The Lakers run to land Lebron James and Carmelo Anthony during the summer of 2014 is the latest news circling the NBA. At most, the Lakers have 12 million dollars on their salary cap for the 2014-2015 season. However, the Lakers may have 4 million dollar on their cap if they use the stretch provision on Steve Nash and Nick Young does not pick up his player option, which is likely if Young has a good season. The NBA stretch provision allows the Lakers to waive Nash and spread his $9.7 million over the next three years. Next year, his $3.2 million cap charge would impact the Lakers’ cap situation. The 2014-2015 salary cap will be about $59 million. Thus the Lakers would have about $55 million dollars in cap space.
Why the Lakers have a chance of landing the duo:
The Lakers is best franchise in the NBA because it is in a major media market and has a great tradition. The Lakers have won the second most NBA championships in NBA history. The Lakers are dedicated winners, which is enticing for players such as Lebron and Carmelo. Since the Lakers have Kobe Bryant, one of the best winners in NBA history, the Lakers would have the best Big Three in NBA history. The Lakers have the cap room to sign at least two different stars. Today, NBA superstars are willing to give up more money for a chance to win a title. Lebron, Carmelo, and Kobe would have to forfeit a lot of money so they can play together and win a title. Recently, the players played with one another of the USA team and built a strong bond. However, NBA fans have seen players take less money so that they can win a title and be considered as a winner. Although their salary would be lower, the endorsement options in Hollywood would allow the players to make a lot of money. The Lakers team would be the instant championship favorite with Lebron, Kobe, and Carmelo. However, they will be able to add veteran free agents looking for titles. Pau Gasol probably would be willing to forfeit money in order to win another title with the Lakers. Gasol has made over a hundred forty million dollars during his career and another title or two may make Gasol a possible Hall of Famer. The Lakers could use their mid level exception on Gasol or sign him to a bargain deal. The Lakers could sign a point guard like Andre Miller, Kirk Hinrich, or Jameer Nelson, if they are willing to take less money. Other veteran free agents would sign with the Lakers, like players, who signed with the Miami Heat.
Why the Lakers will not sign the Lebron and Anthony:
First, Lebron and Carmelo will have to opt out of their current contracts, if they want to become a free agent. The Lakers will have difficulty fitting the three stars under the cap. This year, Kobe Bryant will make over $30 million for the LA Lakers. Kobe would have to take a $15 million pay cut in order for the Lakers to sign the stars. Although Kobe wants to win another championship, it has been reported that he does not want to take a pay cut, especially a $15 million pay cut. Lebron and Carmelo would have to take a pay cut to play for the Lakers as well. Lebron has expressed discontent about taking another pay cut to win another title. Since he will probably win a title for a third straight year, Lebron will not be pressured to win another title, like four years ago. If the Heat win another title, Lebron would be leaving a team that has three peated. This is an unlikely situation. The Lakers are Lebron’s third option, behind the Cavaliers and Heat. Melo would have to take a $7-10 million pay cut in order to play for the Lakers. Although he would have a better chance of winning a title with Kobe than the Knicks, he is from New York and loves the media market. Carmelo will make as much money, if not more, in New York because the media market is huge. In 2015, the Knicks will be blessed with a lot of cap room because Chandler and Amare’s contracts will be expired. Melo could form a super team with superstars in New York, if he waits an extra year. Kevin Love, Brook Lopez, Roy Hibbert, David West, Al Jefferson, Marc Gasol, Lamarcus Aldridge, and Jeff Green will be free agents during the summer of 2015. However, since Carmelo has never won a title, he may sign with the Lakers, since they give him a better chance of winning than the Knicks. Currently, Melo is one of the best players who has never won a title. Carmelo would not be seen as a ball hog and would answer his critics if he can win a title. Lebron and Carmelo will have to play for Mike D’Antoni, unless the Lakers make another coaching change. Mike has never succeeded as a coach and Melo hated his time with Mike. Jerry Buss is a horrible owner and should not be trusted by the players. It is unknown if Lebron and Carmelo will gel with Kobe. All three players need the ball in their hands, especially Kobe and Carmelo. Carmelo has be criticized in New York because he cannot play without the ball in his hands. Since Kobe is an alpha dog, he will be taking the ball away from Carmelo and Lebron.
Percentages that Lebron and Carmelo will sign: 3%
Percentages that Lebron will sign: 5%
Percentage that Carmelo will sign: 20%
Most likely situation:
Since the Lakers will not have draft picks and the Lakers cannot be bad for two straight season, the Lakers will be forced to sign high priced free agents. During the 2014 season, Paul Pierce, Dirk Nowitzki, Luol Deng, Danny Granger, Pau Gasol, and Andrew Bogut will be unrestricted free agents. Paul George, Greg Monroe, John Wall, Demarcus Cousins, Larry Sanders, and Derrick Favors will be restricted free agents. Lebron, Carmelo, Wade, Bosh, Stoudemire, and Zach Randolph have the option of becoming a free agent. The Lakers probably will go after the restricted free agents, Danny Granger, and Luol Deng. The Kings are unlikely to match a max offer for Demarcus Cousins if the Lakers offer him a max deal. Although he causes headaches, Cousins is one of the most talented centers in the league and could lead the Lakers after Kobe retires. The Lakers should go attempt to sign John Wall or Greg Monroe. If the Wizards fail again this season, Wall may not want to return to the nations capital. Wall wants to win and the Lakers will have a better chance than the Wizards. If the Pistons fail this season, they may be willing to let Monroe leave because they have Drummond and Josh Smith. A nucleus of Wall/Monroe, Bryant, and Cousins would lead the Lakers back into the playoff race. The Lakers will have young studs that could lead the Lakers in the future. When Kobe retires, the Lakers can sign another star and be set for the future.
Pics and stats from ESPN.com