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Why the Lakers shouldn’t re-sign their role players to one-year contracts

Jun 23, 2014, 12:02 PM EDT

Chris Paul, Xavier Henry Chris Paul, Xavier Henry

The Lakers have 11 players whose contracts expire this summer:

Aside from Gasol, whose stature rises above, they’re role players who might have value when the Lakers next get good. So, it makes some sense to bide time with the best of that group.

Mark Medina of the Los Angeles Daily New in an article about Henry and the Lakers holding mutual interest on re-uniting:

the Lakers are hoping to retain all role players on one-year contracts on relatively inexpensive deals to maximize financial flexibility for high caliber players, such as LeBron James in 2014, Kevin Love in 2015 or Kevin Durant in 2016.

If the Lakers want to maximize their chances of acquiring another star after this offseason, they shouldn’t re-sign players to one-year contracts.

Anyone the Lakers re-sign to a one-year contract, because he’d have bird rights or early bird rights after the deal, could veto any trade next season.

Once the contract expires in 2015, the Lakers would have plenty of flexibility. But if a star becomes available in a trade sooner – looking at you Kevin Love – the Lakers would be at a severe disadvantage. You think Xavier Henry and the others would approve a trade that sends them from Los Angeles to Minnesota? No way.

An easy workaround would be signing those players to two-year contracts with the second year unguaranteed, but they might not go for such restrictive deals. The veto power applies only to players on one-year deals.

It also applies only to players re-signing. Unless they can convince their current role players to accept additional unguaranteed years on their next contracts, the Lakers might be best off signing new players to one-year deals.

If the Lakers want to extend their rebuild into 2014-15, they’ve backed themselves into a corner with a limited ability to re-sign the players they’ve already invested time in while simultaneously keeping flexibility.

  1. csbanter - Jun 23, 2014 at 12:09 PM

    Once Kobe gets back and if they can get Marcus Smart they can be just as good as Phoenix was this past season.

    • sportsfan18 - Jun 23, 2014 at 12:30 PM

      nope, not even close…

    • 00maltliquor - Jun 23, 2014 at 12:55 PM

      Agreed, csbanter. So as long as they draft Smart, and resign key guys(see my list down below), Kobe comes back a minimum of 75% himself and they get one pretty good starter through free agency to help out. They could be 6-9th seed if all that pans out.

      • mazblast - Jun 23, 2014 at 6:16 PM

        Ooooohhh, what a thing to which to aspire when you’re the Mighty Lakers! One of the last three seeds, or the “first out”.

    • nflcrimerankingscom - Jun 23, 2014 at 3:01 PM

      Yup. They’ll have a youthful backcourt ERRRR

      Well, they’ll have a lot of young front court talent LOL

      Okay okay they won’t have either. But they do have 1-legged Kobe and paraplegic Nash!

      • topdawg4ever - Jun 23, 2014 at 3:11 PM

        …and Big White Stiff Gasol!

  2. loubearkane - Jun 23, 2014 at 12:15 PM

    Wasn’t Brooks untradable for the Nets just a few years ago?
    Xavier Henry has some potential

  3. 00maltliquor - Jun 23, 2014 at 12:25 PM

    Oddly enough considering this years outcome, I’d love to have ALL those guys back. I really liked the players on this years team. They left off Kendall Marshall though. I think all these guys can be useful somewhere and get solid rotation minutes. Obviously it wouldn’t be smart to bring them all back because

    A) way too many wing players, need some bigs
    B) don’t want to repeat last year, need some better help

    Here is my order of priority if I’m the Lakers…
    1) Pau
    2) Hill
    3) Bazemore
    4) Marshall
    5) Young
    6) Henry
    7) Farmar
    8) Kelly

    Maybe cut bait on Meeks, as good as he was for us, Kaman wants no parts of being a Laker, so he’s out. Johnson and Brooks would be nice to retain as well but we got too many guys at their positions ahead of them on my priority list, so by default they walk.

    • 00maltliquor - Jun 23, 2014 at 12:27 PM

      Have NO idea how my 8) turned into a happy face with locs on!

      • 00maltliquor - Jun 23, 2014 at 12:28 PM



        8!!! Wth!

