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Lakers may consider amnesty of Pau Gasol this summer

Apr 21, 2013, 12:29 PM EST

Houston Rockets v Los Angeles Lakers Getty Images

Despite what some Lakers fans think ownership does not have an unlimited pocketbook.  Even with their new cable deal. The Buss family has always run the Lakers like a business, just one that plays with more revenue than other teams. Yes, they spent a lot to win but they also turned a profit every season — the Lakers are the sole business of the Buss family now. This is their livelihood.

Which brings us to the Lakers payroll, which is at $100 million for this season, which under the current system means another $30 million in luxury tax is added to that bill. And that bill makes Lakers ownership uncomfortable.

Without major roster changes the Lakers are on target for about $100 million in payroll next season as well — but under the new punitive luxury tax negotiated in the new CBA the Lakers tax bill would jump to $85 million total. That would be $185 million in payroll, plus they will have new revenue sharing bill that could be up to $50 million.

The Lakers are looking to shave that bill this summer.

They are not going to amnesty Kobe Bryant. That got brought up by some Lakers fans and pundits, but that is not how the Lakers relationship with Kobe works. He is too central to their marketing and identity right now. He is the Lakers.

Pau Gasol on the other hand… the Lakers probably wouldn’t amnesty him either. But they have to consider it writes Mike Bresnahan at the Los Angeles Times.

Waiving Gasol via the “amnesty” provision in July could potentially save them more than $60 million in luxury taxes. They would still have to pay his $19.3-million salary, though he could be snapped up by a bidding team that would owe the Lakers millions to help with that cost.

The Lakers also could try to trade Gasol, but his hefty salary next season could be difficult to move and they would likely have to take back salaries totaling at least $15 million, which wouldn’t really help a goal to avoid ridiculous luxury taxes.

I still think the Lakers will try to trade Gasol in an effort to get more athletic and younger, to get players that can better fit Mike D’Antoni’s preferred system. However, the hard part is the Lakers have a lot of cap space in 2014 (even if the re-sign Dwight Howard to a max deal) and it would be very hard to trade Gasol and not take back salary that impinges on that cap space.

The Lakers are likely to amnesty somebody. My guess is Metta World Peace and they try to replace his production with what they get back in a Gasol trade.

I think for one season the Lakers will bite the bullet on a big tax bill in an effort to win one more ring in the Kobe era. Then in the summer of 2014 things change dramatically.

But a Gasol amnesty is not out of the question and you know the Lakers have discussed it.

  1. Mr. Wright 212 - Apr 21, 2013 at 12:39 PM

    Why not trade him? He’s the only piece anyone in the league would be willing to trade for…

    He’s entering his walk year. What good is there by amnestying him? That should be all the more reason why Minnesota should be willing to give up closer to what the Lakers want in return (presumably Williams, Shved and a 1st and 2nd), knowing they get cap relief after 2013-2014.

    • bucrightoff - Apr 21, 2013 at 1:01 PM

      There is no way they can get that kind of deal for Gasol without a contract extension in place. The Wolves are nowhere close to contending for their division, let alone conference or NBA titles. A one year rental to make the playoffs and get knocked out in the first isn’t worth it. The Lakers should be content finding someone willing to offer draft picks and role players, things they desperately need. Get some 3 point shooters so you can play inside out with Dwight, which of course is the huge x-factor here. Can’t do anything with Pau until you know what Dwight is doing.

    • mazblast - Apr 21, 2013 at 1:02 PM

      The Lakers may want, but I don’t think even Minnesota is stupid enough to give. Well, unless Stern wills it so.

      Seriously, two players and two draft picks for a guy this old in his walk year?

    • dr227 - Apr 21, 2013 at 1:42 PM

      two draft picks and two young players with upside for a soft big closer to 35 than 30? you sir are hilarious.

      • Mr. Wright 212 - Apr 21, 2013 at 2:58 PM

        Gasol has 4-5 very good years left. And if you think Dwight is going anywhere, you are the one who’s “hilarious.”

