The Lakers are looking decent through the first 7 games. Not too bad, and not too great either but average much like many experts have said, “A .500 type team.”

Sure as Laker fans we can see the improvement in players like Bynum, Farmer, and Radmanovic. We know the potential of guys like Jarvis, and see the improvement at point guard with a veteran savvy Derek Fisher.

However the question still remains about Kobe, as Laker fans we enjoy watching this season and try to keep our mind focused on the time at hand. But one must wonder what is the future of this fracnchise?

It seems at this point that Kobe most likely is staying put this season as a Los Angeles Laker, Mitch Kupchak doesn’t want to be known as the man that traded both Shaq and Kobe. Kobe as far as we know isn’t being too disruptive and most likely has somewhat backed off his severe trade demands.

But if the Lakers have a productive season and Kobe Bryant is there throughout to lead our team to the promise land then what’s next for this team.

That question needed answers so I went browsing.

This summer a lot of talented free agents come off the books. Or have player options to hear offers from other teams. Either way guys like Magette, Baron Davis, and Shawn Marion can listen to deals and go to any team that they please.

However, those names don’t matter because the big name on that list, and the guy I think would be a perfect fit for the Lakers is the guy that plays in the same arena…

Elton Brand.

That’s right can you imagine a lineup of Fisher or Farmer at the One, Kobe Bryant at SG, Lamar Odom at SF, Elton Brand at PF, and Andrew Bynum at C?
Jermaine O’Neal is good, so is Marion but Elton Brand 100% healthy is the best power forward in the league behind Duncan and Garnett.

Logically is this something the Lakers can do? Yes it is, next year the Lakers will have 9.1 million off the books. AKA Kwame Brown. Yes the time has come where Brown is shown the door. Also guys like Evans, and Turiaf are free agents as well. Sasha Vujacic can also take a Qualifying offer from other teams.

Now im not saying get rid of great guys like Turiaf, or an athletic beast in Evans but with Browns salary off the books. This could be a possibility. Elton Brand will have a player option this summer. He currently makes 15.3 million. But, if the Lakers are willing to do one of two things. Either take the somewhat large contract in and pay the luxury tax. Or do a sign and trade with guys like Brian Cook then this could actually happen.

Would Kobe Bryant leave a team with longtime friend Fisher, his boy LO, and Elton Brand? I think not.

This team could compete with the most talented teams in the league. You think the Celtics look good? Brand can guard Garnett, Kobe would destroy Allen, and LO would post up Pierce all day. Also, don’t forget our depth. Turiaf, Walton, Farmer, Crittenton, Radmanovic, Mihm, that to me has a championship run written all over it.

Currently I’m proud of my Lakers and have seen some excellent improvement over last year. I am glad that the Kobe talks have died down, unless you’re in the United Center watching a Bulls game. But things are good right now for Laker fans. But if we could pull this thing off this summer… Things would be a lot better for us.

In 2008 we would all be making plans to meet up at staples center for the 2008 championship parade. It might be too soon to speculate but remember you heard it here first.

  • PHANTOM

    and how are we supposed to get under the cap to sign and 15-20 million player? even dumping kwame contract wouldn’t be nearly enough. we would have to trade lamar and critt to get him away from the clips.

  • Jason

    I heard it, alright….sounds surreal, but payton and malone in PNG was surreal as well.

  • Michael_23

    Elton is still too young and too good to accept a deal worth less than 10 mil a year. As much as I’d love for that to happen … it’s not gonna happen.

    … Can the Lakers use their 9.5 mil and their mid-level 5 mil that which both equal to about $15 mil and sign Brand?

  • ab4sure

    4-3 against the top teams in the conference is very good. Of all the teams in the west the lakers had the toughest schedule in the beginning, therefore you need to take that into account.

  • carlo

    if elton brand suites up a laker jersey would he be booed during a laker-clipper game?

  • E-ROC

    Brand might take less money and play for the Lakers. He’s already producing and directing movies, so leaving LA would hurt his business ventures. But I doubt he comes to LA. I don’t see it happening. Money talks and the Lakers simply don’t and won’t have enough next summer. The Lakers are better off trying to lure Okafor to LA.

