trevL.A. Times: The Lakers will officially close the books on their championship season with Wednesday’s victory parade and a few days’ worth of individual exit meetings, but one question won’t be answered amid all the confetti and congratulations.

What’s next?

The Lakers will experience a flurry of activity between now and mid-July, starting with the draft June 25, in which they have the 29th, 42nd and 59th picks. Then the real decisions begin with free agency.

Kobe Bryant can terminate the last two years of his contract and become an unrestricted free agent July 1. Forwards Lamar Odom and Trevor Ariza officially become unrestricted free agents that day, as does reserve guard Shannon Brown.

The Lakers needed only five games to defeat the Orlando Magic in the NBA Finals, and they are already favored by many oddsmakers to win it all again next season, but what will their roster look like when training camp begins in October?

Continue reading ‘Money talks; will any Lakers walk?’

  • Lakers 24 7

    It would be sad to see either Ariza or Odom leave. I think the Lakers will keep both of them. Odom doesn’t wanna leave LA and said he would take a pay cut to stay, and Ariza, born and raised in LA and plays for the home team Lakers, I can’t imagine seeing him somewhere else, especially since he was key all season long. Keep this squad together.

  • barcalakerfan4life

    if anyone should walk its gotta be sasha vujabrick or mayve even farmar or walton.

  • http://twitter.com/Doc_aka_UNBorn Doc_aka_UNBorn

    Shannon Brown and Trevor Ariza never had an organization like the Lakers before. The both seem to fall in a gel with the program very well. Considering they just won rings AND were really instrumental in that, they would have to be idiots to not do all they could do to stay here. . . .and I don’t think them being “idiots” is the case. In Trevor’s case especially, being an LA native, I think he is where he has ALWAYS dreamed of being. I can’t see him wanting to give that up.

    On to Odom’ he has done NOTHING short of damn near BEG to stay in a Lakers’ uniform. Whenever asked, he never gave the basic player response of “I don’t know. Whatever the future brings, I’ll be ready”. No, his response has ALWAYS been the same and never changed, “I want to stay here with the Lakers”; every single time. He knew his pay day opportunity was coming, yet he stood fast on his desire.

    I’m not a betting man, but I would predict that all three will be back next year. And Kobe. . . . don’t let his jedi mind tricks fool you, he ain’t goin nowhere. Hell, he even spoke for Phil and said he was comin back too.

  • http://www.googlemoneytree.me/ Doc_aka_UNBorn

    Shannon Brown and Trevor Ariza never had an organization like the Lakers before. The both seem to fall in a gel with the program very well. Considering they just won rings AND were really instrumental in that, they would have to be idiots to not do all they could do to stay here. . . .and I don’t think them being “idiots” is the case. In Trevor’s case especially, being an LA native, I think he is where he has ALWAYS dreamed of being. I can’t see him wanting to give that up.

    On to Odom’ he has done NOTHING short of damn near BEG to stay in a Lakers’ uniform. Whenever asked, he never gave the basic player response of “I don’t know. Whatever the future brings, I’ll be ready”. No, his response has ALWAYS been the same and never changed, “I want to stay here with the Lakers”; every single time. He knew his pay day opportunity was coming, yet he stood fast on his desire.

    I’m not a betting man, but I would predict that all three will be back next year. And Kobe. . . . don’t let his jedi mind tricks fool you, he ain’t goin nowhere. Hell, he even spoke for Phil and said he was comin back too.
    Sorry… forgot to say great post – can’t wait to read your next one!

  • J-S-O-NiiK

    No one should leave this team. But nevertheless we may need a brand new blood just for keep a good dynamic and not turn into a routine squad as the San Antonio spurs for example. But no matter what, we have some good years in front of us!

  • Drake Hunter

    This offseason isn’t as bad as everyone makes it out to be for the Lakers. We have three key unrestricted free agents and I’m with Doc on this, that at least 2 of the 3 players, Odom and Ariza, will be back with the Lakers next season and you can take that to the bank.

    Odom made $14.1 million this year and the only way I see him leaving is if someone were to pay him $16-$18 million a year and you know that’s not gonna happen. Even if another team were to offer Odom $12 million a year, I don’t see how he would leave the Lakers, who will probably offer $8 million a year max, and go to another team, when he knows the Lakers are built to win a Championship for at least the next 3 years. He’s made enough money. If he needs any advice on what to do, Rick Fox is the man to call. Foxy took back to back 1 year deals with the Lakers turning down lucrative offers because he knew there was something special and he wanted to be part of it and eventually got paid where as Odom has already gotten paid. I know Odom sees that too. Percentage of him staying – 99%!

