With Moratorium Almost Over, Free Agent Decisions Likely Coming Soon

Darius Soriano —  July 8, 2014

On Thursday, July 10th the free agent moratorium period is officially over. What this means, is, all the deals you’ve been reading about — Farmar to the Clippers, Channing Frye to the Magic, Kyle Lowry back to the Raptors, Dirk re-upping with the Mavs — become official. So, expect a lot of tweets from athletes with pictures of them inking their new deals.

What you can also expect is for the dominoes start to fall in terms of the major free agent decisions coming.

It’s not just your imagination that we have been waiting longer for the biggest fish to make up their minds on where they are going to sign. As someone pointed out to me on twitter, last year Dwight made his intentions to sign with the Rockets on July 6th. When LeBron left Cleveland for Miami, he made his decision public on July 8th. We are now beyond those dates and none of the LeBron, Carmelo, or Bosh trio have made their decisions known.

Sure, there have been stories about LeBron choosing between the Heat and the Cavs, Bosh mulling an offer from the Rockets should he not re-sign in Miami, and Melo choosing between the Knicks, Lakers, and Bulls. But nothing concrete has emerged and all we have is rumor and innuendo. That will likely change very soon, however.

In fact, it could be as early as Wednesday.

That is the day that LeBron will meet with Pat Riley in Las Vegas (where LeBron is holding his basketball camp). One can only guess what James will tell Riles, but it’s likely to be more than just a check-in on the Heat’s progress in making moves beyond the deals they inked Josh McRoberts and Danny Granger to.

No, LeBron is likely going to tell Riles whether he’s staying or going. After all, everyone’s chips are now on the table. It’s pretty much known that LeBron wants the maximum contract allowable (at least in terms of dollars per year) that he can make under the collective bargaining agreement. Riley knows what that means in terms of being able to sign Bosh and Wade while honoring the commitments he just made to McRoberts and Granger.

After LeBron informs everyone of what his plans are, expect soon after for Anthony and Bosh’s plans to also be made public. If not by them, then through leaks reported to the masses. And then the floodgates should really open as teams who were waiting on the stars to sign start to ink the Luol Deng, Trevor Ariza, and Lance Stephenson types to their respective deals.

So, be patient for just a couple more days and we should have our answers. Hopefully, when it’s all said and done the Lakers will be getting some good news.

Darius Soriano

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117 responses to With Moratorium Almost Over, Free Agent Decisions Likely Coming Soon

  1. Darius – Just wanted to say thanks for letting that last thread run. Some good discussion, despite some being a little (or a lot) far fetched.

  2. yeah, thanks Darius for writing up such great topics.
    the last one was really entertaining and informative, and this will be too.

    i hope we can get the best available talent for us (to me is Melo), soon. 🙂

    no another note, a good read about CBA-

  3. I really just want the Lakers to get some rim protection. Someone to give Randle and our wings some cover in the paint.

    A wing defender wouldn’t hurt either. And Wes Johnson doesn’t count.

  4. 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…

  5. star light, star bright, please let Aaron be right.

  6. On 1 hand you have –
    1. Dwight
    2. Harden
    3. Parsons
    4. Beverly

    On the other, you have –
    1. LeBron
    2. Wade
    3. McRoberts
    4. Cole
    *Also, a weak Eastern Conference*

    On top of that, according to some reports, Riles wants you to come back at a discounted rate. While Houston is offering a max deal (4/88 mil). Add to this the real possibility that if LeBron does resign – key word being if, with Cleveland emerging as a serious contender for his services – it’ll more then likely be on a short-term deal; if I’m Bosh, I would seriously be looking at Houston as my landing spot.

    Now could this be the overall plan of Riles and LeBron? Keeping in mind that, according to reports, Bosh, after speaking with LeBron recently, has suddenly opened his eyes a little bit more to the possibility of joining Dwight and Harden in H-Town. Also the fact that LeBron and Riles – and possibly Wade, who also happens to be in Sin City – are scheduled to meet later on today, at which point a discussion could commence – if it hasn’t already – on a way to remove Bosh from the equation in order to make room for Melo.

    So many questions and scenarios. With the main question – as a Lakers fan – being where does the Lakers fit in? Confident by the end of this week, as Darius surmised, we’ll have some answers.

  7. Tra…interesting angle.Feasible if not for the fact that the heat have zero bigs to replace the major hole Bosh would leave behind.
    As far as the Lakers wouldn’t it be amazing if someone inside the FO gave some leaks as to the thought process on how/who they are looking at to fill the roster.Must be alot of meetings and stuff going on.Someone must have some info other than last weeks Melo meet! We dying with anticipation here lol

  8. Fabb,
    We are all ‘dying with anticipation’ on this blog. The problem is that the Lakers, unlike most other franchises, simply haven’t leaked much in the past and there is no indication they will in the future. IMO, this bodes well for us.

    I want to add my thanks to Darius for letting the last thread go on forever, if only for the ‘btshann’ post that so well summarized what many here have been trying to say for so long.

  9. Again…from what I am being told the Lakers only competition for the Melo/LBJ pairing is Miami. We better hope Bosh doesn’t weak and get pushed out to Houston. As long as bosh stays strong Lebron and Melo are basically ours.

  10. I still say LBJ / CA to lakers is a billion to one shot , but let me go on record that I will volunteer as Aaron’s slave for half a day if he proves to be right. I will follow him around in an Aaron t-shirt, answer his calls , feed him, call him sir, and everytime he asks, and he will ask, happily respond ‘you were right! You’re the man!’

    Small price to pay. What I request in compensation is, if it doesn’t happen, for Aaron not to come here and post ‘I was still right, it was just about to happen except for…..’

  11. Cavs just did a huge salary dump opening max cap space for lbj. Down to them and Miami. Too bad our Lakers couldn’t dump Nash ‘s corpse!!

  12. Lance and bledsloe.

  13. Cavs are making serious moves to land LBJ.

  14. That’s the problem with Nash. You need picks to move him now. Except they gave up all the picks…for Nash.

    Talk about a catch-22.