  2. Mr. Wright 212 - Apr 21, 2013 at 12:40 PM

    And I agree, Kurt, I have felt all season that Ron would be the guy they would amnesty.

  3. coryfor3 - Apr 21, 2013 at 12:55 PM

    Amnesty would be stupid for more reasons than I can fit here.

  4. rgledz - Apr 21, 2013 at 1:00 PM

    I hope they do! Then he can start alongside Rubio and make a solid run.

  5. rjlink1 - Apr 21, 2013 at 1:46 PM

    Suckered by the headline. I thought there may have been some actual intel. Just speculation by Bresnahan.

    I agree the better amnesty candidate is Metta. The Lakers have gotten about all he’s got left to give.

  6. dalucks - Apr 21, 2013 at 2:07 PM

    Using the amnesty clause on Kobe Bryant makes more sense. Kobe will not play during the 2013-2014 season unless you still think Derrick Rose will play for the Bulls this season. Kobe should take the entire season off to heal properly.
    Kobe can resign with the Lakers for the 2014-2015 season as the amnesty clause prevents a team from resigning the amnestied player until his previous contract expires. No one in the NBA will sign Kobe knowing he will not play in the 2013-2014 season. The Lakers would save the luxury tax money while Kobe still gets paid 30 million dollars.
    The Lakers should explore trade options for Pau Gasol. He is a skilled big man with an expiring contract. Expiring contracts hold alot of value in the NBA so the Lakers could get a good player or a nice package of picks.
    Unfortunately, Mitch Kupchak is not the smartest GM in the NBA so he could make the stupid decision to amnesty Pau when he was the idiot who overpaid him in the beginning.
    The problem can never fix the problem.

    • Mr. Wright 212 - Apr 21, 2013 at 2:47 PM

      Kobe will be back before the All-Star Break. Equating the will of Kobe to that of Rose is foolish. Again, amnestying him is unwise for several reason, the LEAST of which, is the scenario you mentioned, which isn’t even going to happen.

      Otherwise, I agree. Seek two current players and two picks for Gasol, amnesty Ron, and get Kobe back by December/January. If Gasol had 3 years left, and not entering his walk year, then amnestying him MIGHT make sense. But otherwise, Ron is the only sensible guy to amnesty.

      • dalucks - Apr 21, 2013 at 3:55 PM

        Using the amnesty clause on Ron Artest makes little sense considering his salary is 7 .7 million dollars, which would not save the Lakers from paying the luxury tax nor would it create any significant salary cap space to improve the team.
        To make the amnesty clause worth its use, the Lakers should amnesty Kobe at 30 million dollars or Pau at 19 million dollars. Kobe is the better amnesty option for salary cap space and trading Pau would improve the roster quicker. The Lakers already have a salary cap number of 78 million dollars without resigning (overpaying) Dwight Howard. Giving Howard a max deal puts the Lakers at a salary cap number of 100 million dollars. Honestly, what is the trade market for Steve Blake (4 million), Chris Duhon (3.9 million) and Jordan Hill (3.5 million). That only save 11.4 million, which after resigning Dwight puts the Lakers cap number at 88.6 million dollars. Again, no real chance to improve the roster.
        A torn achilles is not a minor injury so people who think Kobe will be back before the All star break are probably the same people who thought Derrick Rose would be back at the All Star break this season. WebMD.com can educate people about recovery time for injuries but everyone does not heal the same.
        Even when healthy, this team is not an elite team so it would be wise to explore trade options on Pau and Dwight this offseason. Trading Pau makes more sense since the Lakers could get atleast some draft picks and/or a decent player to improve the roster. Athletism and depth were weaknesses of the Lakers this season.
        Why would Kobe be mad about getting amnestied anyway, he is still getting paid 30 million dollars this season not to play basketball. Taking a year off to be 100% is logical because if he is not the Kobe we all know then everyone will second guess him playing in 2013-2014. Except me because I will have the right to say I told you so.
        Businesss decisions should be make with your brain and not your heart. Amnesty Kobe is the smart move.

