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Lakers owner says it is no accident they have 2014 cap space

Oct 19, 2012, 12:05 PM EDT

Los Angeles Lakers Introduce Dwight Howard Getty Images

It wasn’t LeBron James directly, that is just sort of a happy coincidence.

But it is no accident that in a couple years the Lakers are going to have a boatload of salary cap space.

Lakers owner Jim Buss — his father Jerry still owns the team but Jim is the guy running the show now — told Kevin Ding of the Orange County Register the plan was to have maximum flexibility the year Kobe Bryant’s contract ended, the summer of 2014.

“We purposely ended all contracts that year,” Buss said. “I can’t talk about Kobe (Bryant), but this is what he signed till. So basically we put everything to that, and we want to make a big splash in the free-agent market if we get to that spot. So we designed the contracts and the players and our future all around that….

“Yeah, depending on the free agents that year,” Buss said. “We would basically, money-wise, be able to sign the top free agent – maybe even two. I don’t know the numbers exactly, because we’re not privy to what the cap is and how much room we have, but it’s going to be close to two of the top free agents that year.”

Right now the only Lakers contract on the books for that season is Steve Nash at $9.7 million. You can expect Dwight Howard will be added to that list in the neighborhood of $21 million when he re-signs with the team this summer (he could technically leave but I wouldn’t bet on it). That’s a little over $30 million on the books, which even with the salary cap where it is now would leave them $28 million to chase free agents. That’s at least one max free agent.

A bunch of you just read that and said “the rich get richer” or something like that. Maybe with more curse words in there. And you’re ready to go off on your “the NBA is fixed” rant.

But what the Lakers are doing is something Portland or Memphis or Washington or any team can do — clear out cap space to chase the biggest names in the game.

It’s what the Heat did successfully under Pat Riley — they took a huge risk but it paid off. Other teams, including the Knicks and Nets, have tried similar strategies but it doesn’t always work.

It just always seems to work for the Lakers. Because if you’re a big market and willing to take risks like this, the Memphis’ of the world will almost always lose out no matter how prepared they are.

  1. karlton3 - Oct 19, 2012 at 12:13 PM

    “But what the Lakers are doing is something Portland or Memphis or Washington or any team can do — clear out cap space to chase the biggest names in the game.”

    Except that when you limit how much a team can pay a player, you eliminate the ability for those other teams to pursue max players because no one wants to go to Minnesota.

    I still think that if you really want to level the playing field, you should be able to pay anyone as much as you want to. If Minnesota wants to give $40M per year to LeBron when he’s a free agent to entice him there and LeBron wants the $40M over playing on a team with more pieces, then why are we stopping that?

  2. 1972wasalongtimeago - Oct 19, 2012 at 12:34 PM

    14 shmoreteen. There’s only one banner going up in 12. And it ain’t in LA.

    • rtfinch - Oct 19, 2012 at 12:37 PM

      you tell ‘em!!! the only way the lakers see a banner raising is if they visit the verizon center that year. wizards 2013 champs!!!

      • goraidersgospurs - Oct 19, 2012 at 1:43 PM

        I respect the fact that you cheer for a team other then Miami, Lakers or Boston, Unlike the other people that comment on here!!!

    • spthegr8 - Oct 19, 2012 at 1:34 PM

      @1972wasalongtimeago
      So where is that banner going to be hung???

    • cantonbound13 - Oct 19, 2012 at 3:11 PM

      Wade is done by 2014. Why not go to LA? The question for you, 72 is: Will you still be a Heat fan?

      • 1972wasalongtimeago - Oct 19, 2012 at 4:47 PM

        You know me better than that.

  3. crtzinc - Oct 19, 2012 at 1:09 PM

    Honestly, people should never be surprised by this anymore, it has been a part of sports history in general, some teams rebuild while others simply reload. It will continue to be that way so regardless of which team you root for it is wasted energy to get mad at news like this.

    • bougin89 - Oct 19, 2012 at 2:09 PM

      People get mad because not every city can attract top tier free agents, cap room or no cap room. Small market teams have to overpay for mediocre talent where as large market teams not only can get top tier talent but a lot of times at a discount.

  4. zerole00 - Oct 19, 2012 at 1:30 PM

    Say what you want about the Lakers, but their management is top tier.

    P.S. – Jeanie is such a cougar.