  15. I am still hopeful that the final shakeout is: Melo back to NY with Monroe & Stephenson coming to the Lakers.

  16. @Chris Y, I don’t believe Parsons is going to leave Houston. They clearly have a wink wink type deal. They would have only had to pay Parsons something like 1-2 million this year (which really wouldn’t even hurt their FA plans), but let him out of it. Parsons won’t talk to any team, even with a few that would give him max money right now. Houston’s plan was to get Melo and keep Parsons. So Bosh doesn’t effect that. I think they will basically take the luxury tax hit for a year or two and then move someone for someone younger (thus avoiding the repeater tax and bringing in someone young and cheap to replace one of their 4 max guys). So Parsons is probably harder to get than Lebron at this point.

  17. @ Leo, I sure hope not. Monroe is a center that does nothing on the defensive end. I wouldn’t waste a shot at any future star for him. And the Lakers D would be as bad as last years. I would much rather just wait it out and take shots in the future for corner pieces. As for Lance I am on the fence. He is clearly undervalued but just about every FO, but for a reason, he is a headcase. He had to be one of the big reasons the Pacers imploded. I know everyone thinks Kobe will take care of him, but I could see it going one of two ways: Either Kobe keeps Lance on track and he just does some stuff every now and again, or they have a relationship like Kobe had with Shaq or Dwight. Kobe won’t put up with Lance acting a fool, but if Lance couldn’t be contained by an entire Pacers team including Larry Bird, I have a feeling the news stories would be of the constant Kobe Lance feud. So while the gamble makes sense if you strike out on Melo (for two years so you can go after a core piece) it isn’t something I would hope for.

  18. On the Nash front, you don’t need to move him now. You know Philly would take him with a 1st round pick or you could stretch him giving you an extra $6 million a year. The only reason you do anything with Nash is because you need the money immediately (otherwise why would you get rid of him at the cost of an asset). If Lebron and Melo decided to come to LA they would move Nash, but you wouldn’t do it before. Nash could be used in a trade at the deadline as an expiring contract. And since you need to get to 125% of a players contract. If you want a player making more than a rookie deal you need Nash for a trade. For example if at the deadline Love is available you would need Nash to get close enough to the salary for that deal to work. Therefore people need to stop asking for the Lakers to get rid of Nash. He is there for trade purposes. Players like Horford, Love, etc that make over $12 million need at least one big contract to be moved.

  19. If thry sign parson after signing bosh they can give him whatever they want

  20. The big problem when you have a big 2 or big 3 is that unless you already have loads of talent on your roster or lots of stock piled draft picks it hard to go out and fill the rest of your roster with quality players. Its the problem Miami faces, and it looks like a problem the Lakers are trying to get into…

  21. Also people need to stop with the Lebron Melo Laker thing. Lebron wants the max (20.7 million), meaning that if Melo joined up and the Lakers moved Nash using Randle as a way to do it (so you could take their $12 milllion combined off the books) and the Lakers renounced Pau. The Lakers would only have about $12 million left for Melo (remember salary cap holds are in place for open roster spots which would be $3.7 million for the Lakers). Melo is not considering the Bulls because they can only offer $12 million. So that dream is dead and gone. Plus the Lakers would have to fill the roster with minimum players (having dropped below the salary cap line they lose the mid level exemption). The rules of the new CBA were designed to stop teams from doing the get rid of everyone and sign three big players. So please move on. Melo is the best chance this year to get a superstar.

  22. @Chris Y, Shaun has it right. They hold his bird rights and because he was so cheap this year his cap hold is like $3 million which is nothing. All they have to do is sign Bosh first, which will bring them to the salary cap and then sign Parsons using his bird rights to whatever they want. And remember he is a restricted FA, so after they sign Bosh it won’t matter what a team signs Parsons to they can match. Parsons is a lock to be a Rocket next year. They aren’t giving up that asset. Plus they held the option on Parsons (team option), so they could have had the money to go after Bosh and only pay Parsons $2 million this year. So they let Parsons be a FA because they have a wink wink deal with him. I promise you Parsons is a 100% lock to be back to Houston.

  23. Re: Parsons, I hope some team offers him the max, just to give Houston something to think about.

  24. My understanding is Houston would have to move Jeremy Lin, $15 mill expiring contract to sign Bosh to a max deal. What’s the chances Houston w/b willing to trade Lin for Steve Nash’s $9 mill expiring contract plus 2nd rd pick or such? Save $6 mill per year with thoughts of Nash (12-15 mpg behind Beverly) occasionally teaming up w/ Harden, Howard, Bosh, & Parsons. Meanwhile Linn w/b an upgrade at the one to anyone the Lakers have had recently.

    Can Mitch sell Houston on this deal?

  25. Sid,
    The Rockets already have a trade partner for Lin in the 76ers. Reports have said they will only make the trade once they have a verbal commitment from Bosh. So, that’s that.

    As an aside, we still aren’t opening up threads to trade speculation.

  26. .. if not for the fact that the heat have zero bigs to replace the major hole Bosh would leave behind.

    Even the more reason for Bosh to be out.

    In Miami, he would once again be forced to play a position that he doesn’t enjoy and that he’s not built to play (Center). Wouldn’t have that problem at all next to Dwight. If he resigns with the Heat, the question then becomes who is available at Center that they could sign after bringing in McRoberts and Granger?
    .. then Houston won’t keep Parsons to make room for Bosh.

    As others have mentioned, Parsons wouldn’t have to be moved in order for the Rockets to bring in Bosh. Also keep in mind that they’ll probably find a taker for Lin. Which will make the transactions (Bosh and Parsons) much simpler.

  27. Lil Pau,

    Can you film it and put it on youtube? I think that can become a hit mini-series or who knows, maybe even the intro to “As The James Turns.” (Whoever came up with that title a while back, I loved it!)

  28. Darn 76ers, OK D, no more trade speculation.

  29. As long as a player brings it on the court, Kobe doesn’t have a problem with headcases. Thus, he and Lance would get along fine.

    rr, Robert, JUSTIN, Btshann(sp), Craig W, Vasheed, Lil Pau, Chris y, KO (real laughs), and several others your posts were quality reads.

    Aaron if we don’t get LBJ and Melo that’s fine it was a compelling fantasy, much like if one could win the $400 million dollar lottery with $1.

  30. Ruben,

    I will agree to be filmed if my master for the day permits it. I will even initiate conversations with: ‘You are always so right about everything, what do you think about–?’ and ask personal questions about my marriage and career.

