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With Dwight Howard gone, Lakers will no longer consider using the amnesty provision on Pau Gasol

Jul 6, 2013, 2:00 PM EDT

Pau Gasol AP

If Dwight Howard had chosen to stay on with the Lakers for the next five years, the team’s total payroll costs would have been astronomical thanks to the new luxury tax penalties that were penned in the most recent version of the league’s collective bargaining agreement.

Pau Gasol, a part of two championship teams in Los Angeles not that long ago, would have been a candidate to be jettisoned via the amnesty provision in order to greatly reduce the insanely high payroll the team would be facing next season.

Now that Howard is out of the picture, however, that is no longer the case.

From Ramona Shelburne of ESPN Los Angeles:

Now that Howard is gone, there will be no talk or discussion about using the amnesty provision on forward Pau Gasol anymore, a source with knowledge of the team’s thinking told Friday night.

No firm decision had been made, the source insisted, as the team’s preference was to look for ways to keep Gasol. But now that decision has been taken care of with Howard leaving.

Gasol is slated to earn $19.3 million in the final year of his contract next season, but the tax amount the Lakers would be on the hook for would be far greater than that of just his salary.

Eric Pincus of the Los Angeles Times explains:

Under the new collective bargaining agreement, the tax rate shifts this season from flat to exponential. The Lakers at $104.3 million would be on hook for an astounding $97.9 million in luxury tax for a total of $202.3 million.

At that price, the team would have certainly used their one-time amnesty on Pau Gasol. While the veteran forward/center would still get the final $19.3 million on his contract, the Lakers’ tax would drop all the way down to about $26.1 million.

As much as Gasol has meant to the franchise, he isn’t worth $70 million in penalties for a single season — and arguably, nobody is.

It remains to be seen what the Lakers will do with Gasol the following season, when they’ll have all the cap space in the world to pursue any available player they wish from a free agent list that will include LeBron James and Carmelo Anthony, among many others.

But at least for next year, it would seem that Gasol will remain with the Lakers — a thought that’s undoubtedly a pleasing one to Kobe Bryant.

  1. money2long - Jul 6, 2013 at 2:08 PM

    it’d be nice to see melo and lebron on the same team. but does anyone truly believe it’d happen ? i can see melo playing in LA. but it’s hard to see the lebron to LA story coming to fruition. for a number of reasons.

    • jedifriedchicken - Jul 6, 2013 at 3:06 PM

      I don’t want to see Melo near the Lakers team. He’s shown potential, specifically on the Olympic team, but ultimately he’s too much of a selfish and one demenional player. No thanks. NY can keep him, or some other sucker can claim his fool’s gold game.

      • money2long - Jul 6, 2013 at 3:14 PM

        y do ppl still say melo is one dimensional ? one dimensional is gary neal, or kyle korver. there will always be a stigma with scorers and it’s sad that melo has to endure the negativity.

    • daddyghi - Jul 7, 2013 at 1:43 AM

      i’m a huge lakers and kobe hater but i admit, even if they don’t change their line up, (kobe, gasol, MWP and nash) they’re still a playoffs bound team. just missing some pieces and a full training camp, but they’re still in it.

  2. smoothaswilkes - Jul 6, 2013 at 2:15 PM

    “free agent list that will include LeBron James and Carmelo Anthony, among many others.”

    Just stop. Please. LeBron is NEVER coming to Los Angeles. As a Lakers fan, nobody wants to see Carmelo either – there aren’t enough shots between Melo and Kobe.

    The Lakers are looking to 2015 for Kevin Love and Russell Westbrook. It’s time for a Bruin reunion. Those are the max guys that the Lakers will have a chance at signing in free agency – as it should be.

    Just because LBJ is on the free agency list for next year doesn’t mean he’s coming to the Lakers. So again, quit mentioning it.

    • money2long - Jul 6, 2013 at 2:24 PM

      there’s no bickering between melo and kobe on the olympics squad. hm

    • money2long - Jul 6, 2013 at 2:26 PM

      also, no one made the statement that lebron IS going to the lakers. the reports are that the lakers are CAPABLE of making it happen. huge difference

    • Kevin S. - Jul 6, 2013 at 3:05 PM

      How are the Lakers going to get Russell Westbrook in 2015 when he’s not a free agent until 2017?