        Salary cap for the Lakers:

        http://hoopshype.com/salaries/la_lakers.htm

      • Kurt Helin - Apr 21, 2013 at 11:00 PM

        It is a business decision NOT to amnesty Kobe because it is the fan base that pays the bills (with tickets and eyeballs) and if they amnesty Kobe there would be a riot among the Lakers fan base.

      • uptmonsta - Apr 21, 2013 at 6:51 PM

        Ron’s deal is up, no need to amnesty him.

      • Kevin S. - Apr 21, 2013 at 7:37 PM

        He’s got one more year, and amnestying him would save the Lakers something like $30-$35 million in luxury taxes.

      • ludachrisgsx - Apr 22, 2013 at 12:25 PM

        @dalucks-

        So they should amnesty Kobe and consider trading Pau and/or Dwight in the offseason? How does that make good business sense for the organization? Who do they build around if not Howard? Every team out there wants to build around a good young big man, as they’re not easy to find. You don’t get rid of Howard unless you absolutely have to. And that isn’t the case. In fact, with the face of the franchise about to retire soon they need a new anchor, and Dwight Howard is that guy… not to mention they can’t trade him anyway.

        Pau will be gone one way or the other I’m sure, unless Howard walks. If they can trade him for some good talent and some decent draft picks, they’ll do it. But I’m guessing they amnesty him if Howard resigns. Amnestying Kobe would be like the Bulls doing it to Jordan before he retired. It might be a good short term solution for next year for luxury tax savings but that’s it, as they won’t be able to rebuild next year anyway even by taking that drastic measure. They will be able to rebuild the year after. So why kill the relationship with Kobe and the fans for one year of savings? The smart thing to do would be to see if he can come back in 7-8 months like Chauncey Billups did from the same injury, and to give him an honorable send off (or even resign him for 2 more years at a greatly reduced contract), since dropping him would only provide cap relief but wouldn’t necessarily clear enough for them to sign a valuable impact player anyway. If the idea is to retool for another run next season then amnestying Kobe doesn’t make much sense outside of luxury tax savings.

        The Lakers will probably try and cut costs this offseason, but it all starts with whether or not Howard resigns. If he stays, they look to move Gasol and get quality pieces back. If they can’t, they weigh the option of using the amnesty on him to save tens of millions, which I think they do. If they truly think they have a shot at being a contender with him on the roster (I don’t think they do) they’ll keep him and use it on Artest. And though Artest wouldn’t save them as much money as using it on Gasol or Bryant, they’ll live with reduced savings to try one more run with the current core and to keep Kobe in the family.

        The Lakers knew this day was coming and I think they already decided against cutting Kobe long ago. Even if it might make sense to some people on paper, it doesn’t make sense for this organization. With Jimmy running the show though, who knows. I could be wrong, but I doubt it.

    • Mr. Wright 212 - Apr 21, 2013 at 2:47 PM

      And Mitch is one of the best GMs. It’s JIM BUSS who overrides some of the decisions Mitch makes.

      • bucrightoff - Apr 21, 2013 at 3:31 PM

        I always hear this, yet can’t figure it out. Outside the Gasol trade, he’s not that great. The Shaq trade was terrible, the Nash trade was terrible, the Howard trade could be terrible if he doesn’t resign. Having one of the best players ever on your roster for your tenure makes you look better than you are.

      • dalucks - Apr 21, 2013 at 4:02 PM

        Trading Caron Butler for Kwame Brown, giving Luke Walton and Vladimir Radmonovic 5 year, 30 million dollar contract does not make you a good GM.
        Trading a 1st round pick for Joe Smith in 2011, another 1st round pick in 2012 for a Ramon Sessions rental, plus the next three 1st round picks for a decaying Steve Nash is not exactly game changing moves.
        Mitch should not have a job when your consider his resume. He must be one heck of a yes man because he did not learn anything from Jerry West.