  31. I have a strong feeling that we will strike out. What will be the next step once Lebron makes a decision on Mia/Cleveland and Melo decides on new york. Once those two dominoes fall in those LIKELY scenarios, Will the Lakers try to get stephenson? maybe offer him 14 mil a year for two years? We still need to get at least 7-8 players. Very skeptical but lets see how it goes. Center is the main position i am worried about because we can always grab guards and we have enough wings.

  32. I think LeBron is going back to Cleveland. Things just seem to be breaking in that direction. That would put Bosh in Houston and most likely Carmelo back in New York. Like Sufian I’m wondering what plan B is if the Lakers strike out on Anthony. They have A LOT of holes to fill.

    I do think there will be a “second wave” of free agency. Once the LeBron/Carmelo/Bosh dominoes drop then we will see real movement on Stephenson and the RFA’s like Hayward, Monroe, Bledsoe, Parsons, etc. That group may be more important then the big fish because they can be used to draw the next class of big fish in two years.

    Being that I don’t see the Lakers pulling Carmelo or LeBron I’m anxious for them choose their teams so the Lakers can get to the next phase of free agency.

  33. arrgh: anon at 1144 = lil pau

  34. Chris Y,
    It’s due to the nature of his cap hold. Cap holds are tied to your previous year’s salary, so since Parson’s was so cheap last year, his qualifying offer from the Rockets (which made him a free agent) is also really cheap. This keeps the Rockets with a low cap number for Parsons which allows them to pursue other free agents with their cap space. If the Rockets sign a big FA (like Bosh) with that cap space, they can then move on to negotiations with Parsons and sign him for whatever they want using his Bird Rights to exceed the cap (since Bird Rights are an exception to to go over the cap when signing your own FA).

    The only thing that can screw this up for the Rockets is if Parsons signs an offer sheet *with another team*. The amount of that offer sheet becomes Parsons’ new cap figure for the Rockets and the team who offered it. The Rockets then have 3 days to match the offer or not. But, once that offer changes their cap hold, their cap space is diminished by that same amount.

    So, really, if the Rockets have 16 million in cap space now and another team signs him to an offer sheet of 10 million per year, the Rockets’ cap space goes down to 6 million and they lose their ability to chase top free agents like Bosh, Melo, etc.

    This is why some people wonder if another team will try to get Parsons to sign an offer sheet simply to screw the Rockets.

  35. rr,

    I am not trying to be an “internet mind reader” as you claim. I am simply repeating your own comments. You specifically questioned Kobe’s desire for a winning roster based on his salary. This accusation of yours is what triggered our recent back and forth.

    The following is from bstann’s post:
    ” 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.”

    In relation to this blog, you are not only part of this mob mentality, you may very well be the leader of the mob. And that’s fine, I’m just trying to point out something that you seem to be in denial of every time you relentlessly attack Kobe’s priorities or his selfishness.

  36. I agree with you, T. Rogers, on LeBron.

    The Jack dump is another indicator, and if I’m LeBron — who’s not opposed to living in Ohio — that move makes all the sense in the world. For him to return home and contend for a title, possibly even end the Cleveland jinx that plagues that community’s sports franchises? Play with Wiggins, Kyrie, Bennett (if he comes around, like he gave signs of before getting hurt)… I also think it would be good for the league.

    I disagree, however, that LeBron’s return to Cleveland is a forerunner to Anthony re-upping in New York. I don’t see the nexus there, and would think the Lakers/Knicks decision will not be tied to wherever LeBron lands. Just my observation there — I don’t pretend to have any super-secret people whispering in my ear about where those two will go.

  37. @tra
    I think the scenario you described has an excellent chance of happening… Bosh to Houston, clearing room for Anthony to join the Heat. Makes sense for Bosh especially. He’d really fit well in Houston and get the max dollars as well.

  38. Kenny T, I don’t see a likely scenario where Melo can go to MIA, even if Bosh leaves. What we know is that Lebron is getting the max and Wade probably around 13-15M. In order to sign Melo, they will need cap space, and they also have to account for Cole, Napper cap hold, and roster charges.

    After renouncing all FA, and signing Lebron and Wade, the numbers are as follows:

    Lebron 20,700,000
    Wade 15,000,000
    Norris Cole 2,038,206
    Shabazz Napier 1,032,200
    Total 38,770,406
    Cap Holds 4,058,688
    Cap Room 20,370,906

    On the surface, it appears that Melo is in play. But remember that MIA already agreed to terms with Josh McRoberts and Danny Granger. It is speculated that they will be signed using the MLE and BE respectively, but if MIA is using cap space to sign Melo, then those exceptions must be renounced. Accordingly, both of those salaries, totaling about 7.5M have to be added in, meaning that there isn’t enough left for Melo unless he is taking a massive pay cut or is S&T to MIA, neither of which situations are very likely at this stage.

  39. I’m just trying to point out something that you seem to be in denial of every time you relentlessly attack Kobe’s priorities or his selfishness.

    If you consider the stuff I am saying “relentless attacks” then you need to re-focus, and look in the mirror. So, one more time:

    1. I blame the FO for offering the deal.
    2. I don’t blame Kobe for taking the deal.
    3. I do think it will hurt the team in trying to rebuild the roster.
    4. I think Kobe made a priority of being the highest-paid player in the league. Look at the evidence:

    Kobe 23.5M Amare Stoudemire: 23.4M
    Kobe 25M Joe Johnson 24.9M

    Now, of course, it is possible that Buss and Kupchak came up with these numbers themselves and said to KB, “We want you to be the highest-paid player in the league.” But I find that unlikely. YMMV.

    5. In taking the deal, KB specifically cited the recent CBA negotiations as one of the reasons he took the money.
    6. I am on the players’ side in CBA matters.

    Now, I think it is pretty clear that KB’s belief in himself is such that he absolutely believes that he can come back to what he was before the injury, and can lead the team back to contention at the age of 36, even with his salary taking up as much cap space as it does. I think he wants to win, and I think he believes that the FO will create a plan that leads to that with his salary at the level that it is.

    So, if you want to address this again, do yourself, and me, a favor: lose the loaded language–the stuff like “in denial” “mob” and “relentless attacks”, and deal with the specifics, point-by-point. If you can’t do that, then maybe you should drop it.

