After Metta, Lakers Future Financial Situation Begins Taking Shape

After Metta, Lakers Future Financial Situation Begins Taking Shape


IMG_1212Good news, bad news… and the worst news of all for Lakerdom.

In the bad news, the Lakers went ahead and amnestied Metta World Peace, after all.

In the worst news of all, you don’t get to bash Jim Buss, even if I did it in advance, noting there wasn’t one benefit other than lining their pockets with an additional $15-20 million, on top of their already projected $100 million profit.

Unfortunately, I missed by one important benefit. NBA sources, some Lakers, some from other teams, showed me where I was wrong. Sorry Jimbo.

In good news for Laker fans… or the worst news of all, if not getting to bash Jimbo ruins your day… it’s not a wanton grab for more riches.

You’ve heard buzzing about some crazy plan to offer Kobe Bryant a m-m-m-minimum, one-year deal, as when the Los Angeles Times’ Eric Pincus threw it out two days ago?

However you characterize it, this is the Lakers’ plan, boys and girls.

1)  Having amnestied Metta, they’re now looking at a $77.8 million payroll, within $6M of the $71.9M tax threshold–reachable by dumping Steve Blake’s expiring $4M deal and Jordan’s Hill’s $3.8M by the mid-season trade deadline, if the Lakers think it’s worth it.

This would re-set their clock relative to the repeater penalty, after having paid luxury tax three seasons in a row.

2.) In 2014,they offer Bryant and Pau Gasol one-year deals at, say, $5 million.

No, no one knows if either or both will go along. In any case that leaves the Lakers $52M under the threshold, enough for two max $20 million slots, with another $22 mill to fill out their roster.

In either case, the Lakers don’t exceed the tax threshold. If they got under the season before, doing it twice in a row will enable them to exceed it in the next three without paying penalties. Cap savants–the only ones who understand what’s going on in this !@&%! league with all activity centered around the new CBA–call this the “two in, three out” strategy.

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3) In 2015, assuming Kobe and/or Pau are here, they sign, oh, let’s say three-year deals totaling $25M annually as Nash’s $9.7 million cycles off.

That bumps the payroll to, say $95M–about $20M over the threshold, triggering $45 in taxes. If $135M sounds a tad pricey, the Lakers can afford it and a lot more, projecting an awe-inspiring $280M gross with Time Warner, which started at $115M last season, paying an additional $5M or so annually through 2032.

That leaves the Lakers with a $145M net.

So, subtracting 30% for revenue sharing ($44M) and a generous $30M for all other expenses that leaves a $71M profit with a refurbished roster including two max free agents (the Lakers hope), Kobe (they hope) and Pau (ditto).

So they may not be screwed forever, after all!

If Bryant sounds like he’s upset at the notion he would ever take a massive cut, his remarks at his camp at UCSB were mild for him. Kobe used to be to bargaining what Curtis LeMay, the model for the mad general who launches a nuclear strike at the USSR in “Dr. Strangelove,” was to aviation.

Bryant not only wouldn’t discuss his impending free agency in 2004, he bristled at the Laker PR staff if we asked. He finally started hiring his own publicists, and firing them annually.

So, telling ESPN, “As a businessman the goal is always to not take a pay cut, but….”

Didn’t used to be no buts, but he has long since dispensed with old options like leaving, or retiring.

If winning titles with what’s left here is all that’s left to him, what’s next, musing about playing with LeBron James?

Oh, he just said that wouldn’t be “that big of a stretch,” at UCSB, too?

We’ll never forget you, Metta, however the rest of that went.


Did you see our videos of our exclusive interview with Kobe? If not, check out our video below and don’t forget to click here to subscribe to our YouTube Channel!


    Lol, you’re numbers and facts couldn’t be more off

    • Mirage

      Coming from someone who doesn’t know the difference between your and you’re.

  • Jim213

    Good article, with regards to Gasol I wouldn’t even bother, trade him AHEAD of the trade deadline in a 3 team trade come next season. Some aficionados still think Gasol is a good fit saying that he’s not motivated and that it’s b/c he plays better in the triangle offense. Enough said… he hasn’t proven his worth since, 3 team trade.

    Another issue that would be interesting to observe is whether the Lakers can reacquire some of the championship players. It does sound like some of them are willing to take pay cuts to come back for now (thankfully) but if some of these players can be signed again and given the chemistry/cohesion that is vital in team play… then I don’t see Kobe leaving the Lakers after next season (cross fingers).

    It would say a lot if Kobe could take a somewhat pay cut so that management can use some of that money to resign some of these players to more reasonable pay given that some are taking pay cuts. There’s still a lot of bang for your buck players out there especially overseas. Currently, it’s about acquiring true depth to put a better team on the floor than this past season.

    Management owes it to the BRAND to place a competitive team come next season, which will likely buy them another year’s worth of time while waiting for the 2014 free agency.

    • nlruizjr

      in regards to getting rid of Gasol, 28-12. 2nd half season should tell you that Gasol still has alot left in the tank and that he is equal to or greater than most PF/C out there now, watch Howard now when he starts to get doubled teamed and he turns over the ball for Houston, I will laugh like hell !!!!!

      • Jim213

        Good post, I’m thankful that DH left… We do have this player called Kobe who competes consistently and helps to keep us relevant. Other players that have smaller salaries have had more of an impact than Pau pay those players for sure. Don’t get me wrong he isn’t a bad player but for $20 mil! EARN YOUR PAY!

  • ra

    Again, Kobe is the Lakers ‘brand’. If they wanted to have dispensed with that, knowing what he means to their brand, they would have told DH that they would be amnestying Kobe and move on.

    But since they kept him (Achilles and all), they are counting on him for the brand. If they don’t keep Kobe under reasonable conditions (i.e., a salary that would be acceptable to him), and let him go, in favor of a chance at signing LeBron …. and then if they get LeBron, trust me – Lakerland would be outraged.

    Yes, LeBron is a great player, but many here in Lakerland (like myself) have noticed how the media has put down Kobe in favor of LeBron – some even saying ‘LeBron is the best player since Jordan’. That is very upsetting, and LeBron did nothing to avert that – self appointed King.

    It’s different with Shaq, and even DH. Both were welcome here, and when DH came, it was with the intention (at least, as understood by fans) as someone working alongside Kobe, and who would eventually be the face of the franchise.

    If Lakers management dumps Kobe, then that’s it. That will be the biggest mistake in Laker history. Jerry Buss would never do that.

    • Jim213

      Agree with most of your post, people forget what Kobe’s meant for the BRAND. Some see him as the past and are willing to toss a great player for someone who hasn’t proven anything (draft). There’s only a few competitors that compete at Kobe’s level and there isn’t a better shooter in today’s game, especially during clutch times.

      With regards to Lebron, like MJ and Kobe the media prefers fresher legs placing this type of player as the face of the current generation and business. I believe Kobe doesn’t even care about it and if he does it drives him even more. Lebron has his own thing but come clutch time they ain’t nobody better than #24 to rely on… This is why I also think that Kobe wears #24 respecting MJ’s #23, knowing that the torch was given to the next superstar to carry and represent the overall game.

      Lamar update…

      Sources say that LO is weighing whether to sign with the Lakers or Clipps on a one-year, $1.4 million contract. Should’ve put a sign up for Lamar instead of DH, that’s for sure. However, business wise Lamar should know that he would be a crucial part of the team while getting more playing time aside from the appreciation of the Laker Nation. KB24, we’re you at?… aside from basketball camp.