      • packersareandwillalwaysbebetterthanthebears - Apr 21, 2013 at 9:15 PM

        How can you even question the Dwight Howard trade? They upgraded from a good center to the best center in the league. And Andrew Bynum didn’t even play this year!

      • ludachrisgsx - Apr 22, 2013 at 12:44 PM

        “Trading Caron Butler for Kwame Brown, giving Luke Walton and Vladimir Radmonovic 5 year, 30 million dollar contract does not make you a good GM. Trading a 1st round pick for Joe Smith in 2011, another 1st round pick in 2012 for a Ramon Sessions rental, plus the next three 1st round picks for a decaying Steve Nash is not exactly game changing moves.”

        Some good points, but even the good GM’s make bad moves. Who hasn’t given out a few bad contracts? You didn’t mention how he was also able to get rid of some of those bad contracts when nobody thought it was remotely possible, turning Kwame into Gasol and Walton into Sessions – yes the first round picks weren’t good trades but when you think you have a shot at contending you make decisions like that to put you over the top.

        And bucrightoff, the Shaq trade was tough to accept, but that was more Jerry than Mitch. And hey, they were in the finals 5 years later and Odom was a big reason they got there and won the next two. The Nash trade wasn’t terrible, but it wasn’t great. It wasn’t super risky for the way he had been playing the past couple of years. And there’s no way in hell the Howard trade is terrible, even if he walks. They will try and resign him and if he walks they’re probably better off without his head games. If he stays, he’s the new face of the franchise for the next decade. Either way they’re no worse off had they held on to Bynum – except they probably would have a worse record. In my opinion it’s a far better position than Philly is in right now with Bynum just having the chance to resign Howard at all.

    • asimonetti88 - Apr 21, 2013 at 2:57 PM

      Kobe will be back next year. There are absolutely no similarities between Kobe and Rose. Kobe is not a 22 year old who needs to think about his future, he is likely playing his last season next year and will not be worried about the long term effects of coming back early. David Beckham tore his Achilles in March last year and was back in September. Kobe will be on that type of recovery schedule.

      • thraiderskin - Apr 21, 2013 at 3:11 PM

        I hope you are right about Kobe’s recovery time, but I would still want to hold him out for a little longer than that, depending on the situation (record). MWP is the only candidate for Amnesty, Gasol would be such a waste and he is our only, truly viable, trade piece. If the Lakers Amnesty Kobe, it would truly shake my loyalty to the franchise.

      • JMClarkent - Apr 21, 2013 at 5:48 PM

        Rose tore his ACL, Rose tore his achilles. Add in the fact that Kobe is in his mid-30’s and it is really hard to imagine a quick recovery, even from a guy with freakish willpower and recovery.

        If Kobe can come back next year at 35 with bad knees and coming off a wrecked achilles and dominate the game, Michael Jordan needs to start wearing Kobe’s shoes.

    • JMClarkent - Apr 21, 2013 at 6:32 PM

      *Kobe tore his achilles. Damn you, “no edit button!”

    • bougin89 - Apr 22, 2013 at 8:31 AM

      What happens when another team bids on Kobe after they amnesty him? The team with the highest bid would own Kobe’s contractual rights. I’m guessing Kobe would be just a tad bit offended by being amnestied and wouldn’t just run back to LA. You need to think this through before commenting. Hoping for miracles for the Lakers is fine but then you have to meet reality.

  7. kb2408 - Apr 21, 2013 at 4:02 PM

    “The Shaq trade was terrible”? I beg to differ. Shaq was at the end. It came down to him or Kobe. The Lakers made the right choice. Mitch is recognized as the best gm by just about everyone.