    The best basketball arguments in favor of the deal, which essentially come down to the ideas that

    a) He will come back strong on the floor
    b) Future FAs, and perhaps even present ones, like Anthony, will look at the deal as evidence that they should want to come here and will be swayed accordingly

    Have already been made. If you have another basketball argument, I am ready to hear it.

    Basically, I think it upsets you on a personal level that this conversation is part of what is going with the Lakers right now. That’s fine, but that is not really a basketball discussion.

  40. Melo is staying….

  41. Well I was wrong. I was dead wrong and I heard wrong. Apparently Melo is going to the Knicks and LBJ is going to Cle 🙁 wow. LBJ is a moron. Cleveland!??!!

  42. The Lakers plan B is to overpay Lance. He will get his 5 years 60 million somewhere and if the Lakers dont get Melo, he is our plan B with maybe someone like Parsons added on. Melo likely will stay in NY but we have to show we are players when we really arent.

    Melo is in a tough spot because whether he comes to LA or stays in NY, he is not in a position to win a championship in the next two years. Where else can he go to win without seriously signing for muchless money. He needs to start his own recruiting and LA will win before NY does. The Knicks are horrible and will be worse as these teams with real young talent like Phi and Mil pass them. That is the scenario that will get him to LA. Mitch says yeah we are bad, but NY is going to be worse. Atleast here you can play with a buddy.

  43. melo is staying

    per Frank Isola new york daily news

    Let’s go! Time to sign Lance, Ariza, Pau

  44. So it does look official, Melo back to the Knicks. So Lance has to be the target. But I can’t see the Lakers going after the other RFA because teams will match on 2 years even if it is an overpay because 2 years deals would likely be easy to trade. I bet anything the Lakers up their offer to Pau just so they won’t be a bottom team. It is going to be a long year. Hope Randle will be as good as I think he will be.

  45. Wow. LBJ is already moving out of Miami. JK. Apperently he moves his cars every year.
    Auto Transport Trucks Outside LeBron James’ Miami House Fuels Cavs Rumors

  46. @Bryan, You really think that is a good group? Ariza is nothing but a quality starter same as Pau. Lance is an unknown, but likely can’t be an all-star in the west. Hopefully he is close to it. Lakers I guess will at least have money for a bench, but I really think this is a blow to the Lakers. There goes the belief that the Lakers can sell stars to come to them. And the more people who question it the harder it becomes to convince the superstars (still think they have enough of the legacy to be a draw, but they will lessen each year). I bet Deng comes on our radar now as well. Lakers want to win now and Deng plays D. Lance and Deng is who I think they end up with.

  47. Justin, if none of the big FA are coming, makes absolutely no sense to sign Pau. Sign younger guys and start to rebuild.

  48. Carmelo going back to knicks as expected. i wonder what’s going to be Aaron ‘s excuse now.

  49. Im glad that Melo nonsense is over with. Horrible mistake for the Lakers if they made that move, like i said all along Melo went where he can get the most money and i dont blame him.Lets lay a foundation,Kobe&Melo&Pau were not going to turn the Lakers into a contender. Good riddance

  50. @SGDE, They will try to sign Pau because 1) there almost no good bigs left and 2) they are in win now mode. They signed a bunch of young guys last year. And they aren’t signing RFA because they still want a shot at Love, Durant, Westbrook, etc and all the other future FA by 2016. Plus RFA are the worst ones to get because you have to massively over pay to convince a team not to match. I know many Laker fans want the team to get young studs and possible blow it all up, but the Lakers will not do that as long as Kobe is around (and probably not even after that. If you hear them talk they clearly don’t believe you build a team through the draft and bottom out. One you are then building off of luck mostly, not only where your draft slot is but also if they actually turn out, and two it takes forever, see every team that has missed the playoffs in the last 5-10 years. They are almost all the same teams. It takes forever to get good that way). Lakers will go after Deng and Pau and try to be as good as possible next year.

  51. Jim buss got burned again and will scramble to assemble roster by overpaying a bunch of scrubs. Or he will re up on his mistake and wait for Love or Durant and get nothing again. It’s clear that superstars are looking for more than living in the past… Why can’t he just invest max $$$ in state-of-the-art training facilities, coaching staff and scouts, at least those aren’t restricted by the cap and could be more enticing to potential free agents… Instead we get a coach-less team stuck in the past with no clear vision.

  52. Justin,
    I could take your feeling that not signing Melo would prove that the Laker draw has gone down, except that it is NY – with Phil Jackson – that is the other bidder. NY and Phil is a big draw for most players willing to fit into the triangle. However, it also doesn’t PROVE anything about the Lakers.

    Before the Lakers sat down with Melo, nobody gave the Lakers any chance. They have proved they can still swing a pretty heavy mallet. If they don’t get him, nothing is changed, except that the pundits now realize the Laker draw is bigger than they thought.

  53. As bad as the Lakers were last year, when health allowed there were some bright spots. Meeks, Xavier, Farmar and Bazemore all showed signs. The poor usage of the bigs by Mike D’Antoni allowed proven players such as in Paul, Kaman and Hill to become disenchanted with their roles and with their place as Lakers moving forward. Now, Meeks, Farmar and Kaman are gone. Pau will likely follow. Hindsight is 20-20, but it seems to me that the Lakers would have been better served by retaining some of those players, welcoming back a hopefully healthy Kobe Bryant and trying to add some 2nd tier FAs. The trouble with trying to hit home runs (signing Melo or LeBrawn) is that if you strike out, the opportunity to resign the fringe players from your previous year’s roster may be lost. Every team lusts after the uber-stars when they hit free agency. The smart ones have a plan B. Wonder what the Lakers have in mind moving forward? Carmelo and LeBrawn are probably going elsewhere. Now what?

  54. Well said Craig, i knew the ” Melo didn’t sign that means the Lakers brand is damaged” idiocy is coming. The fact that the Lakers came out of nowhere and almost pried Melo from PJ and the Knicks proves that the brand is fine and well. Im glad it didnt work out because it wasnt the right move for the reasons i said like a million times.!

