Rooscooter wrote:So... what's this guys track record on all things Lakers?..... If they are indeed going to "ride out" 2014 with this roster they are cementing mediocrity for years to come.... here's why.
If they let the big contracts expire they will still not be able to sign anyone for a max slot if they sign Howard in the off season for a max deal. So the 29 Million+ in trade value of MWP and Pau will not result in any new players. Kobe isn't re-signing for the minimum to play a few more years that much is for sure. I doubt he will take less than Howard to return beyond 2014 and if he does it won't be much less.
They don't have picks to supplement the building of a bench or team beyond second round picks and D-league trash.
Nash's money will haunt us beyond that.
So... unless I'm missing something big here..... we will still be either just over the cap with several slots to fill.... or just below it with several slots to fill.... We aren't building anything meaningful around Howard for the future that way.
2015 would be presumably a re-signed Kobe at 15M+, Howard at 20M+, Nash at 9M a first round pick at about 4M and about 10 to 14 million to fill out a roster. No potential future players.... no hope for a max slot FA and no way through trade to change that. It's obvious to anyone with their eyes open that Howard will need top talent around him to get us back up the hill to where we belong. That's why I think we will make big changes this off season rather than none. If we don't cash in the chips (Pau, MWP and even Nash) now we will loose out on the only way to get the young players we need to start developing.
I think they'd only resign Kobe if he took a Duncan-like cap friendly contract, and I think he'd consider it. But the team would need to show him they have a solid plan to make it worth him resigning for a lower salary. If his ego won't allow him to accept less than $11/year I'd bet they won't beg him since they'll be focused more on pairing Howard with another star player to move forward (and rightly so).
I think it all hinges on whether or not Howard stays. If he leaves it throws everything up in the air and who knows what happens. I'm betting Nash retires before the final year of his deal if both Howard and Gasol are gone or he asks for a trade. Maybe they trade him somewhere where he'll have a real shot of contending for his final year. The way I see it, they might have $20M going to Howard, $10M going to Kobe, and maybe $9M going to Nash in the summer of 2014. And the projected salary cap is expected to be somewhere in the $65M range, maybe closer to $68M. That would give them roughly $29M or so to play with if Howard stays. Not a big chunk to fill out an entire roster, but couldn't that be enough to still offer a max contract to another star and fill out the roster with some decent players? We all know money can't buy instant chemistry, but if we kept some of the team intact it might not be that bad.
As frustrated as I am with Howard right now, it still make sense to rebuild with him and a new star player. He will still be able to attract players to sign for less money for a chance to win here. As bad as things looked here this season, it's not like other destinations look all that much better - there is just less of a media circus surrounding it elsewhere. The reality will set in that all teams will be limited by the new cap rules, and player will be signing for a little less with teams that give them the best chance to win. If Howard stays, that will give the Lakers a good chance to sign another good player in 2014.
I think Pau gets traded to bring in more shooters and better defenders, even if it's mostly for the bench. There will probably be a team out there that will take a chance on Pau, but they're not going to give back any decent picks or an equally talented starter. The deal would probably be a decent role player starter, or a couple of bench players that are better than what we have now. I think the trade happens if they're able to find a GM to play ball.
And I'll give a plug for Jerry Sloan to take over as coach... not that it will matter. Watching Pop's offense run was beautiful compared to our mess of an offense with no real system.