Both really need to happen imo. The only way that Carmelo comes to anywhere other than the Bulls imo other than a S&T is if the Lakers had a high lottery pick and re-signed their depth with something in the 15s leftover for Carmelo. Anything less and he won't. But Chicago would likely pay him just as much as we would so there's that too. But the Bulls also have less cap space
Let's break down the top 5 cap spaced teams from first to 5th next year
1. 76ers 28 million in cap space
2. Dallas Mavericks 27 million in cap space
3. Utah Jazz 27 million in cap space
4. Phoenix Suns 26 million in cap space
5, Los Angeles Lakers 21 million in cap space
Now how ahead of it are we? Look at the 6th
6. Charlotte Bobcats 17 million in cap space
And where are the Chicago Bulls?
14. Chicago Bulls (- 4 million) in cap space
What THIS means is that they are going to NEED to amnesty Boozer if they want to make any play at Carmelo Anthony.
Not just that they ALSO need money for Mirotic who will need a viable contract.
So it won't be so easy to offer Carmelo how much he wants despite what ESPN says.
So let's see the 5th spot Lakers
21 million in cap space
37 million taken up in complete cap estimated 23 of it Kobe's contract, 9 being Steve Nash's, that's 32 million, so an extra 5 million of space is there to make up for, Marshall, Kelly, Bazemore re-signings, maybe X and Wes as well etc.
That is what we are predicted to be at, with 21 million in cap space AFTER the re-signings of Marshall, Kelly and Bazemore. Which gives us the 5th most cap space in the league.
The Lakers are way beneath the Cap Maximum of 59 million, as well as way beneath the luxury tax threshold at 75 million.
So let's look at the competition.
76ers are likely not going for big time free agents and are going to be rebuilding so that removes them.
The Jazz are in the same boat of rebuilding and likely aren't looking at Melo.
The Suns are also in the same boat with potential signings needed with all their first round draft picks AS WELL as retaining Bledsoe so they won't be in the top 5 of cap space for very long.
That then leaves the Mavericks and the Lakers. Two teams I feel will be making a run at Carmelo. The Mavericks and the Lakers can both pay him. It depends which team is in the better situation if it comes down to those two teams. I wouldn't put it past Cuban to throw a max offer Melo's way though while the Lakers would likely offer a paycut. Cuban will likely be chasing LeBron too quiet as kept.
The good news for the Lakers is that they have the bird rights to both Jodie Meeks and Jordan Hill, whom would be their likely most expensive re-signs. As the Lakers are 20 million beneath the cap maximum, and almost 37 beneath the Tax threshold, it leaves them a lot of breathing room to use those bird rights without worrying about it eating away their cap, that is the benefit of bird rights. They can also re-sign Swaggy P without much worry.
The Lakers HAVE enough money to bring back everyone. With their estimated cap space at 21 million AFTER re-signing the following
That gives us a lot of room to play with + two players with bird's rights.
That means we very well COULD re-sign Nick Young for something around a 5 million dollar contract and still have about 16 million to toy with afterwards because Bird's Rights(to Hill and Meeks) don't eat away at that.
Now let's assume we re-sign
and have that 16 million left over(note, Jordan Hill and Jodie Meeks contracts would be able to breach into the luxury tax threshold which gives us 16,700,000 of breathing room when dealing with their contracts via Bird's Rights, that is more than enough money to retain them both imo).
All on board. NOW, we have 16 million left to NOT go into the tax over that we can use before we hit the cap.
However if Nick Young OPTS in he leaves us with around 19 million to play with.
NOW, would 19 million be enough to offer Carmelo(although it would eat the rest of our cap space completely and we'd have no flexibility for 2015)
Another thing to consider is your first round draft pick
Pick number 1 gets 4.3 million dollars
Pick number 5 gets 2.9 million dollars
That's within the range the Lakers will be paying. Now IF they re-signed everyone AND got pick number 1 through 5 it knocks their 19 million down to around 15+ million at 1st pick, around 17+ million at 5th pick.
THAT may not be enough to entice Carmelo Anthony to come without eating up ALL our cap, and he'd take too low of a paycut.
The only way that number would go back up would be, if you didn't re-sign someone such as X or Wes(or both).
But then again that's operating from the perspective of spending all your money in the 2014 free agency, something Mitch has given no indication he plans to do.
What Mitch will do is to try to get the Lakers to a threshold where they have a MAX contract type of money available once Nash's 9 million comes off in the 2015 off-season.
So in terms of how much cap Mitch is going to save it will likely be somewhere around 9 million. The benefit is that re-signing everyone as well as our pick likely leaves us off at around 10-12 million cap left over. Once Nash's contract is off the books in the 2015 off-season then we'd have max money yet again.
So that is probably close to what Mitch's plan will be in terms of how much cap he wants left over this off-season.
Unfortunately for Carmelo to Los Angeles Lakers fans that makes that scenario HIGHLY unlikely.
The ONLY way that this happens is if they Sign and Traded with Melo himself and he opted in the final year.before becoming a UFA in 2015 and leaving us with his bird rights.
The problem with this plan is if we took Carmelo's 22 million contract on next year, despite it being bird rights worthy it would eat away at our 16.7 million dollar cushion and put us a lil over 5 million OVER the luxury tax limit and would also make it impossible for us to re-sign Meeks and Hill without increasing that luxury tax limit even further.