Sport Rob Pelinka says Lakers front office has been empowered to spend 'smartly' to build championship roster
Lakers offseason preview: How Los Angeles can rebuild a championship roster around LeBron James, Anthony Davis
The Lakers need to focus on players that fit alongside their two superstarsAt some point in his distant past as a broadcaster, Las Vegas Raiders coach Jon Gruden visited Indianapolis Colts training camp with his ESPN co-worker Ron Jaworski and noticed a trend he found disturbing. The Colts gave hardly any practice reps to Peyton Manning's backup quarterbacks. So, as Jaworski explained in his book, The Games that Changed the Game, they asked then-Colts offensive coordinator Tom Moore why that was, and he gave a response that doubled as some of the most practical life advice a coach could ever give. "Fellas," he explained. "If No.
The Los Angelesare one of the wealthiest teams in the NBA. Their local television deal with Spectrum SportsNet keeps their coffers full regardless of what happens on the court, and with fans returning to Staples Center next season, the Lakers have the financial resources to build winners year in, year out. They'll need every penny to rebuild a championship roster this offseason, though. The Lakers only have six players under contract for next season, but when you factor in their first-round pick, they have almost $115 million already committed to their roster.
, , , and are all unrestricted free agents. is a restricted free agent. has a player option, and the Lakers will, in all likelihood, spend the taxpayer mid-level exception in free agency. The potential cost of next season's roster is gargantuan. Will that force the Lakers to cut corners and pinch pennies rather than going all out to rebuild the roster? During his exit interview, Rob Pelinka indicated that the answer would be no.
3 moves the Lakers need to make this offseason to make LeBron happy
After LeBron James' first-ever first-round playoff loss, the Los Angeles Lakers need to do these three things to please The King this offseason. The Los Angeles Lakers' season didn't pan out the way they hoped it would. They started strong, but injuries to stars Anthony Davis and L eBron James derailed everything. They never found their rhythm after AD and James returned, eventually losing to the Phoenix Suns in the first round. Heading into the offseason, the Lakers need to find ways to reload for another title run, as The King isn't getting any younger.
"Jeanie and the ownership group has empowered the front office to do one thing and that's to smartly build a roster to win championships," Pelinka said, as transcribed by. "That's been the hallmark of this team since Dr. Buss acquired it, and continues to be today. Clearly all 30 NBA teams are confined by a salary cap, so we've got to be smart about how we put all the puzzle pieces together, but there is only one goal, and it's doing it smartly to have a championship-caliber team.
"I think next year of course, hopefully with all of our fans being able to come back and be a part of the building, we owe them the work to start the process of retooling and having a championship-caliber team that can do special things next year, and that's the driving passion and there's alignment there between Jeanie, the front office, the coaches and our players that that will always be the goal."
Rick Carlisle left Mavs due to Donnie Nelson's departure?
Rick Carlisle stepped down as the head coach of the Dallas Mavericks last week. He spent 13 seasons at the helm of the franchise, and so his abrupt decision to leave with time remaining on his contract caught a lot of people off guard. © Kevin Jairaj-USA TODAY Sports Immediately, various stories began to emerge from the woodwork.The one that got the most play involved Mavs star Luka Doncic publicly mocking and taunting him during a game.So did Carlisle really step down because of Doncic?According to Sam Amick of The Athletic, the real reason was far less salacious.
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Lakers owner Jeanie Buss has reiterated that the Lakers are willing to pay the luxury tax, most recently saying so on a March appearance on
"The luxury tax is for teams that have championship aspirations, and certainly that is something where we want to keep the Lakers at the top of the conversation," Buss said. "And oncedecided to join the Lakers, the way he's playing it doesn't seem like he's 36 years old, but when you have a player like LeBron James on your team, you've got to go for it. You've got to use that opportunity to win."
Anthony Davis gets elbowed in the nose by Deandre Ayton
Davis was in pain and went to the bench for treatment. The Lakers ended up calling a timeout so Davis could be treated. Davis was also involved in a contact incident during Game 2 of the series. He inadvertently kicked Jae Crowder in the groin at the start of Tuesday’s game.Subscribe to Yardbarker's Morning Bark, the most comprehensive newsletter in sports. Customize your email to get the latest news on your favorite sports, teams and schools. Emailed daily.
Ironically, the Lakers did not pay the tax during their 2020 championship season, but that was by design. The Lakers functioned as a below the cap team in the 2019 offseason and carved out enough space to make a real run at. They came up short, but it is exceedingly rare for teams that operate below the cap to ever pay the tax. Cap rules functionally prevent them from doing so through free agency, so the only real way to do it is by accumulating extra salaries through trades, which the Lakers didn't make. Another James team, the 2014-15 , accomplished the rare feat of paying the tax despite operating below the cap that offseason, but it is extremely rare.
The 2020-21 Lakers did pay the tax, but not very much of it. They hard-capped themselves by using the non-taxpayer mid-level exception on Harrell and the bi-annual exception on Matthews. That meant they couldn't go above the apron—a figure roughly $6 million above the tax line—for any reason.
But that hard-cap restriction is unlikely to apply next season. The Lakers are already so close to the tax that it would essentially be impossible for them to realistically build a remotely deep roster if they used the non-taxpayer mid-level exception. If they use the taxpayer version, there is no hard limit on how much they could spend within the confines of the cap. They could pay their own free agents anything up to their maximum salaries in order to stay, or accumulate as much salary through trades as they wanted so long as the trades themselves are legal.
In other words, if the Lakers want to keep some version of this roster together, it is going to get very, very expensive. Thehad the most expensive roster in the NBA last season at just over $169 million before taxes. There are scenarios in which the Lakers top that figure, but it will require buy-in from ownership. Buss says she's willing to pay the tax. Now, it's time for her to put her literal money where her mouth is.
Lakers view Andre Drummond as part of long-term future? .
He averaged a modest 11.9 points per game in 21 regular-season games to go with 10.2 rebounds per game as he adjusted to playing alongside LeBron James and Anthony Davis. It sounds like whether he’s comfortable in this role or whether he wants to seek a bigger one elsewhere will actually matter significantly to the Lakers’ future.Subscribe to Yardbarker's Morning Bark, the most comprehensive newsletter in sports. Customize your email to get the latest news on your favorite sports, teams and schools. Emailed daily. Always free! Sign up now ▸More must-reads:Lakers star Anthony Davis unlikely to play Game 5 vs.