NBA lockout: New CBA could hurt the Lakers
No one knows what the final details of the NBA's new collective bargaining agreement will look like. Further negotiations are needed, and that's why the NBA reportedly plans Tuesday to cancel at least an additional two weeks of the regular season. But the new CBA will affect every team, and it could influence the Lakers for the worse.
1. The Lakers can't absorb luxury taxes so easily. Should the NBA's new luxury tax proposal come to fruition, the Lakers would have to think twice before taking on heavy costs. That's because, as Sports Illustrated's Zach Lowe first reported, the new proposal would begin at the $70-million mark with different ratios: $1.75-1 ratio for the first $5 million a team is over the tax line and then a 50-cent increase per dollar for every $5-million increment. Based on the Lakers' $91-million payroll last season, that would mean they would be paying an additional $53.7 million in luxury taxes.
2. The Lakers may let go of a top player. The Lakers have eight players older than 30 under contract next season. That includes Kobe Bryant (three years, $83.5 million), Pau Gasol (three years, $57 million), Metta World Peace (three years, $21.5 million) and Lamar Odom (two years, $17 million, including team option for 2012-13 season). Should a hard cap or harsher luxury tax pass, the Lakers would have to shed more salary somehow to stay afloat.
3. Amnesty clause allows Lakers some wiggle room. The current proposal, reports CBS Sports, allows teams to cut one problematic contract after the lockout, including shedding 75% off the salary cap over the deal's length. The Lakers have a few problematic contracts in World Peace, Steve Blake (three years, $12 million) and Luke Walton (two years, $11.46 million).
4. The Lakers would have to be more deliberate with mid-level exception. Yahoo! Sports' Adrian Wojnarowski reported last week that both sides are nearing a compromise starting at $5 million with annual raises over three years. Since the Lakers can't afford to sign a top free agent until 2014, trades and the mid-level would be the only likely options for them to make significant upgrades. It wouldn't be feasible for the Lakers to sign someone of World Peace's caliber, who signed a five-year, $33-million contract at the mid-level in 2009.
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Photo: A new CBA would likely hurt the Lakers. Credit: Associated Press Photos / October 4, 2011