    Ariza has proven you can come back home again and succeed and win. The Lakers gave him the opportunity to shine in the NBA and he has proven his worth and rewarded them with his great play. He grew up in LA and went to college here and was always a Laker fan. He now has won a Championship on this team and is a vital part to the Lakers success and he knows that too. Ariza is a great role player but he is not worth $10 million a year which is what Barkley said (Barkley always talks out of his a-s-s….ALA Denver winning it all)! Ariza at best would be worth double of what he made this year which was $3.1 million. I wouldn’t pay him anymore than what Petrius or Posey is making and they both make around $5-$6 million. Percentage of him staying – 90%!

    Shannon Brown to me is Tyronne Lue. He admitted he is using the playoffs to showcase his skills hoping for a big payday in the offseason. If some team out there offers him $3 million a year, odds are the Lakers won’t match and let him walk. Sparingly throughout the season and playoffs when he played, he’s helped us a lot, and keeping him would be nice, but not detrimental if we don’t. I only see him staying if he’s promised a starting role or reserve role when Fishers contract is up and that’s only if Fisher doesn’t decide to retire. He also stays if no other team makes him a good offer but I don’t see that happening. The Lakers are always center stage and anyone who plays for them knows that the whole world is always watching them so people are aware of your talent and skills ala Ronny Turiaf. Percentage of him staying – 50%!

    The Lakers will pick up the options for Powell and Mbenga at $950,000 a year because, well, their both worth it, and helped contribute sparingly throughout the year to the Lakers. They don’t hurt us being on the team and they both can play. Let’s not forget about the guy that no one is mentioning that will also be huge for the Lakers this offseason. Adam Morrison has a $5 million dollar expiring contract and as we all know, that will be very valuable to any team trying to clear cap space for 2010. Adam got his ring riding the pine. His contract will be easy to move so don’t look for him to be on the bench next year. That in itself will assure the return of Odom and Ariza and I know management knows that too.

    Take into consideration that when Odom takes that paycut and Ariza gets that raise, the Lakers are essentially paying for 2 guys $14 million, which is what they paid Odom this year alone. If they can trade Morrison which I believe they can and will, the cap should be the same if not less than what it was this year. I failed to mention Kobe opting out of his contract, which is possible, and that he might sign a longer contract for less, which is possible, to help the front office, but that discussion can be made for another day if he does decide to opt out. If he does though, then the sky’s the limit as to how many Championships the Lakers can win in the next 5 years with the flexibility the front office has.

    I expect the roster next year to be a mirror image of what it was thist year. Let’s just sit back and enjoy the offseason and soak in the Championship this year, and then next year, be the first team to repeat as Champions since, Oh yeah, the Lakers!!!!!!!! See ya’ll at the parade!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  • Rich

    I got a feeling Kobe is going to take less money to keep the team together. It’s just the smart thing to do.

  • Big Dick Nick

    Kobe is opting out and going to force Buss to give him the max which he deserves. Odom and ariza will get mid level money because there are only a couple teams with cap room and the lakers should be able to give them the mid level average so both of them probably will stay. Hopefully Brown stays, with a full training camp he could be productive for us next year. Maybe Mitch can work some magic in unloading Sasha, Walton, and Mustache (doubtful but you never know).

  • Heron

    Simpley put: Kobe should opt out only to restructure his contract so he earns less. Do a Tim Duncan and keep this team in tact. Plus, with the recent media’s change in attitude towards Kobe, the endorsements will come back and I’m sure Nike–as they’ve done before–will increase Kobe’s endorsement deal.

  • http://lakers.com kobe_in_La

    Kobe should re-sign to get a minimum money so odom and ariza should stay…dont let the greed take over..we need champions

  • sketch

    This off season is gonna be complete crazy for the Lakers and their fans! We’re gonna see our favorite action figures on go the auction block on EBAY! We all know that we need to make sure that Dr Jerry Buss he comes in with the best offer just before the auction ends and seal the deal with LO and Ariza!

    Maybe he can throw Vujabrick and Farmar on Craigslist and get a decent price or a trade for those 2 pieces. I mean, both of those figures are in NM condition… they’ve barely been played with this season, especially in the Finals!

    Maybe someone out there are willing to trade away their rare STAR WARS or G.I. JOE figures for a couple of vintage SMURFS pieces! Or at least spend unwisely for an obscene amount for them.

    This is the time where all Lakers fans need to hope and pray that Dr Jerry Buss will win these 2 items on the auction list on EBAY! It is extremely vital for us to repeat and become the DYNASTY that we need to be! Let’s just hope that either the value of LO will drop some during the waning minutes of the auction, cause we all know that Ariza’s value will only increase, and that Dr Jerry Buss is so enamored with finishing off his collection that he’ll say “FCUK IT! I’M RICH BIATCH!”, and pay anything it takes to get what he wants!

