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.
Mar 27, 2015, 5:18 PM EDT
What is in James Harden’s beard?
Mar 27, 2015, 4:32 PM EDT
He is likely a middle second round pick if he comes out.
Mar 27, 2015, 3:45 PM EDT
It’s pretty spot on. And cold-blooded.
Mar 27, 2015, 3:09 PM EDT
He should be back next season, the final one of this contract with Oklahoma City.
Mar 27, 2015, 2:16 PM EDT
Drake and Lou Williams are tight.
Mar 27, 2015, 1:32 PM EDT
Cousey said not Shaq, not Ewing, nobody reminded him of Russell like Whiteside.
Mar 27, 2015, 12:42 PM EDT
You do not see this every day.
Mar 27, 2015, 11:55 AM EDT
As everyone braces for 2016 spike, another big bump could follow
Mar 27, 2015, 10:55 AM EDT
LeBron James and a lot of stature are gone, but with the more-modest goal of just making the playoffs, Miami’s new point guard embracing the challenge
Mar 27, 2015, 10:19 AM EDT
Pelicans star missed eight free throws in setback to Houston
Mar 27, 2015, 9:44 AM EDT
Hornets’ playoff chances looking dim
Mar 27, 2015, 9:06 AM EDT
Bradley Beal questionable
Mar 27, 2015, 8:30 AM EDT
Cousins has gotten better, but he still has yet to hear a foul call he liked.
Mar 27, 2015, 8:00 AM EDT
He hit 12 straight shots at one point.
Mar 27, 2015, 1:08 AM EDT
Stoudemire can give a team 15 minutes a night off the bench of quality play.
Mar 27, 2015, 12:05 AM EDT
Dangerous play from Scola.
Mar 26, 2015, 11:00 PM EDT
A day later the league says Andrew Wiggins was fouled, but the officials let it go at the time.
Mar 26, 2015, 10:00 PM EDT
Clippers would need to ink Robinson for the rest of the season, but are waiting to see how quickly he can return after a recent knee injury.
Mar 26, 2015, 9:00 PM EDT
Speights said the Warriors knew the Wizards would quit after Golden State beat them recently, and Washington’s coach responds.
Mar 26, 2015, 8:00 PM EDT
Brooklyn is a half-game out of the eighth and final playoff spot in the East.
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