    • therealhtj - Jun 23, 2014 at 1:02 PM

      Pau’s not coming back and the Lakers should in no way commit the kind of money and years it’ll take to keep him. That ship sailed. He didn’t come close to earning the 57mil they wasted on him for 3 seasons and a parting of the ways is in order. Let him steal his money from the next sucker. The cap flexibility will go a lot further towards contention than resigning a 34 year old big looking for his last NBA Payday.

      As for the list of scrubs, castoffs, and retreads – no loss there either. It’s not like there’s any continuity in coaching so a new batch of the same jetsam flotsam won’t make any appreciable difference.

      • 00maltliquor - Jun 23, 2014 at 1:13 PM

        Okay GM of the year, who should the Lakers use the cap room to sign in this MARVELOUS free agent crop? LeBron? Not happening. Melo? No thank you. Zach Randolph? Rather have Pau. Who else? Pau’s the best option that is viable. And saying Pau sucks or stole money is LAUGHABLE. In a down year the guy puts up 17 & 9 and he’s stealing money or aging bad, foh!!

        Look at the Spurs, keep the veteran old heads and surround them with good young guys and let them develop and build familiarity and chemistry for a couple of years. That should be the model.

      • mogogo1 - Jun 23, 2014 at 1:13 PM

        His biggest issue has been he’s been hurt for parts of the last three seasons. Looking at his stats on a per game basis, it’s rather remarkable to note that for the past three years he’s basically been within a couple points and a rebound per game of his best seasons when he first joined the Lakers. And that while the team was in total disarray with a coach who had no clue how to use big men. He’s still a very productive player.

      • asimonetti88 - Jun 23, 2014 at 1:30 PM

        Pau was the Lakers’ best player last year

      • therealhtj - Jun 23, 2014 at 1:48 PM

        And comparing the Lakers FO to the Spurs is ludicrous. Their top 4 players earned about 700K more than Kobe last year.

      • therealhtj - Jun 23, 2014 at 1:51 PM

        @asimonetti – Nick Young’s year was about as good as Pau’s. He’s the reason they’re picking 7th instead of 5th. If you ever run into him, you should thank him.

      • topdawg4ever - Jun 23, 2014 at 3:13 PM

        Poor Pau has been thrown under the bus so many times I’m surprised he’s still upright. He should go elsewhere if he has any sense.

      • sportsfan18 - Jun 23, 2014 at 10:44 PM


        I don’t know who they should sign… I’m not a Lakers fan (or a Knicks fan).

        But, just ask all the Laker homers on here…

        you know… the ones who WANTED Dwight to stay and resign and then said they were glad he left AFTER he left.

        you know… the ones who said just WAIT until the summer of 2014, we’ll have cap space (not so much, thank the Money Mamba for that) and we’ll sign a star to SURE and maybe even TWO STARS and we’ll be right back on top…

        Uh, good luck as the Laker homers saying that in the summer of 2013 won’t fess up to it now…

        guess we could go back a year on this site and look up who said what…

        The Lakers are in a world of hurt this coming season.

        Calling all Lakers Homers…

        Please let this man, 00maltliquor know who the Lakers should get and sign… you know, players that will return the Lake show to its prominent place…

        I’m gonna go get my popcorn ready…

      • 00maltliquor - Jun 24, 2014 at 1:32 AM

        @ sportsfan

        I WELCOME YOU to PLEASE check the records, use google and look at the comments back in the days. You will find that I did NOT want Howard back BEFORE he jetted. Not at that price tag. We will be back sooner then you think, don’t kid yourself my son.

      • sportsfan18 - Jun 24, 2014 at 9:40 AM


        Sir, I NEVER said you wanted him to say…

        I just said there were plenty of Laker fans who did…

    • spthegr8 - Jun 23, 2014 at 2:06 PM

      I agree with almost everything you said. I got SwaggyP 3rd on that list behind Pau and Hill. We are gonna need some help scoring the rock. That’s what Swaggy does, even though, his defense leaves a smidge to be desired.!!

      • spthegr8 - Jun 23, 2014 at 2:08 PM

        Guy’s putting up a Dbl Dbl a night in system like D’Antoni’s ( Where Pau was shooting 3’s instead of posting up smfh ) DOESN’T suck!! IJS!!!