  • lakerfan81

    Your numbers are way way off. Not even close. Even with Brown’s and Evans, sasha’s contracts off the books. Even if they Lakers do not resign Turiaf and Mihm opts out their salary next year will be at 59.2M which will be slightly over the salary cap which will be set at around 57M next year. I don’t know how you did you math but its not even close. I’d love to get Brand but it would have to be in a sign and trade unless he is willing to play for the MLE (not likely would you walk away from 10M).

  • lakerfan81

    The best option would be just to make the Clickers. Then you could cut all the scrubs and you would easily have the deepest most talented team in the league.

  • double

    [Comment ID #17159 Will Be Quoted Here]

    LOL

  • ricky

    [Comment ID #17159 Will Be Quoted Here]

    its funny you mention this because i have always thought about it myself because it makes no sense to have 2 los angeles teams, right?

    i mean, the clickers sounds kinda corny but the name doesnt matter if youre winning!

    new team for 2008-2009 nba season: the los angeles clickers!

    starting lineup:

    pg: sam cassell
    sg: kobe bryant
    sf: lamar odom
    pf: elton brand
    c: chris kaman

    bench:

    pg: derek fisher/jordan farmar
    sg: cuttino mobley
    sf: corey maggette/luke walton
    pf: ronny turiaf/al thornton
    c: andrew bynum/chris mihm

    inactive list:

    pg: shaun livingston

    developmental league:

    pg: javaris crittenton (called back to clickers)

    with all this talent, its hard to put together a roster and placing who at what positions for both the starters and 2nd unit, but this would be something close to what any coach would put out there i suppose.

  • D LO

    Whoa, those numbers are way off! How does this even make the website? Elton will never come here for the MLE either.

    Nice dream though.

  • Michael_23

    Sam Cassel might retire after this season. His contract is up unless he signs with the Clips or another team. I think if the Clips don’t make it to the playoffs this year. Sam might either retire or sign to a championship team.

    He would be good for the triangle because the PG position mainly creates half court plays or shot jump shots.

  • ab4sure

    yes it is too early….

  • http://www.mr47.com mr47

    i thought the salary cap was over 65 million? Isn’t Sasha at about 3 mil a year? Him grouped w/ kwame and possibly Cook can make things work.

  • Edward

    Why don’t we just get all the players he mentioned, like Corey Magette , Baron Davis, Sean Marion, Elton Brand, and Gilbert 0 Arenas, who cares about the salary cap. How deep would the roster be then?

    Fish / Baron / Arenas
    Kobe or again Arenas
    Sean Marion / LO / Radmanovic
    Elton / Magette or again LO
    Bynum / Mihm

    By the way before anyone gets mad this was purely for fun, I’m not saying this is even remotely possible.

  • steve

    So ….Tuesday night the Lakers agree to send Kobe to the pistons for Rip,Prince and Johnson plus a pick…i would have done it…to really quality people,its a shame it didnt go through

  • http://www.pablasso.com pablasso

    it’s ‘Shawn’ Marion dork.

  • lakerfan81

    The luxury tax is set at around 66-67M, the salary cap is around 56-57M. If you have salary over 56M then the only money available to sign players (not already on your team you can extend contracts and sign restricted FA to any amount allowed by the CBA) is an annual mid level exception (which is a total amount that can be spent on any number of players, 5.6M this year), and veteran minimum. If you salary is over the luxury tax, then you pay dollar for dollar for the amount you are over, this money gets equally distributed to any team not over the luxury tax.

    hope that is helpful since so many people seem completely lost on this whole salary cap issue.

  • domidomdomz

    [Comment ID #17156 Will Be Quoted Here]

    yeah i think so…lol

  • TA

    I think the LAKERS will HAVE to make some significant moves this coming summer. I believe this laker team now is the best in the post-shaq era but Mitch Cup-Check will be have to make a splash to keep kobe here. My thoughts are that they should:

    1) Go after and sign Luol Deng (if kobe isnt going to the bulls bring the bulls to kobe)

    2) Sign Elton Brand

    3) Let go or Trade Lamar (i love him to death but him and kobe have never meshed)

    you would have a 50+ win team with

    pg- Fish/Farmar
    sg- The MAMBA
    sf- Luol Deng
    pf- Elton Brand
    C- Andrew bynum

  • PHANTOM

    [Comment ID #17186 Will Be Quoted Here]

    your dreamin that would be an allstar team.

