Mitch talks about the task at hand.
Daily News: One by one, they said they hoped to come back to play for another NBA championship next season.
Trevor Ariza, Lamar Odom and Shannon Brown said they were happy and at home with the Lakers and wanted to re-sign with the team.
The Lakers want them back, too. General manager Mitch Kupchak and coach Phil Jackson each said the journey to a second consecutive league title begins by re-signing the three unrestricted free agents.
important step begins at 9 p.m. today.
That’s when Kupchak can begin negotiations with agents for the players. It’s also when general managers for 29 other teams can begin pursuing Ariza, Odom and Brown in hopes ofluring away three valuable members of the Lakers’ 2008-09 championship team.
Money, as always, will play an all-important role in where they land.
Kupchak made it clear he doesn’t have blank checks to hand out, and issues such as the salary cap and luxury tax could mean he won’t be able to afford to re-sign them. He also doesn’t know how high other teams might go in order to sign them.
Because they are unrestricted free agents, the Lakers do not have the right to match outside offers for Ariza,
Odom and Brown. It means the talks might go quickly, with the players agreeing to new deals within a matter of minutes or hours.
Negotiations between teams and restricted free agents tend to take longer.