Originally posted by 9erReign:
Lols. Ok those guys took a minor pay cut in order to sign a few more role players. But they didn't take anywhere near half of their possible starting salary like Pete suggests Kobe do.
NBA salary rules are all about starting salary and allowable raises.
LeBron could have had a starting salary of $16.6M and he took $14.5M instead. If Kobe only takes a $2M pay cut from what other teams would be willing to pay him I will be impressed. Let's be real $2M bucks to these guys is a drop in the bucket.
Sure, ultimately it wasn't a massive sacrifice for those guys, but think about it in the context of my larger point, which is that it's INCREDIBLY hard to build a championship team almost solely through free agency, even if you're the Lakers. In Miami you had...
1) A generational talent in LeBron, a 1st ballot HOFer in Wade, & a perennial all-star in Bosh hitting FA at the same time and all agree to play on the same team.
2) Each guy was coming off of their 7th year, meaning the max they could get wasn't in the area of what Kobe makes or what Melo could make in '14.
3) They all agreed to take paycuts.
So in that situation, they weren't leaving THAT much on the table, like you said, but the circumstances under which they signed are incredibly rare, because of how incredibly rare the 2003 draft class was. To put it in perspective, the next group of "guys that have been in the league for 7 years and just now hitting FA" will be in 2015, when it's Rajon Rondo, Kevin Love, & Roy Hibbert. Good players, but not at all comparable to the 2010 version of LeBron/Wade/Bosh. On the flip side, Melo's max in LA would be $23.5M the first year, with 5% raises. Signing for $14.5M so you can get 3 stars the way that LeBron & Co. did in '10 is a MUCH bigger sacrifice in terms of money left of the table. And Melo couldn't get the 5th, guaranteed year either.
What the Lakers are doing is really ill-conceived.