As an action packed weekend of basketball comes to a close, here’s the good, bad and the ugly of what took place.
Bynum’s contract becomes fully guaranteed Tuesday afternoon at 5:00pm EST, so there is still time to complete a deal, but all parties involved would like such a transaction to happen sooner rather than later to allow time for everything to clear. Sometimes that process can take up to 48 hours.
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.
SH Blog: Chris Paul out 3-5 Weeks; Trade Talk Heats Up; Nash Hopes To Return Soon; How Valuable Is Andre Iguodala?
For the most part, we know who will be around to contend in April, May and June. But the question today is who will be a real threat? And who will assert themselves over the next two months while Russell Westbrook and Chris Paul are sidelined.
Yes, Paul (separated shoulder) is out, too — for those of you who didn’t stay up for the late games.
Word on the street today is louder than ever that Carmelo Anthony wants out of New York.
How do we know this? Marc Berman and Frank Isola are writing it hard in the New York tabloids, and both of those fellas are as plugged into their team as any beat writers in North America.
You can bristle at Isola’s anti-Berman’s tweets – a constant source of amusement for anyone who follows the Knicks – and you can bristle at Berman’s wardrobe, which yours truly used to do back in the pre-Twitter days when we sat alongside each other in the old MSG press room.
But both of these guys are ace reporters, and when they write the Anthony trade story as hard as they wrote it today, you can bet your bottom dollar that something is afoot. (The New York Times that was home delivered to my driveway had a nice feature on Jeremy Tyler. For which I have two words: Who cares?) Here is the link to Berman’s story in the New York Post; and here is the link to Isola’s story in the New York Daily News.
Anyway, where there’s smoke, there’s fire.
And Anthony’s short list is said to include three teams: the Chicago Bulls, Los Angeles Lakers and Los Angeles Clippers. None can offer Anthony the extra year and the extra $30 million he would get by opting out of his contract at the end of this season – which he has said he plans to do.
Unless, of course, they acquired Anthony before the NBA trade deadline.