      • 00maltliquor - Jun 23, 2014 at 2:22 PM

        @ sp

        I feel you. Honestly, after Hill at #2 you can conceivably move anyone around into any different spot. That was a hard list to come up with bro! I went with Baze over Swaggy because I feel like he’s a diamond in the rough with good athleticism, youth and defense, plus he can score too. I hope he’s back. Same thing with Marshall, he was a real diamond in the rough (although one I’ve been calling out for years), although I wouldnt be as sad if he wasnt kept, the way he did Swaggy DIRTY during that dust up against PHX and the Morris twins (yeah, I took that to heart! I’ll never forget that! Him, Kelly and Meeks!)

      • spthegr8 - Jun 23, 2014 at 4:07 PM

        Yeah, they left him out there high and dry. Our team had a soft Mentality last yr and that really showed it.

  4. opinevain - Jun 23, 2014 at 12:34 PM

    Lakers should keep, um, Gasol but I wont be mad if they didn’t. He’s been involved in trade rumors forever. No one else is worthy of keeping. Sorry, and I’m a REALISTIC Laker fan.

  5. kb2408 - Jun 23, 2014 at 12:52 PM

    Why would any player veto a trade that sends them to Minnesota from Los Angeles?! I’m being facetious.

  6. mungman69 - Jun 23, 2014 at 1:38 PM

    Even if Kobe is 100% you have to wonder how much he has left. I can’t see the Lakers contending in the West. No free agents till next year?

  7. unxpexted1 - Jun 23, 2014 at 2:01 PM

    Honestly, I think the lakers role players have been way over valued. You have to remember that bumbs can thrive in d’antoni’s system. Only few really showed great individual play. I think Young, Hill, Marshall, and Xavier are the only ones worth keeping. And they are all essentially bench players.

    • sportsfan18 - Jun 23, 2014 at 10:54 PM

      due to Kobe’s salary, all they’ll be able to pay guys is bench salaries…

      $26 million for 11 roster spots… averages out to a bit more than $2 million a player.
      Of course several will be well under that… and some will get $3 to maybe $4 million.

      NOT that the Lakers will resign them, but as an EXAMPLE of what guys cost, Chris Kaman played for just under $3.2 million.

      Jordan Hill played for $3.5 million.

      the four guys below get the rest of the money

      #7 pick

      remember all the talk in the summer of 2013 about the Lakers have cap room and that they’d be able to sign a STAR…


  8. smoothaswilkes - Jun 23, 2014 at 2:06 PM

    “If the Lakers want to extend their rebuild into 2014-15…”

    If? The Lakers pretty much declared they are going to take at least that long to rebuild when they signed Kobe to that ridiculous extension. Until that money is off the books that team is completely hamstrung. Sure, they could probably bring in some free agents in the Kyle Lowery range, but why would a max guy come to the Lakers and take a discount with Kobe making 24 million. I just don’t see it happening.

    • bkbell3 - Jun 23, 2014 at 3:29 PM

      Smooth, I believe if they renounce their free agent they have enough cap room to bring in one close to max guy. without those cap holds they only have koby,nash and Sacrae? under contract and plus their first round pick’s rookie contract and the cap is supposed to go up to around 63mil?

    • bkbell3 - Jun 23, 2014 at 3:37 PM

      Yea, I checked and Lakers have a little over 34mil for 3 guys and the what,3-5 mil first year contract to the 7th pick and the new cap is projected to be around 63.5mil. So LA could have around 33mil to spend if they renounce the cap hold players

      • sportsfan18 - Jun 23, 2014 at 11:03 PM

        #7 pick of this years draft will make $2,497,800 in the first year.

        ALL NBA rookie salaries here… there is a drop down box to select which year you want and you’ll need to select the 2014/15 season. then drop down to the 7th pick and presto… as long as they sign for that amount as it is allowed for them to sign up to 120% and for as little as 80% of the rookie salary level listed… but, as far as I know, teams routinely sign their first round picks to the listed amounts and call it a day…

    • bkbell3 - Jun 24, 2014 at 1:09 AM

      Thanks sportsfan, i was to lazy to look it up and i’ve read that most first round picks do indeed get the 120%, don’t know what % of them do though

  9. billtetley53 - Jun 23, 2014 at 2:41 PM

    Im so very happy to see this franchise in such disarray. A huge majority of this fanbase deserve it.