  8. bucs24 - Apr 21, 2013 at 4:44 PM

    Why Howard won’t resign so u want to lose both big men so Kobe just retire lakers won’t be good for the next 4 years or when the figure out mike dumbtoni isn’t a good coach have fun being swept out of the first round hahaha

    • ludachrisgsx - Apr 22, 2013 at 1:11 PM

      How do you know he’s not going to resign? If he doesn’t, they’ll keep Gasol, as Howard’s contract coming off the books will be the same as amnestying Gasol. They’ll limp through next season and look to make a big splash the following summer, and probably resign Kobe for another 2 years at a greatly reduced rate to be more of a role player.

  9. melissashusband - Apr 21, 2013 at 4:44 PM

    @ mrwright

    What makes you think a non playoff team gives up 2 rotation players plus a1st and 2 nd round pick for a player with 1 year left on their contract.dulesional is what that is

  10. Kevin S. - Apr 21, 2013 at 5:59 PM

    No way they amnesty Gasol. At the absolute worst, one of the teams with max space would probably take him off the Lakers hands (Atlanta makes a certain amount of sense there), but in all likelihood they’ll be able to get something of value fo him.

    • eventhorizon04 - Apr 21, 2013 at 6:18 PM

      Agreed with this.

      The Lakers aren’t going to get terrific value for Gasol, given his age, his recent injury history, his large salary, etc., but they’ll get a couple of role players. The Lakers desperately need shooters and wing defenders, especially with the aging Metta World Peace being an amnesty candidate and Kobe being out for several months. With a trade, the Lakers aren’t going to get an overly impressive haul, but they’ll get something. And that’s more than they’d gain by amnestying Pau.

      • ludachrisgsx - Apr 22, 2013 at 2:54 PM

        Why take on a couple role player salaries along with another bad contract for years to come when the team will be rebuilt heavily after next season? Probably makes more sense to hold on to Gasol’s bad contract one more year and have a ton more flexibility the following summer. Chances aren’t that good that the new role players will help them become a contender next season, unless the players they get in return will be worth building around going forward. And if that isn’t possible what’s the point of making a trade?

        Everything they do from here on out has to make sense for the long term, and making any big trades this offseason doesn’t help them in the long term. Waiting until the following offseason makes more sense. Dumping salary with the amnesty provision only saves them money next season, it won’t free up any cap space to sign anyone of any real value, no matter who they might amnesty. Even if they amnesty Kobe they’ll still be over the cap. So why do it? If all they want to do is save money on luxury taxes, they’ll amnesty Gasol, not Kobe.

    • ludachrisgsx - Apr 22, 2013 at 1:22 PM

      Very few will have the cap space and even fewer are looking for a big man to turn take them from a playoff team to a contender – is Atlanta really one of those teams? I don’t know that Gasol would do that for them. I don’t see Minny doing it, but they might… not for that sweet of deal though. Houston might benefit more from a Gasol trade than anyone, but would he really help make them a contender in the next couple years? And do they have the cap space to take on his huge contract next year? I don’t know. I doubt they give up much for him.

      The Lakers would likely have to take back at least one bad contract and I truly think they’re willing to pay extra luxury tax next season in order to avoid that so that they can sign one or two very good players in 2014 when they have tons of cap space available. If Howard doesn’t resign they will only have Nash on the books for that one season, and he might even choose to retire at that point. If they deal Gasol there will have to be a very compelling player involved to make them want to lose their cap flexibility in 2014.

      • Kevin S. - Apr 22, 2013 at 2:42 PM

        As of right now, teams that could trade for Gasol, with the assumption of a $60 million cap, no salary returning and Pau waiving his trade kicker: Atlanta, Cleveland, Detroit, Milwaukee (if Ellis opts out as expected) and Utah. A couple other teams could conceivably maneuver there, or absorb him with only sending back low-salary contracts, but let’s focus on the teams that could essentially sign Gasol to a one-year, $19.285 million contract. Detroit would have no real interest, but there are only three FA better than Pau on the market this summer, and only one is particularly likely to change teams. One of those other four will be staring down the prospect of overpaying the likes of Monta Ellis, making a Gasol trade much, much more attractive. Like I said before, I think the Lakers get something of value for Gasol, but there are definitely give-away landing spots for him that make any talk of amnesty ludicrous.

