The Pau Gasol-for-Andrew Bynum trade talks appear to be dormant but not dead.
The Lakers would like to get another worthy asset thrown into in the deal … but so would the Cavs. And you know what? I have to side with the Cavs and general manager Chris Grant on this one.
By taking Gasol’s $19.3 million salary off the Lakers’ books, they will drop Los Angels below the luxury tax threshold, saving the Buss family in the area of $20 million. But that’s only the start of it. The Lakers also will be under the tax next season, and that gets them out of danger of being subject to the dreaded repeater tax, which is levied against teams that exceed the tax threshold four times in five seasons.
So it’s not just the current $20 million that the Cavs would be saving the Buss family, it is untold tens of millions more in two seasons when the Lakers figure to be a taxpaying team once again in the final season of Kobe Bryant’s extension.
So multiply that $20 million by a factor of at least two — probably more given the punitive nature of the repeater tax, and you get an idea of how valuable acquiring and waiving Bynum can be to the Buss family fortune.
Which is why if I am Chris Grant, I keep saying “no” to Los Angeles unless and until they throw Nick Young into the deal. And Nick Young is a much better player than most folks realize.
More on that trade, other trade chatter … and a closer look at the struggling Memphis Grizzlies (and a great Nick Calathes story) in this podcast with Three Shades of Blue radio on WHBQ radio in Memphis.