third best player, not to mention the sole remaining pillar of a storied franchise.

    Jordan made $33 million in his final season with the Bulls. Had he taken less, perhaps Malone could’ve joined him. Shaq never once came off the max to fortify an aging and otherwise suspect Lakers supporting cast. If a drop of ink was spilled about either’s greed, I missed it.

    Times have changed. As a Lakers fan, sure it’d be great if Kobe had signed for something closer to $15, and even better if he’d simply accepted the vet’s minimum. But even if it’s correct that his contract has crippled his team, I’m looking first at the $100 million the Lakers raked in last year, and then to the $2 billion price tag for the step-child Clippers.

    The problem isn’t Kobe’s $23.5 million. It’s the owners’ shrewd overreach that limited spending to $63 million for 13 players. A dash of scrutiny is warranted then, as we witness players systematically effectuate the owners’ plot to marginalize players’ slice of a rapidly expanding pie. So when I see free-agents accept a pat on the back in place of an 8 figure check, it’s refreshment – not nausea – that I take from Kobe’s latest refusal to follow the party line.

    Rant concluded.

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  92. Melo interested in joining James in Miami or Los Angeles? New York Post: “The Knicks expected Carmelo Anthony’s decision by Monday, but heard only crickets. A growing belief within the organization is Anthony is waiting to make sure there is no possible way of hooking up with LeBron James in Miami or Los Angeles.”?

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  93. btshann,
    Not exactly how I would have phrased things, but well said. The owner’s greed got us to this place. It is not for the players to bail them out.

    Least of all a player who clearly brings in much more than he is paid. For this the Lakers should be applauded. IMO, they will be the winners long term, for putting productive players first. Also IMO, it is a reason Carmelo is even considering the Lakers as a destination.

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  94. The Kobe contract stuff from my POV is very simple:

    1. As a Lakers fan, and that is what I post here as, I strongly dislike the deal, and telling people not to talk about it is IMO foolish. It affects and will continue to affect almost everything the team does with personnel. As Sid posted, Julius Randle may miss the first Summer League game because the team needs to worry about having an additional 500K to spend on FAs. And if we believe Jordan Farmar and the team really wanted him back, but was not willing to give him 2M or so a year until Anthony decided where he is going, then Kobe’s deal probably affected that as well.

    2. But as a citizen, a guy, and a sports fan, I totally see Kobe’s point, agree with him to a great extent, and have absolutely no problem with his taking the deal.

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  95. @btshann

    That is an exceptional post and I agree with nearly every word. Just out of curiosity…what would Jordan’s 33 million be today adjusted for inflation etc…? I just answered my own question. Wow. It would be $43,785,276.07.

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  96. @KenOak – much appreciated, always great to know I”m not on island! $43.7 million???? Man, that’s crazy, and super interesting.

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  97. Jordan made $33 million in his final season with the Bulls.

    Jordan had a lot less mileage than KB did and does, and had played all 82 games–and every playoff game the previous season–on a 69-13 title-winning team, no less–when he inked the deal for 33M.

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  98. No salary cap when Jordan signed…

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  99. Front office got burned by Howard and will soon be by carmelo and lebron. No chance any of them sign with the lakers, especially with aging kobe, a depleted roster and still no coach…Franchise stuck in the past, yet not learning from its most recent mistakes.

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  100. btshann,

    Great post. It is amazing to me how many ways the CBA set up to screw the players and reward the owners. I am in shock, frankly, and wonder just who was advising the players? Everyday it seems like some new twist emerges that winds up limiting the players somehow (the Apron, for instance). I guess Silver really wanted parity (one max player per team?) and the owners wanted profit. Winning is nice and even better if it comes by way of max players taking less than the max to fit into a winning team.

    It’s created some interesting twists on the spectrum of building a winning team.

    Robert — thanks for the laugh. Given my lack of cap savvy, I should probably opt out of all comments now!

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  101. As good as Kobe was pre-knee injury, he was still a shell of what he was when he teamed with Shaq. Go back and look at those playoff games the last two years he won titles with Shaq. Kobe was a defensive monster and rim protector in his own right. Since then, he has kept his offense at a very high level but allowed his defense to slip; not unlike the aging Elgin. Players that get 1/3 of the team’s cap need to be excellent two-way players to justify the lower quality players that will fill in the team. Kobe is not that guy anymore.

