Let's face it. The team that you & I love has problems. And I'm not just talking about our 14-23 record. Ever since the late great Dr. Jerry Buss left us to go hang with fellow Laker legends Chick Hearns, Wilt Chamberlain & Co.up above, our franchise has been in in disaray. From his son Jimmy looking lost, to Mitch missing the mark, to the new CBA created specifically to hurt The Lakers, to Kobe Bryant taking 40% of our cap space in this new restrictive landscape the next 2 years. Where do we go from here? Even the best owners would find this an extremely difficult challenge.
So being the arm chair GM that I am, I've derived a plan to get us back on top where we belong.
The salary cap is around $58-60 million dollars. Kobe is guaranteed $24 million of that.
Now that leaves us with $36 million dollars to work with. Here's how we get back to normal. Back to our Championship ways. And the players who will help us get there.
JOEL EMBRIID: (Price Tag = $5 million dollars) This season is over. We are heading towards the NBA lottery. And I'm guessimating that we get Joel Embriid. Even Though it doesn't matter who we get. As long as it's a top pick........Andrew Wiggins, Jabari Parker, Julius Randle, Joel Imbiid, Marcus Smart, Aaron Gordon and Dante Exum all have star potential according to the experts and my very own "eye test".
KYLE LOWRY: (Price Tag = $8-10million dollars) Hypothetically, if we draft Embriid, we can target Toronto's Kyle Lowry for about the same price that we're paying Nash right now. The only difference is that this kid would actually deserve that kind of money
KEVIN LOVE: (Price Tag = $17 million dollars). If the rumors are true that Kevin Love is dying to come back to L.A. then we shouldn't kill off the man's dream.
KEVIN DURANT: (Price Tag = $22-24 million dollars) Durant will be a free agent in 2 years in 2016. Just in time for Kobe Bryant's obscene contract to end. Durant can slide right into Kobe's pay slot.
That would give us a front line of Durant, Love & Embriid (now entering his 3rd year). With a backcourt of Lowry and a solid shooting guard......Nick Young? Or maybe Kobe will take a paycut? LOL
We can add 1-2 solid role players for $4-5 million each. Then round out our roster by doing what we did this season, adding a bunch of 1 year contracts to lay the foundation for 2015-16. Then in 2016 when Kobe retires we slide Durant into Kobe's spot.
Which gives us a 2016 Championship contending team of:
PG = KYLE LOWRY
SG = NICK YOUNG (or Kobe if he'll play for a couple million)
C = JOEL EMBRIID
PF = KEVIN LOVE
SF = KEVIN DURANT
Although this scenario is very possible, there's no guaranree that this exact scenario will go down. A similar scenario could play out. This is just a blueprint of how to move forward.
Whatever the case I think that the most important things that must happen in the next few seasons are:
1) sign or trade for a star, preferibly someone like Kevin Love and 2) acquire through free agency, draft or a trade a big man (or 2) who can defend the paint and the rim. In terms of the point guard position, I think we can get away with a player of the skills of a Kyle Lowry, but whoever it is has to bring some tenacity to defending the perimeter. One thing I would not do is spend big money on a point guard.
I think the strategy will largely depend on who we draft, assuming we get one of the top 10 picks. If we draft a center (Imbiid; Cauley-Stein; Noah Vonleh), I think that we'll likely target a point guard in free agency (or trade). Also, I wouldn't put it past Mitch to trade down if we have a high pick in order to acquire a proven commodity. For example, if we have the #5 pick and Toronto has the #12 pick, I could see a sign and trade for Lowry so Toronto can move up. That benefits Lowry because he gets a longer term deal and the #12 pick takes up less salary cap space than the #5 pick. We will have that flexibility finally.
The bigeest key, however, is that first superstar who WANTS to don the Purple & Gold because once he comes, others will want to come, too. But it MUST happen. This summer will be the yin to this abysmal season's yang. This is where Jimmy & Mitch must step up and produce that 1st superstar (Love). That will start the dominos falling back in our favor. Which could set the table for Durant to be that final piece in 2016....GO LAKERS!!
01/13/2014 - 01:11 AM PST
LNS HOF Bronze
Cap is $62.1 million next year. And Kobe is making 23.5 right?
01/13/2014 - 01:18 AM PST
Location: Belmont Shores,CA
I like your thinking Purple
01/13/2014 - 02:03 AM PST
LNS HOF Bronze
I always make up these scenarios in my head also. If anyone cares to read mine, here goes. Mine is more 3 year, than 2 year.
Currently were 14-23, the 8th worst team in the league. When I look at our roster, I see 2 players that need to be traded to really help us get to lottery heaven. One is obviously Pau Gasol and the other would be Steve Blake. A lot of people are saying that Blake isn't a valuable asset but the guy was averaging a near double double (9 and 7) before getting injured. Not to mention he's making 4 million and expiring. A lot of teams can use him. Golden State maybe? I have a couple trade scenarios for Gasol I will post in his thread within the next couple hours probably. But point being, we need a top 5 pick this season. Who we draft is the tricky part. As of right now, I would take either Joel Embiid or Jabari Parker. Lets say we draft Embiid.
The only 2 people on our roster next season would be Embiid and Kobe (I'm not counting Steve Nash because he will without a doubt be stretched). Let Embiid develop for one season and hopefully Kobe teaches him a few things. You do not offer Carmelo a max contract or even try to sign him at all. The only player worth taking is Lebron and that's not going to happen.
