Forum Blue & Gold: First off, sad news about Greg Oden losing this season to a fractured patella. Much as I dislike the Blazers, sports-hate only goes so far (I feel so dirty using a Bill Simmons term). We Laker fans can sympathize with seeing your young big man go down for the season; it’s a feeling like a punch to the gut that won’t go away. Best wishes to Oden and a quick, full recovery.
Now, I wonder: after a pretty busy summer, it seems like Mitch Kupchak has it pretty easy these days. However, I wanted to take a look at what is potentially on his plate and I came up with three things: getting Kobe to sign a contract extension, shedding salary, and bringing in someone to improve the bench play.
1.) According to the LATimes, the Lakers have offered Kobe a max extension, which he summarily rejected. In a recent article for the NYTimes, Larry Coon tells us that this was probably the smart move, given that the CBA will expire in 2 years at which time the formula for the calculation of maximum salary (Kobe’s salary) may be decreased. All signs point to Bryant coming back to LA (he’d be pretty crazy to leave), so it’s just a matter of when and at what price. Perhaps we should just take our minds off it with another look at the ridiculousness from Friday night. Boy am I glad I didn’t go to bed early.
2.) Going along with our recent discussion of the Taco Unit (love the name, btw) and Adrian Wojnarowski’s couple lines about the Lakers FO wanting to cut salary, I figured I would also take a look at his options to purely cut salary.
Disclaimer: There will be no overt trade speculation allowed in this thread. This means no statements in a form isomorphic to “the Lakers should trade Player X for Player Y.” In short, I want to limit the discussion of players.
According to Wojnarowski, Mitch Kupchak is looking to cut salary from the Lakers monolithic $91, 377,313 pay roll. Frankly, I wouldn’t blame the FO is this was the case. With a pay roll that size, I can imagine Dr. Buss staring at his poker funds while sitting at some table second-guessing an all-in decision. He has already shelled out a ton of cash for the team; asking much more of him is just greedy.