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  102. gene – the salary cap has been around since the mid-’80s (see answer #5 here: http://www.cbafaq.com/salarycap.htm ). In Jordan’s rookie season it was $3.6m. It’s been adjusted through successive CBAs since (obviously). Those huge MJ contracts in the mid-’90s were thanks to the usual exemptions regarding signing your own FAs. He took what he was worth. The Bulls had the benefit of Pippen being on a super-low deal (under $2.5m), and after Jordan, the next guy was Rodman at $9m.

    Feel free to scroll down this link to see their payroll for ’96-’97(the first of Jordan’s $30m+ seasons): http://www.basketball-reference.com/teams/CHI/1997.html

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  103. Regarding Kobe’s contract.

    Sometimes, it’s just loyalty and a classy company. Imagine an employee, who worked so hard to get all the way to the top. She’s 62 and the retiring age is 65. Would you promote her in her final 3 years or would you promote someone who’s so young and talented. Yes, for a small club, you would make that decision to hire that young individual. It would be a smart decision.

    For the Lakers, you promote that person who’s worked so hard for the company; that’s how you treat loyalty and that’s how you improve morale. You let it known that you take care of your players/employees and don’t leave them hanging. And that might be another reason why Melo would go for the Lakers.

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  104. btshann:

    I admire your post–best one in days.

    Not to quibble or wallow in the mire, but I must inquire, was it your desire to spell choir, “quire”? 🙂

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  105. @rr – That’s not exactly accurate. The salary cap dates back to the ’40s. Jordan and the Bulls were able to skirt it, in large part, because Pippen played on an absurdly low deal (something along the lines of $1.5 million).

    Give a quick look at this excerpt from Larry Coon’s Salary Cap FAQs:

    “It may surprise you to learn that the NBA first had a salary cap in 1946-47, its first season. The cap that season was $55,000, with most players earning between $4,000 and $5,000. Star player Joe Fulks earned $8,000, and Tom King earned a league-highest $16,500 for his combined duties as player, publicity director and business manager for the Detroit Falcons.

    The “modern” NBA salary cap began in 1984-85, at $3.6 million. It made steady but gradual increases of around $1-2 million each season until 1994-95, when it was $15.964 million. Armed with a big TV contract from NBC, the salary cap jumped to $23.0 million in 1995-96, and increased to $26.9 million in 1997-98, the last season of the 1995 CBA (a 647% increase in 13 years).”

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  106. I didn’t make the comment about the cap; gene did.

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  107. I now feel like I can’t jinx it. It’s going to happen. So let me tell you why Melo and LBJ are probably coming to the lakers. Always follow the money. The Lakers can offer more money to LeBron than anyone else. His ensoreemt deals more than make up for the five million a year he would be leaving on the table. Now for Melo it’s different. He was already in NYC but the lakerwrs have a worldwide fanbase. But he isn’t as marketable as LeBron. It wouldn’t have made up the five million dollar difference. Or should I say it would have but not substantially. What really changed everything for Melo was the money his wife would make each year in LA. Always follow the money.

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  108. Oh Aaron

    how do you come up with this stuff, pure genius.

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  109. @AusPhil & @gene: My bad on the redundant post, must’ve missed it before commenting.

    @rr: Right you are buddy. Mea culpa once again.

    @bryan S.: Ha ha, man, like I said, I was ranting. Spelling comes second to finishing what I’d intended to be a short paragraph or two…Apparently discipline isn’t my forte.

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  110. btshann,
    you are my new hero. terrific post.

    rr,
    you continue to claim that Kobe did nothing wrong in fine print, yet you question his priorities, suggesting that he is being selfish, while questioning his desire for a winning roster. you are part of the mob that btshann is referring to.

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  111. you continue to claim that Kobe did nothing wrong in fine print, yet you question his priorities, suggesting that he is being selfish, while questioning his desire for a winning roster. you are part of the mob that btshann is referring to.