  • shortdiezel

    Evans, Cook and Kwame are GARBAGE..

    Evans can’t play D and doesn’t have a jump shot.. sure he may be athletic but he doesn’t have the skills to utilize his athleticism..

    Cook.. is slow, can’t play D and doesn’t get rebounds.. we rely on him for outside shooting but he can’t even follow through on that

    Kwame.. no explanation needed

  • LAKing

    I like this article and it makes a really good point. This is something that could have a strong possibility of it actually happening. We need to re-sign Turiaf, but we can show Kwame, Evans, Vujacic and Cook to the door. If it ‘s really possible, let’s make it happen. Elton Brand can heal up by the end of this season, Clippers aren’t going anywhere, they’ll consider going young and starting fresh. Kobe, Brand, Odom as a trio is the scariest trio in the NBA, definately will take out Celtics trio anyday.

  • http://www.myspace.com/dbricks DBricks

    OK, guys good discussion but trust me I’m not one of those people that shoot for the stars and say hey in 2010 how bout Arenas, Lebron, Kobe, Brand, and Howard

    I base this discussion on facts.

    The Lakers current salary is 65.1 Million which is about 10 million over the 55 million dollar NBA salary cap. This Summer Kwame Brown’s contract which is 9.1 million will be off the books. Also Maurice Evans 1.5 and possibly Sashas 2.6 could be off the books if another team gives him a qualifying offer

    That takes 13.2 Million dollars off the books. Ronny is also a FA but I’m sure we will resign him.

    Now taking all that into consideration the Salary cap will be just about 57 million dollars next year. Now it’s not like that helps us because both Lamar and Kobe make about 1.5 more than they did this year so it breaks about even.

    So if we wanted to be exactly where we are this year which is over the cap anyway we have 13.2 million dollars to be back in square one!
    Now maybe sign and trade with cook that’s another 3.5 million off the books? Then we have 17 million just enough to sign Brand.
    Maybe not even sign and trade cook, maybe that is too much to dream about. So we can just sign him for the 16 mill and be over the salary cap just like we are this year?

    And it would only be a 1 year type thing then we can re asses the situation. So the Lakers would only be playing the risk for a year because Lamar’s 14.6 Million comes off the books in 2009.
    A lot of people said that would put us over the cap! But we are already over the cap by 10 million.

    I’m just saying let’s do it again next year go another 10 mill over the cap. But this time have it because of ELTON BRAND!

  • lakerfan81

    Dbricks. Your math does not work. Please read my earlier post for the reasons why. The Lakers will be over the cap next year even if they they do not resign, turiaf, brown, evans, sasha and Mihm opts out. Plus then you have to add in at least one rookie salary from the draft. That means the Lakers CAN NOT sign Brand unless he plays for the MLE, which is not going to happen. It would take a sign and trade to get him and the only players we have that would interest the clippers are Odom and Bynum. I don’t want to sound like an a s s but please get your facts straight.

  • http://www.myspace.com/dbricks DBricks

    The facts are straight im saying pay the luxury tax. Not including the dollar for dollar tax you got NY at 88 million, Dallas at 86 million, Denver 79, Boston 74 etc. Im not saying go pull a Isiah Thomas but we have to take a risk. If that risk doesnt pay off Lamars 15 is off the books in 09 and Kobe could walk too still. Im just saying it is a possibilty, not the most logical, financial safe possibilty but it is a risk that may just make everybody in La-La land including Kobe happy and ready for a championship run.

  • PHANTOM

    [Comment ID #17196 Will Be Quoted Here]

    your not allowed to go over the salary cap unless you sign your own free agents. once kwame walks and takes his 9 mil. with him you can’t use that 9 mil because that would take you over the cap. the only way you get brand is if they want lamar back…

  • kingkb24

    [Comment ID #17162 Will Be Quoted Here]

    the second unit of that linup can compete in the league as a starting lineup.. haha

  • Scarface

    not a bad idea at all
    dont think it will happen though with elton brand’s 15 million salary
    clippers wouldn’t accept people like brian cook or walton or mihm

  • D LO

    Some people still aren’t getting it? Once you’re over the cap you can’t add anyone unless its for the MLE or the vets minimum.