  3. cmehustle - Jul 6, 2013 at 2:17 PM

    Holy ish! Wow I guess its a good thing for Buss Dwight left. I mean I know its not our money, and people go crazy with thinking these billionaires should just spend like that. How do get to be a billionare spending millions? But that luxury tax penalty is serious. Good luck down there in Miami with that. Your up next.

    • adoombray - Jul 6, 2013 at 2:27 PM

      Rich people get and stay rich by being cheap. I know those numbers are astronomical to the average fan, but Brett is right, nobody is worth 70 million.

  4. logicalcomment - Jul 6, 2013 at 2:27 PM

    of course lebron isnt leaving miami.
    just the media trying to get views

  5. 00maltliquor - Jul 6, 2013 at 2:33 PM

    Seems like the last 3 years Pau’s been dodging the bullet to get shipped out from LA. I’m more then happy he’s coming back. As much as he pisses me off at times I still love him. *insert Roy Hibbert “no homo” line right here* lol

  6. 00maltliquor - Jul 6, 2013 at 2:40 PM

    Honestly, what we needed more then to re-sign Howard is to get rid of D’Antoni. Defense wins championships and we all know despite his last name that there is no “D” in him.

    Last years defensive efforts were atrocious and at time utterly offensive to the eye. I’m not say Mike is a bad coach, he’s just not what I’m looking for to build a real winner and get back to business hanging banners. I’m not a fan of small ball or teams that put offense vehemently first. It’s just not my thing.

  7. sndvl99 - Jul 6, 2013 at 2:40 PM

    Why would LA want Carmelo? A 20m a year scorer who plays no D, avg rebounder, and a black whole when he gets he ball.

    • 00maltliquor - Jul 6, 2013 at 2:50 PM

      Oh I wouldn’t want him. No thank you.

      After LeBron and Melo, who are the other big name FA’s though? I haven’t done the research. Can anyone educate me on this 2014-15 class?

      • fanofthegame79 - Jul 7, 2013 at 12:57 AM

        Wade and Bosh will have the same option to enter free agency as LeBron.

    • money2long - Jul 6, 2013 at 3:29 PM

      how many assists does he average ? is durant a black hole ?

  8. bellerophon30 - Jul 6, 2013 at 2:44 PM

    I have to think that one of the Buss’ at least went to Kobe this past week and asked “Are you SURE you’re going to play at least part of the season?” Because using the amnesty on Kobe saves them even more than Pau, and Pau is going to play the entire season (presumably). And if Kobe’s rehab is going badly, then they have to inquire.

    I hope they keep him though, he and Nash should be an interesting pair while Kobe recovers.

  9. 00maltliquor - Jul 6, 2013 at 2:46 PM

    …and with Dwight gone, we should really drop MD’A and see what it would take to swoop up on Stan the Man Van G. Or at least sniff out Lionel Hollins, maybe George Karl.

    Myself personally, even though D12 is gone, I’m super pumped on what can happen with this team in 2 years. D12 not re-signing is a blessing in a not-so-clever-disguise. Only thing is though is that Jimbo seems intent on sabotaging us, so he makes me more nervous then a turkey the day before Thanksgiving.

    • bellerophon30 - Jul 6, 2013 at 3:20 PM

      Next year is a holding year for the Lakers, where all they can really accomplish is keeping the fans somewhat happy, and reminding them that the 2014 draft is loaded and that they’ll have less than $10 million (Nash at $9.7) on the books next summer. Given that, why pay MDA not to coach? Just let Steve and Pau play his style and keep the fans distracted before the real work begins.

      • 00maltliquor - Jul 7, 2013 at 2:46 AM

        I hear you, I hear you. Reason I think it’s time to dump him now is because I want a system already in place and not just some new jack rolling in with our presumably new players. I want a tone set and for some of the guys that we do end up re-signing to be in on it and on board, ready to help out all the newcomers. Plus, those are some pretty nice names still out there to coach, and SVG is my favorite coach. I would have to imagine SOMEONE will call, enticing him to put back on the blazer over the t-shirt and walk the sidelines yelling before next year. Especially when teams start firing their coaches mid-season.