    As you see it. I have made my POV on the issue clear multiple times, and as I said before, if I thought Kobe had done something wrong, I would say so. The fact that you are either unable to grasp the distinction or are simply engaging in internet mind-reading is a failing of your own. I supported the players in the last lockout, and I will support them in the next one, so I agree with most of the philosophy behind btshann’s post and Kobe’s decision. As I said in this very thread, no one has ever bought a ticket to watch Jim Buss. And I agreed with most of what Zach Lowe said about the CBA today at Grantland.

    But philosophies don’t win NBA games. Talent does, and giving Kobe the contract that they did will almost certainly make it harder for Buss and Kupchak to get the talent needed to get the franchise off the deck. The supposed benefits of the deal are all distant, intangible, unprovable, emotional, or financial. I don’t like the deal for the simplest reasons of all: basketball reasons.

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  112. @Robert, best post I’ve seen so far:
    “Site: It appears as though the site has a “hard cap” of 300. We need to get back under 300 so earlier posts are readable. Does anyone want to “opt out” of any of their posts so we can get back under the cap?”

    @Aaron, I just don’t see the Lakers being able to pull off getting both LBJ and Melo. LaLa may make more in LA, but I don’t think even Joel Silver can turn her into a legit star. Then again, I guess if he can turn Keanu Reeves into one, who knows.

    What I think is really going on may show Pat Riley’s genius. To win, you not only want to get better, but you also want to weaken your opponents. What better way is there to have all your closest competitors trade away valuable assets in a futile attempt to open up cap space(Houston), and have them hold off on signing potential free agents that might help them(Bulls) while other teams snatch them up, than to have them think they are going to sign LBJ, Bosh, etc. Brilliant! Tomorrow, when the Heat sign LBJ, Bosh, Wade, AND Melo, it’s end game. Checkmate. He is like Michael Corleone(from my previous post) when he offs all his competitors in one moment.

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  113. Aaron, no offense but logically speaking I fail to see how this is even remotely possible at this point for at least the following reasons:

    1. Woj just reported that Lebron is choosing between CLE and MIA.
    2. We haven’t heard anything about trading Nash into cap space which would have to be a pre-curser to the signing of Lebron and Melo.

    #1, Woj is pretty much never wrong. #2 while the Nash trade could be kept under wraps by LAL, the team taking on Nash would almost certainly have something leak to the ravenous press that had literally no stories all day in the middle of the moratorium. Also, Woj is pretty much never wrong.

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  114. If you want to count beans then Kobe’s contract certainly made it harder to sign other players – by the numbers. However, business isn’t always about the numbers. Sometimes to get more money you invest in something that isn’t immediately more profitable. It is called optimizing the business, not the business deal. This is – IMO – the philosophy behind the front office offering Kobe the contract they did.

    When the entire NBA is doing ‘A’, then doing ‘B’ can set you apart. When there is even a whiff of loyalty to players by an owner, that owner can often cash in on that fact in the future. It just may not be in the immediate future. The Lakers are the best NBA brand because they know how to maintain that brand. All franchises make mistakes and all new owners make mistakes also. The Lakers seem to understand the way to recover from their mistakes. Of course all this is IMO.

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  115. There is a “previous comments” button, guys. Click it and you get all the other comments too.

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  116. @Lakers17

    “Tomorrow, when the Heat sign LBJ, Bosh, Wade, AND Melo, it’s end game.”

    this is impossible under the cap unless all four players take massive pay cuts. in other words, it will not happen.

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  117. According to the BLS CPI Inflation Calculator:
    Jordan’s $33M in 1998 would be like getting about $48M today, rather than $43.7M.

    Conversely, Kobe’s $30M in 2013-2014 would be about $20M in Jordan’s $33M year of 1997-1998.

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  118. By the way guys…one other angle to think about in regards to Randle possibly not playing in the Summer league is that perhaps the Lakers don’t want him to play because they might trade him. They could be holding him out to make sure that he doesn’t injure himself…

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  119. For those of you attempting to justify Kobe’s contract by bringing up Jordan’s contract(s), if I remember correctly, his last few years with the Bulls were ONE year each. Think about what that means.

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  120. … not to mention MJ was a more valuable player overall than Kobe, including Jordan’s final years as a Bull.

    There, I said it. And you know it’s true.

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