    • 00maltliquor - Oct 20, 2012 at 4:06 AM

      God man, I was thinking the same thing! (Talking about Jeanie, but yeah, everything you said!)

  5. sunsation3413 - Oct 19, 2012 at 1:31 PM

    This is exactly the kind of crap that makes people lose interest in the NBA.

  6. lakerluver - Oct 19, 2012 at 1:33 PM

    @ph53IQ, are you reading this, bro?….I won’t gloat today. All I’ll say is its good being a LAKERS fan!

  7. hojo20 - Oct 19, 2012 at 1:39 PM

    Can we PLEASE just read PBT posts about only the 2012-13 season? Let ESPN write stores about this nonsense.

  8. UCFpirate - Oct 19, 2012 at 1:41 PM

    Lebron will be going for a 4-peat in Miami in 2014 so it won’t matter who the Lakers sign.

  9. sal11 - Oct 19, 2012 at 1:43 PM

    “But what the Lakers are doing is something Portland or Memphis or Washington or any team can do – clear out cap space to chase the biggest names in the game.”

    I get what the author’s saying, but god is this absurd. It’s like saying “What Ryan Reynolds did is what any other guy could do – stay single and wait for Blake Lively to marry you.”

    • bougin89 - Oct 19, 2012 at 2:18 PM

      This is the best comment I’ve seen in quite a while.

      • zerole00 - Oct 19, 2012 at 2:36 PM

        Wait, is that Blake Lively thing even remotely possible? Don’t play with me.

  10. paulhargis53 - Oct 19, 2012 at 2:02 PM

    Bro? I’d rather hug Magic Johnson after he rolled around in barbed wire than be related to you.

    This means nothing to me. There is no guarantee LeBron or anyone else goes there. How many max guys signed elsewhere without a trade this year?

    You pukes are in for a big suprise. Laker liver the 38 year old man that acts like a teenage girl about the Lakers.

    I see a trench coat and a tragedy in your future. I’m betting there was an instance like that in your past also. It’s the only logical explanation for your words and actions…..

    • spthegr8 - Oct 19, 2012 at 2:17 PM

      @paulhargis53
      Who is your team???

  11. lakerluver - Oct 19, 2012 at 2:27 PM

    I’m laughing at you, bro. You make all the “wisecracks” you want, but you only make yourself look like a fool. Its apparent that you are clueless, which is exactly what I’ve been saying all along. You go on your mindless rants about me and the LAKERS and always end up eating crow. You resort to name calling because you lack any real sports knowledge. I’ve tried, to no avail, to explain to you everything in this story. You are correct about one thing though, I do live vicariously through the LAKERS. But that’s what “real” sports fans do. Anyway, even if the LAKERS don’t get LeBron we all know they will get another elite free agent, or two, to play with Dwight. Maybe not LBJ but Kevin Love would look good. Or, perhaps Love AND Kyrie Irvin? Maybe Blake Griffin and John Wall? The possibilities are endless.

  12. eureca323 - Oct 19, 2012 at 2:40 PM

    Also if Lakers wanted even more cap space they can use the stretch provision on Steve Nash that year. Which would mean his 9.7 final year would be stretched over 3 years on the cap at around 3.2m. Depends on if Nash is done by that point or not, but if they need a little more for a free agent then there’s that avenue.

    As for all the LBJ talk. Its pretty much a nothing story. Nobody has ever said Lebron is coming to the Lakers in 2014. They said Lakers might go after him in 2014 if he becomes a free agent. Which is obvious as anyone with cap space would. Its a nothing story that the media ran with since they don’t have anything better to talk about.

  13. paulhargis53 - Oct 19, 2012 at 2:57 PM

    I resort to name calling because you invite the criticism. It has zero to do with my knowledge on the subject of basketball, which is far superior to yours.

    Your “knowledge” consists of regurgitating anything pro laker and putting down anything anti laker. That’s not knowledge, its biased homerism.

    I’m not suprised you admitted to living vicariously through your team. I’m also sure you don’t understand what it means.
    In a nutshell, it means you have no life, your well bring and moods rely on whether a sports team does well or not.
    It’s a sad existence. That’s not bring a fan, that’s being a fanatic. There is a huge difference between the two.

    As for your opinion on my level of knowledge? You telling me I don’t know anything about basketball is like me telling a surgeon how to operate.