    GO BUSS GO… WIN YOUR AUCTION! KEEP OUR TEAM INTACT!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  • jerry

    what is the possiblity of phil retiring being that he makes 10M a year. if he does retire, i propose an idea: kobe becomes a player/coach, which is a role he plays on the court already. the lakers can retain the current staff. phil can remain as a consultant. so if kobe opts out of his contract, then he can sign for less, enabling the lakers to resign odom and ariza at a fairer market value. lamar says he’ll take less to stay, but ariza’s stock has risen tremendously…what do u think?

  • Drake Hunter

    [Comment ID #76379 Will Be Quoted Here]

    I think your insane…..The Lakers aren’t the OKC Thunder where their hurtin for money and cap space and fans. Their one of the richest NBA franchises to ever exist. Everything is fine the way it is and Phil will come back and coach! If you need to know anything more, read my blog up top!

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=684346052 Zoom Kobe II

    well, we can hope for the best, but prepare for not-so-best. Lets say LO and Riza leave, or maybe just one of them. Who would you like to see replace them? I just read an article that named Tashaun Prince as a possible target, who I would LOVE to see in a Lakers uniform. That guy has defense oozing out his pores, and can still be a scorer. He’s played with Kobe (Team USA) before and obviously has playoff/championship experience.

  • WifelovesLuke

    ” barcalakerfan4life
    Jun 16th, 2009 at 1:48 am
    if anyone should walk its gotta be sasha vujabrick or mayve even farmar or walton.”

    Barca, didn’t we already talk about this? Luke is very instrumental to the success of this team. You have to have your role players that are willing to do the small things so your stars can shine. Look at the dynasty’s of the past. The celtics, lakers, detroit, spurs, etc. all had guys whos names you don’t remember that were necessary to winning championships. Walton IS that guy!

    Now Sasha?……damn, the dude didn’t score one point in 5 games of the NBA Finals…..gulp….I’d be nervous if I was him.

  • Lakers_The_Truth

    Sasha
    Luke
    Farmar

    Those guys are on Mitch target to unload if he can do it. That’s for sure.
    I hope we can keep Lamar, Ariza and Brown.

    What is funny, few weeks back many of you were asking Micth to trade Lamar, now you all want him to stay. Bandwagon…..

  • nick

    Please get rid of SASHA and MORRISON and find a way to keep ARIZA and ODOM, maybe the Management can give him a life time supply of what ever candy he wants on top of his contract. I hope he stays and also I would love to Shannon Brown back as well.

  • RESIGN ARIZA AND BROWN

    Priorities:
    1. Re-sign Ariza (must)
    2. Re-sign Brown (must)
    3. Re-sign Odom for mid-level exception
    4. Get rid of SASHA, FLUKE, FARMAR

    If we can’t keep both Ariza and Odom, keep Ariza over Odom.

  • FLUKE

    Luke isn’t going anywhere. The Laker organization is in love with his high basketball IQ. Sasha will walk once his contract is up. You guys just gotta wait 2 years (I think, not sure). Farmar might get traded but anything might happen. Odom, Ariza and Brown will be signed. Odom for the MLE. Ariza and Shannon should be signed almost immediately since they have a very bright future and many teams will be going after Ariza. Odom has been a no-show too many times to be left off the hook just for a solid playoff performance.

  • willow

    Hey Drake, that’s some serious breakdown of what’s about to happen in Laker Land. I totally agree with all your take. That I can appreciate and respect. Great job, bruddah.

  • Drake Hunter

    [Comment ID #76465 Will Be Quoted Here]

    Thanks willow…it’s nice to be recognized. I put my heart and soul into these blogs bleeding purple and gold!!!!

    One thing I’d like to add, when Jerry West speaks, everyone should listen.

    “Any time you start talking about who the best is, you’re always going to have controversy. But Kobe is upper, upper echelon. I’m not talking about the top 10 [of all time]. This franchise has had a lot of good players. Absolutely the greatest leader I’ve ever seen would be Magic Johnson, and he was also the greatest teammate, but as far as skill Kobe is No. 1 on the list.

    “When you’re that great, sometimes people don’t want to give you the credit. But when Kobe walks away from this game, he’s going to leave huge footprints, just as Michael Jordan did.

    “This is a once-every-25-years player. Appreciate him while he’s here.”

    This is for all the Kobe haters to read and reflect upon!!!!!!!

  • cjm

    the only position with a ‘?’ is PG. what will Fisher do, that’s the main question. sasha shouldn’t even be allowed to be in the parade, unless he’s walking behind the bus sweeping up confetti (like the guys at disneyland, who walk behind the horses). morrison is just cap space waiting to be cleared. lamar, trevor, and shannon are good to stay. Farmar..well…hmmmm…let me flip a coin…crap landed on the edge. you call this one.