  11. ortizmari27 - Apr 21, 2013 at 6:43 PM

    Mitch a good gm!!!!! Lmfao!!!!!!

  12. uptmonsta - Apr 21, 2013 at 7:05 PM

    Not So Fast With the Amnesty Gasol and Kobe Talk

    The first question that you must ask is are the Lakers going to find players that are better for those spots? If you feel that you have a team that can win now then why trade it away for the future?

    The second reason I say don’t move them is that they only have one year left on their deals. After that you can keep them for probably less than half of their current salaries allowing the team to add a young piece or two.

    But the new and improved of late – Gasol has turned himself to an attractive trade target again. The fact that you can unload salary for a top 5 offensive post talent will draw potential suitors. The deal will have to be pretty sweet for the Lakers to bite.

    Because the reality is that there’s nothing out there available that is better than Kobe or Gasol.

    A fully healthy Howard will make both Kobe and Gasol expend much less energy.

  13. fiyeaglesfiy - Apr 21, 2013 at 9:27 PM

    Why is this even an article now? There’s playoff basketball being played..

    • jollyjoker2 - Apr 21, 2013 at 9:34 PM

      Because the lakers are three games from being out of the playoffs. Gasol needs to get punted. He only has a little bit left in the tank anyways and they already have a center. Someone could pick him up for 8-10 mill and the lakers would be running to the bank smiling.

      • paleihe - Apr 21, 2013 at 9:40 PM

        Every single team in the playoffs is three or four games from being out of the playoffs. What a stupid statement.

    • mazblast - Apr 21, 2013 at 11:21 PM

      Because it’s about the LAKERS (oooooooohhhhhh!!!)

  14. kb2408 - Apr 21, 2013 at 10:38 PM

    All the basketball “experts” on here are just comical. Mitch knows more about the NBA, and basketball, than all you guys combined. So easy to sit on your fat butts and criticize. Mitch is considered the best at what he does in the league. And he has the rings to prove it. But, of course, he was just lucky. Every GM is going to make bad deals. But you look at the big picture, which is the rings. Mitch has had way more hits than misses. Had Stem not vetoed a brilliant deal for CP3, Mitch would’ve had another huge hit. But just watch and see what happens between now and 2014.

  15. kb2408 - Apr 21, 2013 at 10:50 PM

    The Lakers hatred never ends and never ceases to amaze me. “Phil only won because he had great players, Kobe only won because he played with Shaq, Mitch is not a good GM he’s just lucky”, blah, blah, blah!! Look, I get the hatred. Cali is beautiful, has the most beautiful women, most beautiful weather and the best pro franchise in all of sports. I guess if I weren’t a Lakers fan I’d hate them too!

    • powerpc20 - Apr 22, 2013 at 3:59 PM

      California has nothing to do with true Laker hate. I live in LA, I love it here, and I hate the Lakers. And yes, Mitch Kupcake is one of the most overrated GMs in all of basketball. You and all Laker fans need to get over the Chris Paul trade. It was a terrible trade from the Hornets side, which is why Stern vetoed it. The Lakers season was ruined because Lamar and Pau realized the team didn’t have their backs. Name one significant free agent who has come to LA since he took over. You can’t, because there hasn’t been any. And so far, the Nash trade has been a complete failure. The Lakers gave up 4 draft picks and he has basically had a lost season. He also didn’t and will never solve one of the Lakers’ biggest problems: stopping elite Western Conference point guards. Dwight hasn’t exactly had a season for the ages either – trade only validated because Bynum didn’t even step on the court. Pau was also a gift by the Grizz and Chris Wallace on behalf of Jerry West. So yeah, explain again how Kupcake is such a great GM?

