What would it take to get Kevin Garnett in Purple & Gold salary-wise? The NBA operates under a soft cap which means (most) teams are over the cap after re-signings, trades, and salary escalations. Currently, the Lakers are one such team over the projected salary cap. According to Larry Coon’s FAQ, “Teams can acquire up to 125% plus $100,000 of the salaries they are trading in a simultaneous trade.” This means that if a team is trying to acquire a player making 20 million dollars, the team has to be sending out at least 16 million dollars worth of salary.
Garnett is due to make 22 million next season, which would mean that after July 1st, the Lakers would have to send out at least 17.6 million in any trade to acquire the “Big Ticket.” Lamar Odom (13.25M) and Kwame Brown (9.4M) would be enough to match salaries with Kevin Garnett.
The Lakers could also look at acquiring one of three guards Minnesota has on its roster. Mike James, Marko Jaric, and Troy Hudson, range in 2007-08 salary from 5.6 to 6 million, meaning the Lakers would have to send out an additional amount of between 4.5 and 4.8 million to the 17.6 to acquire one of them as well, upping the total of a deal to 22.1 to 22.4. This number falls right in the range of an Odom/Brown deal that would send out more than 22 million dollars.
The Timberwolves would almost undoubtedly ask for young Center Andrew Bynum in return as well, and with Kobe Bryant’s declaration of “do something and do it now” after the Lakers were eliminated by the Suns in the playoffs, management may have to seriously consider trading him. The big question then being is will they? Our answer is “DO IT MITCH!”
The Lakers would still have the Mid-Level Exception to add a potential impact player and their 3 picks in the upcoming NBA draft to use as trade bait for veteran players.
The possibilities are there numbers wise, though it probably means parting with 2 starters from an underachieving team and a player the Lakers front office and their fans (some of them anyway) have high hopes for. But, Garnett is still one of the top basketball talents in the world and he has two things that Laker fans seem to value: Passion and Hunger.