Jul 6, 2014, 12:30 PM EDT
Free agents continue to count against the salary cap until they sign – either with their current team or elsewhere – or until they’re renounced. Beyond their four players under contract (Kobe Bryant, Steve Nash, Robert Sacre and Kendall Marshall) and first-round pick (Julius Randle), the Lakers have 21 free agents counting against the cap.*
*Technically 23 including Kaman and Meeks, but those two are good as gone.
Among those 21, according to ShamSports.com, are:
- Andrew Goudelock (last played in 2013)
- Theo Ratliff (2011)
- Joe Smith (2011)
- Ira Newble (2008)
- Shammond Williams (2007)
- Jim Jackson (2006)
- Karl Malone (2004)
- Horace Grant (2004)
- Brian Shaw (2003)
- Mitch Richmond (2002)
- Ron Harper (2001)
- John Salley (2000)
That list includes two Hall of Famers (Malone and the elected-but-not-yet-inducted Richmond), a TV personality (Salley) and the head coach of the Denver Nuggets (Shaw).
In total, those 12 count nearly $15 million against the cap – though when the time comes, the Lakers will simply renounce them. It’s a effortless step.
So, why bother to keep them listed in the first place?
Simply, there is no reason for the Lakers to renounce those players until there’s a reason to renounce them. They don’t actually get paid. They don’t count toward the luxury tax.
They just count against the cap, and it’s been many years since the Lakers tried to dip below the cap. If the Lakers want cap room this season, those 12 will be the first to get renounced.
So, again, what’s the point keeping them on the books?
In the previous Collective Bargaining Agreement, those players could be signed-and-traded. The Lakers could exceed the cap to re-sign those players using Bird rights, early Bird rights or non-Bird rights and include them in sign-and-trades in order to make salaries match.
Famously, Keith Van Horn participated in such an arrangement, going from the Mavericks to the Nets in the Jason Kidd trade two years after his retirement. In it for Van Horn? The $4.3 million necessary to make the trade work.
However, the current Collective Bargaining Agreement requires a player finished the preceding season with a team to be sign-and-traded. So, keeping these retired players no longer serves the scheme’s once-primary purpose
Once more, why do it? Still, the answer is, why not?
Maybe Harper will train really hard and make a miraculous comeback that has teams bidding over his services. In that case, the Lakers would have the inside track at re-signing him. There’s no reason to throw away that possibility, no matter how remote.
The Lakers are not alone with such strange cap holds.
The Celtics still have cap holds for Shaquille O’Neal, Grant Long and Michael Finley. The Knicks have Baron Davis and Mike Bibby. The Grizzlies have Gilbert Arenas. There are others around the league.
But this quirk won’t last much longer.
The new CBA makes these holds a relic. Beyond the inability to sign-and-trade these players, the current climate encourages teams to dip below the cap more frequently. I can’t imagine any team going more than a dozen years without cap room anytime soon.
Enjoy John Salley’s last days with the Lakers – 14 years after his retirement – while you can.
May 23, 2015, 12:25 AM EDT
Cleveland shut down Atlanta’s offense in a dominant Game 2 performance.
May 22, 2015, 11:16 PM EDT
LeBron was great, and that was enough against a Hawks team that keeps losing guys due to injury.
May 22, 2015, 10:30 PM EDT
There’s also video of Harden doing some damage in the tunnel on the way to the locker room.
May 22, 2015, 9:30 PM EDT
Ruled a flagrant, which was probably the correct call under the circumstances.
May 22, 2015, 8:30 PM EDT
GM Mitch Kupchak: “It looks as though we’ll use our pick this year.”
May 22, 2015, 7:38 PM EDT
Irving is dealing with a knee injury.
May 22, 2015, 7:15 PM EDT
Explaining Stephen Curry’s game is just not that easy.
May 22, 2015, 6:49 PM EDT
Did they disagree? Sure. Was there a rift… depends on who you ask.
May 22, 2015, 5:45 PM EDT
Even an older NBA player has mad skills.
PBT Extra: Klay Thompson’s done well, but Warriors should throw other defenders at James Harden, too
May 22, 2015, 4:59 PM EDT
It might help Thompson’s offense, too.
May 22, 2015, 4:15 PM EDT
Summer League is a perfect place for giving White another look.
May 22, 2015, 3:30 PM EDT
Give some credit to Stephen Curry and Klay Thompson, who got back on defense.
Report: Lakers have ‘big-time’ interest in signing DeMarre Carroll, Celtics and Pistons also in pursuit
May 22, 2015, 2:45 PM EDT
Would they pay him the $15 million per season one NBA executive estimated the Hawks forward could get in free agency?
Report: Tom Thibodeau believed to prefer sitting out next season rather than helping Bulls by accepting trade
May 22, 2015, 2:07 PM EDT
That could leave Magic, Pelicans, Bulls and Thibodeau in a bind
May 22, 2015, 1:28 PM EDT
Which probably means it’s his last in the NBA
Chandler Parsons won’t say whether his surgery was microfracture, might not be ready for training camp
May 22, 2015, 12:50 PM EDT
Tea leaves reading negative for Mavericks
May 22, 2015, 12:13 PM EDT
LeBron James poised for a big game
Report: Lakers not locked into drafting Karl-Anthony Towns or Jahlil Okafor, could pick a guard at No. 2
May 22, 2015, 11:38 AM EDT
That’d be D’Angelo Russell or Emmanuel Mudiay
May 22, 2015, 11:02 AM EDT
Consider it Riley’s revenge
May 22, 2015, 10:25 AM EDT
Is his injury more serious than previously thought?
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- PBT Extra: Give Warriors defense some credit for stop of Harden on last play 0
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- Warriors survive James Harden in Game 2, take 2-0 lead in Western Conference finals 15