Lakers: Who’s Staying, Who’s Going…
Seems like next season’s roster lies on the amount of money the Lakers are willing to spend. As the highest- paying team in the NBA again with $85.7 million, and with their seven highest paid players under contact for next season, the Lakers seem to be overwhelmed financially. Slashing their payroll is their priority in order to avoid immense luxury tax penalties they would have to pay in 2014-2015.
The Lakers not only need to focus on improving their team for next season, they must do it on a budget. Tax penalties have the Lakers hesitating to offer anything more than a one-year contract, capping salary payrolls for future talent. Free-agent players can look forward to a mini-mid-level salary cap starting around $3 million, which seems like a measly amount in comparison to Andrew Bynum’s $16.1 million contract for next season.
Although the Lakers success can be placed on its lavish dollar distribution, their triumph has also had much to do with their bold talent and calculated trades. Under owner Jerry Buss, they’ve made the playoffs 31 out of 33 seasons, winning the Western Conference almost half those years.
The move from the zen coach Phil Jackson to Mike Brown is yet to be seen if it was the correct one. Brown must work to improve a team that has seemingly spiraled downward these last two years.
And as Kobe Bryant nears his 34th birthday, the question remains of who will remain standing with him next season and what new young blood will join the Laker franchise.
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