    • asimonetti88 - Jun 23, 2014 at 3:24 PM

      When you follow a team rather than bandwagoning players, you have to suffer through some poor seasons sometimes.

      • mazblast - Jun 23, 2014 at 6:20 PM

        Well said, asimonetti. I love people who say their a team’s #1 fan but who can’t name half of the roster.

      • mazblast - Jun 23, 2014 at 6:21 PM


        darned fingers

      • sportsfan18 - Jun 23, 2014 at 11:08 PM


        I CAN’T name half the Lakers roster…

        1) Nash
        2) Kobe
        3) Sacre

        the fourth dude will be whoever they select 7th in the draft… I’ll call him 7th for now…

        Hell, forget naming HALF their team…

        I CAN’T name even ONE version of a starting five…

        Neither can Mitch, or old Jimbo Buss…

        Hey, I KNOW… Let’s ask their Coach… no, don’t tell me… No coach either? How long have they been without a coach?

        Really? Since April?

        Guess Kobe will have to gather the team… er two guys and bring him to his place for the 4th of July then since there is no coach…

    • therealhtj - Jun 23, 2014 at 4:12 PM

      Don’t worry Hargis, real fans of this squad despise the Kobe pole riders as much as you do.

  10. billtetley53 - Jun 23, 2014 at 4:21 PM

    I follow one player. Kevin Garnett. Im sorry you root by geography, or because your relatives liked the lakers, it just proves youre a sheep without a mind of his own, monetti.

    You being a fan of the lakers forever, doesnt make you a “better” fan than me. There is no right or wrong way to be a fan.

    My state didnt have an nba team when I was young, ive always followed players because of it. Erving,Moses Malone etc. So, you can pretty much gfy.

    • asimonetti88 - Jun 23, 2014 at 5:06 PM

      So basically you bandwagon good players so that you can always watch winning teams. Got it.

      • sportsfan18 - Jun 23, 2014 at 11:11 PM


        if the Lakers sucked as you grew up.. we all KNOW you would have JUMPED ship long ago…

        not hard to be a Laker fan during Dr. Buss’ 30 yr run…

        I bet kids that are like 8 and 9 yrs old right now won’t be lakers fans from today until their late 30’s…

        they won’t keep rooting for a losing team…

    • muathjam21 - Jun 23, 2014 at 8:32 PM

      Didn’t realize Kevin Garnett was a team. What’s the starting lineup?

      • loungefly74 - Jun 23, 2014 at 10:46 PM

        Yeah, the Kevin Garnetts do play some mean ball, what did they do? 50-32? Not too shabby!

        Root by geography? Yeah, what a novel concept. Smh (this kid doesn’t understand the concept…)

        Anybody who roots for a team is automatically a better fan than you, bill. Only little kids and girls do what you do.

  11. billtetley53 - Jun 23, 2014 at 6:29 PM

    Moses and Doc had to team up to get the one title they gotvin the NBA. Garrnett got one in Boston.

    Its not like i was a Lebron and Jordan fan.

    I really shouldnt have to explain myself to a guy who was a fanbof every team that went against the heat, because the lakers sucked. But im sure invyour hypocritical world, thats ok.

    Azzblast, you have no clue. The adults are talking, you should keep your mouth shut.

  12. redskins21lakers24 - Jun 23, 2014 at 7:11 PM


    Let the rest walk!
    Out of these four players, bazemore and henry have the most potential, I really like bazemore, he reminds me of Westbrook but his jump shot is better. Id let him run the point!

  13. themagicfanguy - Jun 23, 2014 at 10:10 PM

    @bill Well have fun being a bandwagon loser then, the REAL fans of the game will continue to support their team.

    • loungefly74 - Jun 23, 2014 at 10:49 PM

      Yep. Seriously…. Even a Kings fan has more cred. I’m just shocked that bill thinks he is legit.

      • skoivu10 - Jun 24, 2014 at 2:49 AM

        Hey, I’m a Sacramento fan.

      • loungefly74 - Jun 24, 2014 at 8:02 AM

        LOL. sorry, man. that was mean. i used to live near sac-town so i was around quite a few of them. they are great fans actually.

    • sportsfan18 - Jun 23, 2014 at 11:13 PM

      you mean like Magic Johnson supports the Lakers?

  14. mutasian - Jun 26, 2014 at 10:45 AM

    kelly can improve

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