Keep our financial flexibility until 2015. If the rumors of Kevin Love are true, which I think are, than we pair up Love and Embiid. You surround Kobe, Embiid, and Love with role players and see how far into the playoffs we can go. Give future free agents hope that LA can make noise once again.
Now comes 2016. Kobe....
JCali, I've read that the cap is $58,679 million in 2014. But each year it changes so we're still not sure what 2015 & 2016 will be. And yes Kobe's contract next year is $23.5 million next year & 25 million the following. Because of these 2 scenarios I just gave a ball park figure because there are just too many variables. Also I'm more focused on what needs to get done than getting the totals exact based on the variables I mentioned above.
Terry Teagle, Our great minds think alike
sevankb24, you and I have similar plans if you read them both thoroughly. So maybe we're on to something here. I didn't mention trades because of the thread we have dedicated to just that but I agree that Pau Gasol must go. I believe that we can get 1-2 solid players in return for him. Or draft pick(s). Also I'm willing to trade Blake or whoever if that what it takes to turn the page to the next chapter of Laker Championship basketball.
01/13/2014 - 11:09 AM PST
Location: South Orange County
I think you may be forgetting something:
Los Angeles Lakers Team Salary
Chris Duhon - X $1,500,000
Nick Young .......$1,106,942...........$1,227,985
Shawne Williams - X..$475,334
Elias Harris - X...$100,000
So don't forget about Nash's $9.7 Million+ contract next year
Thanks LakerZip. But I do know about those numbers. But like I told sevankb24 there are so many variables including What happens with Gasol? What happens with Nash? Where are we going to draft? ( #1?, #2, #3?, #4?, #5?,.......) , What free agent/superstar are we going to get 1st? etc. etc. So I am focusing more on "the plan" than crunching the numbers.
01/14/2014 - 11:22 AM PST
Die-Hard Laker Fan
So the plan is dump the people still trying to move up the draft. Then drop in the draft for a decent player packaged in a trade so we fill two position needs. Then acquire 1 superstar in the summer and one superstar when Kobe's contract runs out.
I like everything about this except dropping in the draft through trade. I would do anything I can to try to get two first rounders to fill two positions than say embiid and lowry. In other words, i'm happy with not even taking a superstar next year and selling the farm further to get two young guys and pulling an OKC.
I'd like to get love as a free agent when he finishes in Minn. after next year and develop our two rising stars. What if we could get a top 5 pick and a 15-20 pick with the gasol trade. Aaron gordon, cauley-stein, mcdermott are all that low right now. We got russell smith at 40. 2015/2016.
01/14/2014 - 02:47 PM PST
Big-Time Laker Fan
I like most of these ideas but I doubt the front office would actually have a plan that they'd stick to. It seems they flip flop a lot
01/14/2014 - 06:12 PM PST
Location: South Orange County
Remember, Mitch says this team is not going to tank!
Love won't be around long. If we wait until 2 seasons from now, he will be with another team by then - whether the Lakers are ready to sign him or not. If we could get Love for Pau, with other concessions - like signing X or Meeks to a longer term contract and trading one of them as part of a package, I think I could live with that, although Jodie will light em up once he gets with a better team. But giving up a draft pick - what pick? Nope. Even if we had one to trade, I would do whatever I could to keep those - they are sacred this year, and we have bought a new tank for this specific purpose. Trading away picks right now makes no sense to me.
01/14/2014 - 06:51 PM PST
Die-Hard Laker Fan
I see Embiid going 1,2,3.. Let's be more projected of a top 6-8 rather than a top 3 pick. It seems more predictable IMO we have a chance but right now we are projected at 8.
Smart, Exum, Gordon, Stauley-Clein, LaVein, Vonleh, and Saric are the more like able suit.
Also 2 years is still far away and we also have to put the Knicks as a suitable spot for Love. Knicks will have money. For Love to come I think it's important we draft a star and not bust. I'd hope Exum or Stein is our pick if we do choose 8. Knicks don't have a pick and by the time they go into FA the only intriguing guys are Melo if he doesn't leave for Chi or possibly LA (either) and Tim Hardaway Jr with money as for us we have Kobe, Stein, and money. I think it's important to put Love with a center who can play defense since that is in which Love lacks.
After Love and in 2016 I say we look into Mike Conley and Wilson Chandler who is not worth much and a solid wing shooter, slasher, and defender.
I think this is more likely than drafting Embiid and signing Love and Durant. Although I would love a trio of Love, Durant, and Embiid it just seems very unlikely.
We also must hire a new coach !!!!!!
01/14/2014 - 07:24 PM PST
LNS HOF Bronze
Mitch said the Lakers won't tank. He never said the lakers won't rebuild. Those are two completely different things. We've developed a habit of replacing the word "rebuild" with tank and when a general manager like Mitch hears that, he assumes you're talking about actually tanking (telling the coach and players to throw games and trading away the best players). This team is rebuilding. Reading Mike Trudell's interview with Mitch Kupchak made me realize that this team is targeting a top 10, maybe even top 5 lottery pick. if you haven't read it, go check it out. Also, most of us want to skip on Carmelo so we will have the cap room to sign Love. Kupchak pretty much says the same thing in the interview. He was asked if he would miss out on a max contract player to have cap for another year for another player and he said yes. I think management is slowly starting to realize its better for the team to skip out on Melo and go for Kevin Love. So pretty much, our 2014 plan has turned into 2015 because Lebron isn't coming, Melo isn't worth it, Deng will clog our cap and isn't worth it, and Gay is no where near worth it. 2014 has turned into "Ping Pong Balls" year and 2015 has become the free agency year.
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