    Again with the bro? I’d rather go to Haiti for a blood transfusion than be your “bro”.

    The only one who looks like a fool is you.
    Everyone on this site knows you for the 38 year old male teenage girl, the biggest homeristic, knowthing dumb ass that you are.
    I’ll say it again, your mother must boo her vagina when she sees you.

  14. spthegr8 - Oct 19, 2012 at 2:59 PM

    It should come as a surprise to NOBODY. That the lakers front office has AGAIN, set the table for another big free agent signing. If I had a dollar for everytime, I heard 1 of the MANY Laker HATERS on this site. B**ching & complainng about the Lakers getting things handed to them. I’d be able to feed all the starving kids around the world for a year. NOTHING is handed to the Lakers. It’s called finding the right G.M. and having a owner willing to spend. Lucky for Laker fans……….. WE GOT BOTH!!!!!!!!! It also doen’t hurt having ppl like the Black Mamba on your squad, to lead the way. So in closing. You HATER’S can hate cuz that is what you are here for. It’s what you do cuz it’s all you can do. So while you B**ch and moan and HATE………. The LAKESHOW are hanging banners!!!!!!!!!!!!! That won’t be until June though. So as Deion Sanders would say” DO WHAT YOU DO!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  15. cantonbound13 - Oct 19, 2012 at 3:36 PM

    Who cares about LeBron. How about an article about Jeanie.

  16. e39er - Oct 19, 2012 at 3:47 PM

    So tired of people complaining about how NBA is losing fans based on the “rich get richer” its a bunch of a crap, the NBA has never been more popular than ever and with more media coverage nowadays kids from China to Serbia can watch NBA games, i’m sorry i think this is great for the league who in the first place was mostly a small number of elite teams mixed in with a bunch of mediocre squads, if this is losing interest for you then go watch another sport.

  17. manotas211 - Oct 19, 2012 at 6:01 PM

    You idiot wizard fans are retarded. There is no way that the wizards will ever win a championship. Not in your lifetime.

  18. paulhargis53 - Oct 19, 2012 at 7:29 PM

    laker, you aren’t worth having a REAL debate with. You’re too blindly homeristic and reality is not within your cognitive abilities. It’s easier to ridicule you, and a lot more fun. If youd stop and look for a minute, you’d see that you are in quite a few different arguments because of your inane viewpoints. I’m in one “argument”. I have others upset with me because I won’t stop ripping on you. They aren’t arguing my basketball acumen.

    You are a cretin.

    • bozosforall - Oct 19, 2012 at 10:25 PM

      You, pudhummer53, are the biggest joke on PBT. Laker liver OWNS you every time. The end.

  19. eugenesaxe - Oct 19, 2012 at 8:30 PM

    It’ll be nice to see LA get under the cap. It’d be even nicer to see the rules changed so nobody can exceed it, but no breath-holding there.

  20. paulhargis53 - Oct 19, 2012 at 11:00 PM

    Bozo, its obvious that you and lakerluver are dunk touchers. More than likely, you’re one and the same person, if not then there are 2 really dumb Lakers fans on the same thread.
    Go poke each other in the fartbox, you’re knowledge of basketball is nil.

  21. fruitcovejag - Oct 19, 2012 at 11:58 PM

    Lakerlover do you have a job? I see a 1:27 and at 2:33 PM post. The Los Angeles Lakers, the New York Yankees of the NBA. Easy to dislike. Go Thunder, then Heat. ABLA!

  22. mosesjackson1976 - Oct 20, 2012 at 12:04 AM

    Reblogged this on makeumtakeum and commented:
    LeBron, Howard and another big free agent would firmly cement LA as the capital of the basketball universe.

  23. lakerluver - Oct 20, 2012 at 12:46 AM

    @fruitcovejag
    You’re not even worth the time it would take to chastise you. “Go thunder, then heat”? How bout you just go away. This is SPORTS talk. Anybody who says “go” to two different teams should just read, not comment. Obviously, you’re a novice sports “fan”.

    • BigBeachBall - Oct 21, 2012 at 12:59 AM

      hahahaha…. novice…
      that’s troll language…

  24. 16x8equal49ers - Oct 20, 2012 at 9:39 PM

    So 2014 will be Kobe’s last yr, unless he resigns for low $.

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