  • steve

    Knock..Knock…If anyone has seen jojoenglish94bullsforever can you let him know his great team is 1 and 6..thankyou

  • jack

    nice read u guys. however, I don’t see Brand coming to Lakers. Just won’t happen. Either way, it’s too early to talk about.

  • lakerfan81

    The only money available for teams over the salary cap to sign players is an annual MLE, veteran minimum, rookie contracts, and I think there is a bi-annual exception (but I’m not sure). So its not a matter of going over the luxury tax. This is not baseball and the Yankees where the Lakers can just buy any player they want. The only money the Lakers will have to sign FAs next year will be the MLE which was around 30M for six years (5M/yr) this year and will be about the same next year. So the only way to get FAs that require more money than that (Brand) would be via a sign and trade. If the Lakers wanted to get under the cap, they would have to trade some players for expiring contracts. Of you wanted cap space Odom would be the logical choice to trade for a large expiring contract. With Odoms salaries off that would put the Lakes salary at roughly 44.6M. which will be around 12M under the cap. But that would leave the Lakers with only 9 players under contract if they signed Brand for the roughly 12M they had. I’m not sure how the CBA works on a team having a MLE become available after they sign a FA and then go over the cap. So I don’t know if they Lakers could use the 12M to sign a FA, get to the salary cap, then resign Turiaf the get the MLE.

    But without trading some players for cap relief (Cook to get under the luxury tax would be a good business decision and no one would miss him on the court) there is not possible for the Lakers to sign Brand for anything more than the MLE, the league does not allow it.

  • keep24

    All this is nice to dream to about but the number one focuse is and should be KOBE. What good is Brand without Kobe?

    As we speak these idiots in the FO are still trying to trade this guy. What if there is some truth to the Detroit story? I just don’t understand.

    This is a no brainer: You keep KObe for now and try your very best to get real help. make trades and even pay the tax if you have to and everything should be fine. If Kobe still wants out than you let him walk away FOR NOTHING.

    That’s right, for NOTHING! Without Kobe we’re already talking about rebuilding so why get stuck with another teams garbage (see: Bryan Grant, LO, Kwame or any incoming Bulls player or even worse, Detroit garbage like Tayshaun Prince).

    Tayshaun Prince for KB????? Are these guys smoking crack or what????

  • Revgen

    DBricks – It doesn’t matter if the Lakers want to go over the luxury tax or not, they can’t sign somebody for over the MLE if they don’t own that player’s Bird Rights. It’s a rule in the CBA that all teams must follow.

  • Poon

    Yesterday I left a response to this article, but apparently it got deleted. maybe i came off a bit harsh. let me try to explain my post more in hopes that it doesn’t get deleted.

    This article is not worth publishing on this site. I understand that this is a fan site/blog, but you should still strive to have good articles–if not good, at least accurate with REAL information. not only did this article have several spelling (jarvis?) and grammatical mistakes, it poses scenarios that aren’t even legitimate.

    if you’re going to post an article about the salary cap, free agency, or trades… you HAVE TO make sure it’s legitimate before you post it. if not, we’ll soon have articles about how we should go after every free agent available and sign the super team! just pay the luxury tax for a couple years right?

  • Skim.

    DBricks seems so confused lol. I don’t think we should even push for Elton Brand. Yes he’s probably the best PF behind KG and Duncan when healthy but I think the Lakers need a low post player. Trying to get KG and JO were good ideas cause we would be adding a low post player. Elton Brand plays in the high post and takes a lot of jumpers. If you thought Kobe and Lamar had trouble playing on the floor at the same time, adding EB would seem like our offensive side of the court is smaller than our defensive. I think the offense would clash a bit too much. But then again I don’t know EB is a great player and so is KB24 so I’m pretty sure they can adjust. I’m just saying if adjustment is necessary I think we should go for another player cause I’m sure Kobe doesn’t wanna wait ANOTHER year after a move is made. He wants to win NOW.

  • wrong

    Wrong fans the Lakers after the cook trade and evans trade after next year will have the money to sign Brand so it could become a reality. Brand is not leaving Los Angeles he will either stay put and resign with the clippers or go to the lakers because he plans on producing films after his career is over.