the smart money's on the money — and not the Lakers

the smart money's on the money — and not the Lakers

Postby #1_Kobe_fan on Thu Jul 03, 2003 1:42 am

The Laker general manager stepped into the free-agent market this week armed with only the mid-level exception to offer players, hoping for that rarest of exceptions: the guy who actually means it when he says he values a championship over everything else.

The off-season actions of NBA players repeatedly show that it's a league that values dollars over diamonds, cha-ching over bling-bling.

When Shaquille O'Neal came to town with that seven-year, $125-million contract in 1996, the Lakers immediately vaulted into championship contention and salary-cap constraints. If rings were all that mattered, the Lakers would have free agents calling them. Instead, the Lakers of recent years have had to make do with everything from the old (A.C. Green and John Salley) to the odd (Dennis Rodman and Isaiah Rider).

That's why, early on in the process, the smart money's on the money — and not the Lakers — when it comes to luring the top-tier free agents.

Players still capable of matching their best seasons, such as point guard Gary Payton and power forwards P.J. Brown and Juwan Howard, can still command more than the $4.9-million mid-level exception the Lakers have to offer.

source: http://www.latimes.com/sports/basketbal ... nba-lakers
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Postby Guest on Thu Jul 03, 2003 9:09 am

I agree; the Lakers will probably have pick up a number of lower level players - Antonio Daniels, Scott Williams etc to re-stock the team. Malone will probably stay in Utah, Howard may go to the Bulls or stay in Denver.

For the Lakers to get the top-level players that will topple the other Western powers, they will have to spend good money. Unless JB opens his wallet we will pick up a number of over the hill and/or undertalented players no one else really wants.

And on the Payton issue; if he really wants more than the MLE, the Lakers may as well swing a sign and trade, or just bite the bullet and give Arenas the 7 million he wants. Surely a young Arenas has far more upside than an old spoilt Payton.
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Postby LakersGyrl2003 on Thu Jul 03, 2003 2:05 pm

The reason why superstar type players dont call the Lakers and beg for them to play for a lesser amont of money, is cuz they gotta play behind Shaq and Kobe. Our team is basically where it is, and they also wanna be in the spot light where they're used of being. Like GP. But when they realise that we have 3 championships and it took hard work to actually win 3 in a row, then they'll already be retied wishing they would have been a part of this.
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