  55. @Craig, You might be right. The pitch did make it sound like the Lakers still had some magic, but my concern is that the 80s, 90s, 2000-2012 Lakers always seemed to get what they wanted. They wanted Shaq, they got him. They wanted Kobe, they got him (once as a free agent and once by scaring off teams in the draft which I know wasn’t a big deal at the time), They wanted Payton and Malone they got them. They wanted Pau without giving up Bynum and they got him. They wanted Nash and Dwight and somehow got them. They would have had Chris Paul too if they had waited a week. It is probably all perception, but pitching Durant will be a hard sell and without the full belief that the Lakers can do it and follow it up with stars Durant will want will make the sell that much more difficult (not impossible just harder). The media always sold the Lakers as doing the impossible and I think that is why a lot of players were so drawn to the Lakers. Every player (and fan) trusted Jerry Buss to pull a rabbit out of his hat, but it seems like everyone thinks Jim is clueless (and so it doesn’t matter how true it is or isn’t). Getting Melo would have been seen as a steal and you would have gotten much of the don’t count out the Lakers (much like no one questions if the Spurs at 100 years old will somehow still be good). And that stuff does count for quite a bit (and I guess we will find out how much now).

  56. By the way, I get that Melo is far from perfect (probably about the tenth or so player down the list I would want the Lakers to get). But I think the alternatives are really going to have Laker fans question the FO because they think in absolutes. Just watch how many fans bad mouth the job the FO did this summer when we are barely fighting for a playoff spot.

  57. I think the Lakers are still a draw. But even the Lakers have to have something to offer. Cap space is not really an asset to a free agent. Talent is. The Lakers lack talent. If Carmelo wanted to play on a team lacking talent he can do it in New York for more money. Any free agent in the next few years who changes teams is trying go where there is already talent. Love wants Golden State because they have talent. LeBron seems to be considering Cleveland because there is young talent there. If Durant does leave OKC in two years he is not trying to start over with his new team.

    Randle could be the first piece. If he shows himself to be true NBA talent the Lakers will be on their way. The Lakers will have to find their own versions of Chandler Parsons, Gerald Green (they had him), and Steven Adams. Players like that are the bait the lures the big fish. That is way of the league now.

  58. Melo had to take the $$$…probably his last big contract. I don’t blame him and I don’t blame him using the Lakers for leverage, if that’s what he did. I wasn’t crazy about the idea; now we just have to hope there’s a Plan B.

  59. @ Justin, the reason was that the Lakers could outbid anyone because they are the wealthiest team in the league and is not even close, after this disastrous season its really surprising that the Lakers still were the most profitable team in the entire league and it wasn’t even close, if there was no hardcap nor this asinine CBA the Lakers still could outbid any other team in the league. I dont think this was leverage because the Knicks made the max offer 6 days ago. I think he seriously gave the Lakers a hard look, but he went for the money. I find astonishing that the Lakers almost got him when all the “experts” wrote them off from the get go. im glad he went for the money,didn’t want him on the Lakers.BTW i agree with T. Rogers comment.

  60. Lil pau July 9, 2014 at 7:41 am
    Small price to pay. What I request in compensation is, if it doesn’t happen, for Aaron not to come here and post ‘I was still right, it was just about to happen except for…..

    Good luck with that. It’ll happen as soon as he admits he was wrong about Ramon Sessions …

  61. @ Justin Ariza is a floor spacing 3 and perimeter d player. It is imperative that our 3 and 1 are active peremiter defenders capable of switching to compensate for Kobe’s sag (lazy) defense. Deng is not a perimeter defender nor floor spacing 3. Further, he is a high mileage player who will command more money than Ariza. I don’t expect Ariza to be more than a decent starter. As to lance, he has great two-way ability and as you say , could become an all-star. Pau on a generous 2 year deal.

  62. @Bryan S for what we were going to pay Melo i think we can get both Ariza and Lance Stephenson, it would not even cost 96 million to lock those two for 3 or four years.

  63. R)
    I already said I was dead wrong. Look above. And I said sessions was a below avg starting PG and a giant upgrade on fisher and I was proven correct.

  64. rr,

    “…. and deal with the specifics, point-by-point. If you can’t do that, then maybe you should drop it.”

    I made one “specific” point. You responded with a thesis while completely ignoring my one specific point…. your (unfair) accusation that Kobe does not value or prioritize a winning roster because he did not take a big enough pay cut.

    Like I said rr, I think you are one of the most rational and fair commenters on this blog…except when it comes to Kobe and his contract. Sometimes it’s difficult to see that you are part of a mob when there are so many mobsters around you.

  65. Justin: “Just watch how many fans bad mouth the job the FO did this summer” Prying FA away from their incumbent teams is a tough thing to do. The incumbent team can offer more money and more years and the familiarity and stability. It is understandable when a FA leaves a small market. However for a FA to leave a large market like LA OR NY, the FA has to really dislike the situation and the incumbent team has to really screw up. So it was not this summer that the FO did a bad job, but last summer. And while the loss of Dwight (07/2013), the Nash trade (07/2012), and the signing of Mike Brown (05/2011) did occur in summer, it has been the late Fall season that has been most costly (literally) Kobe Contract (11/2013), Mike D’Antoni signing (11/2012), VETO (12/2011).

  66. Once Phil took over NY, many predicted that Phil and Jimbo would be in a race back to contention status, while going after the same free agents. Round 1 goes to Phil.

  67. @Bryan, That’s what I was saying. Ariza is a quality starter but nothing more Melo being a star. Deng is in a tier above Ariza, and you don’t have to agree that’s just where experts place him. Deng was consider but Thibs to be a great defender and he is a step above Ariza as a defender. Ariza being a better 3 point shooter. But my point is that is the level of player they are getting. That makes them a 10-7th team in the west.

  68. R)
    I already said I was dead wrong. Look above.
    Fair enough.

    And I said sessions was a below avg starting PG and a giant upgrade on fisher and I was proven correct.
    Um, perhaps in your universe. Yeah, the FO was so happy with him after he shot like what,
    ~ 13% in the playoffs that year they couldn’t wait to let him leave.

  69. @ Robert, I agree, but I am talking about perception from a large (often casual) fan base and the media. As I said it might be seen as a win, I certainly hope so, but I am concerned about the faith in the future. That perception matters more than people understand.