  16. omniusprime - Apr 22, 2013 at 9:02 AM

    Keep Gasol and fire Dumbtoni plus trade away Ancient Trash Nash and Steve Flake. Dumbtoni is the big problem in that he has no clue as to how to coach defense and his offense stinks. Trash Nash has been a total failure all season long, and Steve Flake has been a total failure his entire stint with the Lakers.

    If the Lakers are to win another championship with Kobe then they need a great young point guard like Stephen Curry or Kyrie Irving. Plus the Lakers need a better bench. Hopefully the Lakers won’t get bitten by the injury bug so badly as this past season.

    Fire Dumbtoni!!! Trade Trash Nash and Steve Flake!!! Keep Pau!!! Get Well Soonest Kobe!!!

    • Kevin S. - Apr 22, 2013 at 10:38 AM

      Care to explain who is going to take Nash and Blake off the Lakers’ hands, or how they’re supposed to land Curry or Irving at any point in the next five years?

      • bougin89 - Apr 22, 2013 at 11:23 AM

        I’m guessing he doesn’t care to explain. The explanation would be more wild than his original comment.

      • ludachrisgsx - Apr 22, 2013 at 1:36 PM

        Blake’s contract comes to an end after next season. He likely won’t be traded before then. Nash’s will end the season after, and if the team doesn’t prove to have a quick reload plan, he might even retire instead of playing the last year of his contract. So the Lakers will likely only have Howard on the books after the summer of 2014 unless he walks. They’ll have plenty of cap space to play with. Next season is likely a garbage season for them and they know it. They might take a huge luxury tax hit to make one last run with this core but it will probably be a futile attempt. The summer of 2014 will be when they make their moves for the future.

        How do they get Curry or Irving in the next five years? Curry isn’t a likely target with as well as Golden State has been playing. Irving could sign as a free agent in 2015 or 2016 if he doesn’t want to stick around Cleveland. He wouldn’t make the most money doing that, but if Howard sticks around like most people expect him to, why wouldn’t he want to pair up with him? Hell, with LA’s cap space next summer, they could even do a sign and trade with him. They aren’t going to make any decisions this summer that will hurt them next summer unless they see value in a player they could trade for this summer.

      • Kevin S. - Apr 22, 2013 at 2:47 PM

        Please name the last RFA who left despite his team’s desire to pay the max to keep him. There’s absolutely no way Irving turns down what’s likely to be roughly either a 4-year, $65 million or 5-year, $85 million extension to play for a $9 million tender, especially when the Cavs offer him that max deal two years before he could hit unrestricted FA. It doesn’t matter how much cap space the Lakers carve out, Irving isn’t hitting FA before 2018.

      • powerpc20 - Apr 22, 2013 at 4:04 PM

        Curry with Kobe, terrible idea. Curry after Kobe, that’s much better plan. But the perfect future for the Lakers would be one with Uncle Drew and Wes – Kyrie would be the best Laker PG since Magic and it’s no secret Kevin would love to play in LA, pun intended. Only thing is that they’re developing a reputation as being injury-prone. And yes, there’s the matter of prying Kyrie from the Cavs (Love would be much easier to get). But if Kupcake is such a great GM, he should be able to do it, right?

  17. gandalf47 - Apr 22, 2013 at 11:09 PM

    Why would you even bring this subject up at the beginning of the playoffs? Really. The Lakers have little or no chance to advance, but what little chance they have, is still a chance. However, to bring up the amnestying of a player trying to help his team advance is lazy speculation for egotistical reasons.

    Great question. Wrong time.

  18. jimsjam33 - Apr 23, 2013 at 7:24 PM

    Amnesty Kobe and start all over again . The Lakers are better off without him and they would reduce their salary output by at least 17 million dollars a season . Paying for a broken down 2 guard with a torn achilles repair job . No thanks .

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