  10. aat1001 - Jul 6, 2013 at 3:27 PM

    ” a free agent list that will include LeBron James and Carmelo Anthony, among many others.”

    I wish you replaced the word “will” with “could”. Lebron and melo have player options, it’s not a guarantee they’ll opt out of their contracts.

  11. anhdazman - Jul 6, 2013 at 4:03 PM

    Laker fans, it’s time to think about tanking for Wiggins.

    • hiflew - Jul 6, 2013 at 4:30 PM

      They need to start reversing the order of the draft lottery, meaning the team with the best record not in the playoffs would have the best chance at the #1 pick. It’s not a perfect solution, but it would definitely stop all this tanking talk that will cost the league its credibility.

  12. kanemoney - Jul 6, 2013 at 4:45 PM

    Amnesty Kobe, trade Pau, load up on 2014 picks and tank.

  13. soundsofsuccess7 - Jul 6, 2013 at 4:49 PM

    Lakers are better without Dwight.

  14. bigdeuceuno - Jul 6, 2013 at 5:30 PM

    Please Amnesty Steve Nash!!!!!!!! Does anybody else see that he’s Done he hurt us more than anythg the young PGs killed us n will kill us go get Jennings and or Collision ASAP !

    • jarradtauzin - Jul 7, 2013 at 6:54 PM

      You can’t amnesty Nash. Only contracts signed before the current CbA can be amnestied.

  15. thetooloftools - Jul 6, 2013 at 6:03 PM

    The BEST thing that happened to the Lakers was Howard leaving.He’s a Clownboy with no heart. I would rather have the Lakers WITHOUT Howard. The only back he has is his own. He’s a diva. He knows their is no pressure to perform in Houston and can just yuck it up. Kobe wants rings, Howard just wants to have fun and yuck it up and get paid.

  16. Anoesis - Jul 6, 2013 at 8:41 PM

    I’m a long-time Lakers fan and I’m just wondering what NBC is going to do for hits on this site next year. Oh, well, I guess y’all can milk South Beach. As much as some fans like to hate the Lakers, they’re one of the main driving forces in the league, like Notre Dame is in college football. No Lakers (or Celtics for that matter) in the headlines means lower exposure for the league. Oh, and a whole lot less money from the luxury tax for other teams to divvy up.

    • 1historian - Jul 6, 2013 at 10:28 PM

      Celts fan here – I hate your team as much as you hate mine, and that is as it should be.

      Both teams will suck next year but there is a primo FA class coming up and one of the best drafts in years (my guys have 2 #1 picks).

      My “I hate LA” t-shirt is 28 years old, only worn on ceremonial occasions.

  17. aboogy123456 - Jul 6, 2013 at 8:54 PM

    to think that stern vetoed that chris paul trade because it would make the lakers too good and not be good for the leauge…ugh

  18. twesty85 - Jul 6, 2013 at 9:04 PM

    @smoothaswilkes you really think Lebron wouldn’t come to the Lakers? If you truly think that you should just give up on watching the NBA and basketball all together. Wade is pretty close to done with his knee problems and there isn’t much of a supporting cast beyond that. Not to mention the heat will have a little problem with their cap space. If the Lakers can put together a good supporting cast and Kobe is still playing he would be stupid not to sign with the Lakers. It is definitely a possibility.

  19. bucs24 - Jul 6, 2013 at 9:20 PM

    None of these guys are coming melo worked well dumbtoni and James isn’t going anywhere Kobe needs to go before any player signs with lakers everybody says D12 was the cancer Kobe is just as worst

  20. bigdeuceuno - Jul 7, 2013 at 3:44 AM

    Please trade nash and some other player take your pick just not kobe or gasol to the raptors for Rudy Gay or nash please just call it a career do us all a favor and retire get the hell out of LA and take that sorry ass coach with you they both SUCK!

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