    The Lakers plan to build their team through FA and trades. Randle will be their only trade chip for the next 3 years, so getting FA is very important to them. And Kobe is not putting up with a bad team. I suspect they will be scrambling to figure out a way to fix things quick (much like how they got Nash, but we can see how that kind of move can backfire). Quick fixes are gambles. Sometimes they work out and sometimes they don’t. Last year they made minor gambles on guys like Swaggy P, Wes Johnson, Marshall, etc. That didn’t exactly work out for them.

  70. @Tra word on Bosh is it’s Miami n LeBron first then if LeBron bails he’s maybe gonna consider Houston. In terms of him playing out of position in Miami. He basically still does what the league and even Houston will do with him i.e stretch the floor. In the east he doesn’t have that many big bodied centers to bang up against on D either on a nightly basis. So for him it’s as good as it gets.

  71. @ Fern, There is a thing called the CBA. One of the main reasons the Lakers got guys like Swaggy P, Marshall, Wes Johnson, etc was that they could not offer bigger contracts than the minimum and mini exceptions. They will always make more money than the rest of the leagues teams but it doesn’t matter. This isn’t baseball where you can spend freely. There are rules designed to make it difficult to buy your way to championship contention. By the way the Lakers made a profit of $100 million dollars, largely due to the $140 million they got from the TWC deal. Had the Lakers made the playoffs last season and TWC Lakers channel had better rating (down from the Dwight year) the Lakers would have made $200 million from TWC. So the Lakers lost $60 million in revenue they could have made. That is why they won’t rebuild like other teams and are trying so hard to get into the playoffs (and Melo). In case you are wondering the Lakers are still paying the $300 million they owe the government from the inheritance tax. So money is still very much a Lakers concern. It is just spread out over more years.

  72. According to ‘Melo’s agent, no decision has been made as of 6:23pm eastern. So I guess it depends on who you believe, ‘Melo’s agent or various news reports.


  73. Good to see Mavs agree with Parsons so HOU now stuck if Lebron decides to leave MIA

  74. @Craig W The problem is that the Lakers, unlike most other franchises, simply haven’t leaked much in the past and there is no indication they will in the future. IMO, this bodes well for us.
    I hear you on that one but it’s always been after an interview or meeting there’s always been a “source” that gives a lil insight as to the going ons…heck just this last month we’ve known every coach interviewed, draft insight and Melos presentation in all but the recorded session itself. I mean it can’t be that there’s so little about the 8 guys still needed to fill the roster. It must be almost all they are talking about lol. Don’t need details just lil taste of who they be looking at.
    Feels like Darius hit it on the head with the we-all-lebrons-hostages!

  75. Have to say how wrong I was. I expected Parson a lock to go back to the Rockets (after they got Bosh), but it looks like he just signed an offer sheet with the Mavs. That means the Rockets won’t have the money for Bosh or let Parsons go. Can’t believe they couldn’t convince him to wait 2 more days to get Bosh.

  76. SDGE – Interesting to see what Houston do now. Mavs going harder after Parsons than I thought they would. More than $15 per year. No shock that he signed the offer sheet.

  77. So looks like Anthony picks NY…thank God we can move on right?
    A person close to Anthony told The News on Wednesday that barring a last minute change of heart Anthony will re-sign with the Knicks after “agonizing over this” for the past week.

    “He will have something for everybody on Thursday,” said the friend who was with Anthony before Anthony’s scheduled workout with Kevin Durant and Kevin Love in Los Angeles on Wednesday. “He is really torn because this is the biggest decision of his career. But he wants to get it done in New York. He told me he believes in Phil.”

  78. So would the Lakers now target Bosh? If Houston is forced to choose (most likely Bosh, but still a chance they can’t wait) that would limit the market. Guess it is a real long shot. I also wonder if Wade would come to the Lakers (and I am not a fan of broken down half the season Wade), but if Bosh leaves and Lebron goes to the Cavs, would Wade take a 2 year deal with the Lakers just to get the money and be on a decent team? Things might get real interesting real soon.

  79. In the end it was all about the money… although if he’s not happy in a couple of years he can force his way out, reports Adrian Wojnarowski of Yahoo Sports.

    He adds that Anthony’s dream of teaming up with LeBron was never realistic — the numbers didn’t work out well anywhere with them both getting the max, plus they weren’t talking.

  80. awesome move by Cuban

  81. Ariza is a good role player as long as he is not asked to dribble the ball and he is in the final year of his contract. Deng has been much more consistent and versatile but has been slowed by wrist injuries. Thibodeau was not happy to lose him this past season.

    Phil did a good job of selling the triangle to Anthony. Apparently, having a rookie head coach was not a problem. Phil has always been able to find shots for his superstars and Anthony will not be an exception. Now, what is the reason for the Lakers not having a head coach again?

  82. Justin,
    The problem with quoting the players the Lakers did get is that, because they are so close-mouthed about their business, you don’t know the players they didn’t get. If the player doesn’t talk, we don’t know anything happened.

  83. Three years/ $45 million is a lot for Chandler Parsons. But that is what it takes to get a RFA away from his current team. The Lakers will have to make a similar type offer for the RFA’s they are targeting.

  84. @T. Rogers, which is why I don’t think the Lakers go after any RFA. The Lakers can’t over pay for a FA if they are going after the stars in the following years. And 2 years won”t be enough.

  85. your (unfair) accusation that Kobe does not value or prioritize a winning roster because he did not take a big enough pay cut.

    If this is all you got from my posts, you would do better to move on.

  86. *Sigh* nevermind missed my point, but over analyse away, nothing is happening so i be away until something happens. getting tiresome..

  87. @SGDE You have certainly developed an understanding of the CBA. Thank you for your knowledgeable post regarding (Miami’s) cap space. There are a ton of key points there, of course the foundation of which applies to all teams. We would all be more enlightened by rereading your post a couple times and understanding the logic.
    I will now reread it again in order to come to a better understanding of the current Lakers situation.

  88. Houston can still get bosh and keep parsons but parsons has now set his own fa terms to them in that he can opt out in 2 years – it only triggers houstons cap hold on the 10th when signed … they could have like 5 mins to sign bosh …. bosh will be forced to decide very soon now we might get news tonight

    Marion becomes a real option for miami now as an additional min lvl guy if dallas does get parsons – marion was better on d last year and hustles like crazy if dallas loses him for parsons it will hurt their team -if they keep both they moved a step up

  89. “If you hear them talk they clearly don’t believe you build a team through the draft and bottom out.”

    Then the team is in trouble: Magic, Worthy, Kobe. Oh, and you can add Nixon and flip him for B Scott. Toss in AC Green as well. And Cooper. Then you just need to add a Kareem. Or a Shaq.

    Lastly, since some mentioned the Lakers and silence, I’d also be happier if we had had some loud Lakers outrage over the last two CBAs. Took away the one advantage that the Lakers had, as someone noted, all that money. Now back to your remark re the draft, as Durant indicates, even with the 1 and done crowd, that’s 4 years of rookie scale contract and then 5 year as a max deal RFA. So unless the Lakers draft studs, they won’t be seeing them until age 28 at the earliest (why drafting a Magic and a Kobe is so important, i.e., you have a franchise stud for 10-15 years versus the 7 years that is 28-35 years old).

    Oh, and re free agent destination, the state income and sales tax don’t exactly help with that. Was different back in the day, when the Lakers could simply outbid everyone, like they did for Shaq. Now, what with the CAP, the 10.55% tax on income over $1 mil plus the base 7.5% plus surcharge add-on sales tax now make their offers worth less than some other offers (the reason why the Heat became the Heat, as it were, well, check the income tax rates, with Toronto being the worst of the three, Ohio next, and then Florida with no state income tax)(i.e., isn’t because of Riley and the weather in Miami, but instead, if you have to take less, take less where it doesn’t hurt as much)(and their sales tax in FL is something like 6.2somthing%). There’s also the internet, which helps with marketing the player who is outside of LA and NY. You can add yet more TV sports programming.

  90. Manchee, appreciate the kind words.

  91. So many great posts!
    Thanks to (almost) everyone for making this by FAR the best site of its kind.
    And yet….

    Is it possible to issue “virtual drug tests” to some of the participants here?
    I’ll gladly submit to same 🙂

  92. I think Lebron is getting his revenge on Dan Gilbert. Getting his hopes up, watching him send away decent pieces in Zeller and Jack to clear space, only to leave him at the altar.

    At least that’s what I have to think. Cleveland? After the personal attacks and consistent history of front office incompetence? Cleveland??

    Aside: if Morey doesn’t match, Parsons will be an excellent fit on the Mavs. They’ll maximize his strengths and cover his flaws. Man, what I wouldn’t give to have Rick Carlisle as a coach.

  93. Not sure who to believe in this new age of “rush to be first on Twitter” media and its so-called “reporting,” but ESPN is saying Anthony is still undecided, so that derby may not be over yet.

  94. Snoopy

    No one ever accused Lebron of being a genius.

  95. As everyday goes by, the more I see a repeat of last year coming.

    As FA get signed, this management appears to be more and more inept.

    And us long time fans sppears to be bigger and bigger suckers.

    Hope I am wrong. For all our sakes.

  96. @Justin: Never suggested that Ariza was in the company of Melo. Did not say that Ariza was better than Deng. The two salient points I made: 1) Ariza will cost less than Deng and is a much better fit with a Kobe-led team and 2) that we can possibly get two quality players if it is Ariza and Stephenson.

  97. @Byran, Yeah I agree with you but I don’t think Ariza is coming as cheap as you think. Everything I read said he is looking for a $10 million a year. Deng is asking $12-13, so yes you save and the Lakers definitely need the extra $2-3 million. Maybe Ariza would give a discount but it can’t be that much. He never got the big contract. But yes I think they will get a few quality players (thinking Isaiah Thomas comes as well and probably another quality player). But when it is all said and done they are a 10-7th seed.

    Oddly enough I am less convinced Melo is signing with the Knicks. Since the leak Melo’s agent said he hasn’t made a decision. So it may be most likely he returns with the Knicks, but I think Phil Jackson is playing mind games and leaked that. I may be the last one hoping Melo changes his mind and comes (certainly there are better fits with the Lakers, but I think he is the best chance to recruit the Westbrooks of the world). And I think Melo gives Kobe the credit for convincing he comes.

  98. Vasquez signed with Raptors, watching all the good affordable talent getting signed moved etc while waiting for Melo. If the Lakers don’t sign Melo at this rate this may down go down as a legendary fail.

  99. @Snoopy2006
    “I think Lebron is getting his revenge on Dan Gilbert. Getting his hopes up, watching him send away decent pieces in Zeller and Jack to clear space, only to leave him at the altar.”

    The best revenge that Lebron could get on Gilbert would be to get his hopes up and then come to the Lakers! That would be the best revenge that all these players could get honestly. Go to the team that the current CBA was created to stop. Go to the team that takes care of their superstars with max dollars. Someone get this out to Lebron…

  100. Breaking Laker News!


  101. Interesting reading comments on Knicks blog. 90% are against Melo coming back to Knicks. Before Melo signs, can we get New York Daily News to poll New York fans to see if they want him back?

    Hey, it helped make up Shaq’s mind in leaving Orlando.

    If I were LBJ and Melo, I’d sign with the Lakers for a little less knowing that in 2016, when Kobe’s insane contract is off the books, and with the new 2016 NBA TV contract and the likely higher salary cap then, a LBJ, Melo, Durant, Kobe, Randle team would not be unrealistic.

    There’s no risk to signing Melo. It won’t win the Lakers a championship, but if it doesn’t work out, he can always be moved to another team for major assets.

  102. I know we Lakes fans haven’t always loved the Spurs… but they should be the example to follow for every franchise. Just logged up everyone, extended the coach and are already making battle plans for next season, while everybody else is pissing their bunk hoping that somebody will take them to the prom.

  103. “Kobe Bryant feels great,…and is pleased with the moves of the team’s front office so far.” AP report via Sean Lewis, 7/9/2014


    Having followed Kobe his entire career, (and knowing how he has reacted previously when he didn’t think the FO was doing what he believed needed to be done) hearing this statement from Kobe makes me wonder. Is this a sign of:

    -some knowledge of inside information?
    -absolutely nothing, just jock talk to media

    Things that make you go hmmmm?

  104. The Dane,
    The problem with following the Spurs is that it takes time and more than a little luck. They were in place when their center went down for a year and they sucked to get Tim Duncan. Timing and the right player to be drafted. Tim Duncan is an exception in this world of high draft picks.

    The Lakers don’t have the luxury of building over time. They may do that anyway, but they will certainly take it in spades from the fans and the talking heads while that building is going on. Besides, we are not a small market team and everybody knows that. The ongoing expectations are just different.

  105. Craig,
    We’re not…Cleveland, for example.
    Where once in a generation we may actually compete for a CHAMPIONSHIP.
    No, we’re LA. Hollywood.
    Where championships are expected.
    Patience isn’t a virtue here.

  106. ESPN reporting that Melo still hasn’t made a decision.

    Frank Isola (the man who leaked the “Melo to NY story”)

    Is full of bunk right now.

  107. @Dane, Sorry the Spurs are an anomaly. Duncan took a huge pay cut, so did Manu, and Parker. They got Kahwi only because the Pacers desperately wanted George Hill because he was a local kid and one they thought would stick around. How would you suggest the Lakers mimic that? Remember the Spurs have never gotten a key FA. And if you are suggesting the Lakers find a Parker, Manu, and Leonard in the draft, then what you are saying is that they have to be extremely lucky. People give the Spurs too much credit for getting lucky (and I do believe they are the best run franchise). If they really thought anything of Manu they would have moved up to make sure they got him. Remember they took a flier on him at 56th. That is luck (if it was skill they would have taken him with their first pick that year). And Parker was the same thing. They didn’t move up because they weren’t even sure they were taking him until the last minute when Pop finally agreed (Pop was concerned about a foreign player playing point and if players would listen to him). The Spurs have drafted a bunch of bust that no one remembers because they hit the jackpot 3 times. Only Kwahi (taken 15th and they wouldn’t have made the deal without him being their for the pick) was true skill.

    If I bought three straight lottery tickets and won three straight times you wouldn’t call me a financial genius or some fortune teller with the ability to accurately predict the numbers you would call me lucky.

    Again I think they are the best run franchise but I think people seem to think they are head and shoulders better than everyone else. I doubt they are that much better than the Lakers or Celtics. Luck plays a bigger part than people seem to think in sports. From the luck of not only getting a draft spot, but also getting a player that can play to luck of being healthy. The Mavs when they won the title were like the 6th best team that year. Then suddenly they got hot and played better than they did at any point that year. And to show you what Cuban thought of that he immediately tore it down. And lets look at this, the Lakers through there last 5 years were very healthy (except for Bynum who is never healthy). Then these last two years the Lakers missed more games than any team. The Lakers have the exact same training staff, medical understanding has only improved, and to top it off they had a younger team this last year than they have had in a dozen years. That is bad luck. So after hearing that what should the Lakers do differently Dane (By the way it sounds like I am being a jerk, but I am actually asking. What could they do better that isn’t luck related)?

  108. The wait has been just killer this time around. Summer league starts tomorrow and still no coach. This has been painful for sure.

  109. The Lakers are in a position where they have to react to circumstances. Fortunately the front office isn’t as antsy as us fans – and they have kept quiet about their alternatives and plans. Thus they will have better leverage when they do act. IMO, Brian Scott is the next coach and it really doesn’t matter that he hasn’t been named yet. He understands the politics of all this, being almost a grizzled NBA veteran in all phases of the game.

  110. Nightmare 31 avoided: Steve Blake returns… to Portland! Whew.

  111. Yeah agree with Craig. Byron is the next coach and everyone knows it. The only way he doesn’t coach is if Lebron suddenly decides to ignore the 99% chance he is going to be with either the Cavs or Heat next year and wants someone else as coach. And I think the Lakers have known that for some time but the fans are acting like we can’t get our coach because other coaches kept getting hired. And now that Kobe has said he is happy “if ” Byron is named coach.

  112. @Chris Y, It’s Byron and everyone can figure it out now. He will be announced once the Melo thing is over. So no need to worry. (And really once you go on the 3rd interview you have the job).

  113. The Lakers were very healthy for 5 years and then the last 2 years have had a bad run of injuries. This has been addressed several times over the past few months. The Lakers fired the person considered to be among the best trainers in sports, Alex McKechnie, to save money during the lockout. They also got rid of the triangle offense and the chance to control the tempo of the game and save wear and tear on their veterans. Funny how the Spurs figured out how to keep their veterans performing at a high level in part by reducing their minutes and surrounding them with competent role players. In contrast, the Lakers chose to max out Kobe’s minutes with predictable results.

    The new CBA has drastically leveled the playing field and the better FO’s will rise to the top. This off-season will give the Lakers’ FO a chance to show how they have adapted to the new rules.

  114. Hale … lol

    Hopefully deandre kane makes the team as our 3rd guard … yay summer league

    I gotta say .. the stupidest rumor out there is chicago dangling boozers expiring contract to us for gasol ….. we have the cap space now we dont need boozer …. now if you give us mcdermott and another 1st that could be a consideration but boozer alone is just stupid

  115. @ Baylor Fan, That is true but he was known to prevent injuries and was the only guy that left. The rest of the staff is still there. He couldn’t be that good. Maybe if it was a difference of two or three guys but come on an entire team. Plus they nearly set an all time record the last two years. I am pretty sure you could have zero trainers and not have it be that bad. That points a lot to luck. If he was truly THAT good a team would be stupid not to buy him from another team for even a 1st round pick and pay him $3 million a year. Then grab Oden, Bynum, and every other often injured player and then sell high on those guys (heck if Oden was healthly his value would be a top 10 player due to his defense supposedly on the young Dwight level). The truth is the Lakers have been extremely unlucky and yes losing what might have been the best at his job to save money was a stupid mistake (but remember just about every team did this). If next year the Lakers are the healthiest team in the league then it will prove luck is a huge factor (Which it is).

  116. Another team did grab McKechnie and made him a sweet deal including making him director of sports science. Toronto players enjoyed a remarkably injury free season last year and attributed it to McKechnie and luck. Bynum did benefit from McKechnie early in his career. Sometimes you make your own luck.

    FiveThirtyEight.com has a sobering analysis of the impact LeBron would have on the Lakers next season. Silver projects the Lakers as winning 42 games with LeBron and the team that could be assembled around him. http://fivethirtyeight.com/features/lebron-james-shouldnt-stay-in-miami-or-go-to-cleveland/

  117. darius: stay tuned for the next episode of As the NBA Turns….then churns; then burns.

    can hardly wait for real live action.

    Go Lakers