The Myth of Kobe never being able to attract free agents
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LongBeachPoly
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PostPosted: Thu Dec 06, 2018 3:44 pm    Post subject: The Myth of Kobe never being able to attract free agents

Was listening to the radio just right now and they were talking about the KD-LeBron thing and how LeBron's never been able to attract free agents, similar to how Kobe was never able to attract free agents to come to the Lakers.

I wanted to call in and correct them that it's a myth. As I recall, the Lakers never had salary cap space to sign any big time free agents during Kobe's entire time here.

Starting in 1996 when they signed Shaq in his rookie season, they were already capped out at that point. I think they were always capped out during the Shaq days.

In 2004 when they traded Shaq, they took back equal salary in Odom and Brian Grant.

In 2008 when they traded for Gasol, I think they were still over the salary cap. Once they got Gasol and extended him, they were forever over the salary cap and the luxury tax as well.

So am I remembering wrong? Were there any years in Kobe's career where we had salary cap space to go try and sign a big time free agent? I don't even remember one year.

Even after we lost out on Dwight, I think we were already capped out to try and sign anyone else.

I think the last time we had cap space was 1996 when we went and signed Shaq. Other than that, we were always capped out.
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AFireInside619
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PostPosted: Thu Dec 06, 2018 3:49 pm    Post subject:

We already have a Kobe Bryant thread. It’s called the Official Lebron James thread. 🤪
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Ziggy
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PostPosted: Thu Dec 06, 2018 3:52 pm    Post subject: Re: The Myth of Kobe never being able to attract free agents

LongBeachPoly wrote:
Was listening to the radio just right now and they were talking about the KD-LeBron thing and how LeBron's never been able to attract free agents, similar to how Kobe was never able to attract free agents to come to the Lakers.

I wanted to call in and correct them that it's a myth. As I recall, the Lakers never had salary cap space to sign any big time free agents during Kobe's entire time here.

Starting in 1996 when they signed Shaq in his rookie season, they were already capped out at that point. I think they were always capped out during the Shaq days.

In 2004 when they traded Shaq, they took back equal salary in Odom and Brian Grant.

In 2008 when they traded for Gasol, I think they were still over the salary cap. Once they got Gasol and extended him, they were forever over the salary cap and the luxury tax as well.

So am I remembering wrong? Were there any years in Kobe's career where we had salary cap space to go try and sign a big time free agent? I don't even remember one year.

Even after we lost out on Dwight, I think we were already capped out to try and sign anyone else.

I think the last time we had cap space was 1996 when we went and signed Shaq. Other than that, we were always capped out.


We didn't have cap space until the tail end of Kobe's career. Mitch and Jim were chasing guys like Melo and Aldridge. KD didn't even give a meeting, but that has more to do with KD being soft than Kobe.
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awntawn
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PostPosted: Thu Dec 06, 2018 3:58 pm    Post subject:

It wasn't that nobody wanted to play with Kobe, it's that once Kobe tore his achilles, everyone knew he was done and that the Lakers would be a farewell tank tour until he was done.
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Aeneas Hunter
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PostPosted: Thu Dec 06, 2018 4:00 pm    Post subject:

You don’t remember the 2007/2008 plan. We never actually let the cap space open up, but that was because the various targets (Yao, Amare, Lebron, and a couple others) signed extensions with their existing teams rather than becoming free agents. This was talked to death back in the day, and the failure of the 2007/2008 plan led to Kobe’s “I’d rather play on Pluto” rant.
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JamaalWilkes
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PostPosted: Thu Dec 06, 2018 4:05 pm    Post subject:

Are Topics about former Lakers allowed in the Lounge?
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The Juggernaut
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PostPosted: Thu Dec 06, 2018 4:07 pm    Post subject:

Mitch did a terrible job of handling the cap space to sign potential free agents during Kobe's prime. It had nothing to do with stars not wanting to play with Kobe, the team just never had cap space to go after one. I also doubt Mitch could lure in a superstar even with cap, dude followed the rules too exact and had 0 charisma.
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PostPosted: Thu Dec 06, 2018 4:13 pm    Post subject:

awntawn wrote:
It wasn't that nobody wanted to play with Kobe, it's that once Kobe tore his achilles, everyone knew he was done and that the Lakers would be a farewell tank tour until he was done.
that last part is not true at all. NO ONE knew this, including us fans. we knew this once it was shown to us thats what it was going to be. there was no precedent for this prior. Which means there was no way to know that was going to happen the way it did. If the lakers signed KD with a broken down KB. the fairwell tour would not have been the way it was. the reason we didnt really care about winning because we knew we didnt have any other stars on the team so all this season CAN be about is KB's last season. if KD was here there would've been a completed different narrative. Those players didnt come due to be afraid of being a laker and dealing with laker fans Pushing for rings and not just wins during the season or their nice stat lines.
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RG73
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PostPosted: Thu Dec 06, 2018 4:20 pm    Post subject:

splashmtn wrote:
awntawn wrote:
It wasn't that nobody wanted to play with Kobe, it's that once Kobe tore his achilles, everyone knew he was done and that the Lakers would be a farewell tank tour until he was done.
that last part is not true at all. NO ONE knew this, including us fans. we knew this once it was shown to us thats what it was going to be. there was no precedent for this prior. Which means there was no way to know that was going to happen the way it did.


There was no precedent for a player in his mid-30s with lots of mileage already tearing his Achilles being done?

The studies all indicate that Achilles injuries typically diminish basketball players longterm, if they're even able to return. So yes, everyone knew he was done as the player he was before. Yes, there was the slight chance he'd be Dominique Wilkins post-AT injury, but that chance was very, very slight.
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ringfinger
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PostPosted: Thu Dec 06, 2018 4:21 pm    Post subject:

splashmtn wrote:
awntawn wrote:
It wasn't that nobody wanted to play with Kobe, it's that once Kobe tore his achilles, everyone knew he was done and that the Lakers would be a farewell tank tour until he was done.
that last part is not true at all. NO ONE knew this, including us fans. we knew this once it was shown to us thats what it was going to be. there was no precedent for this prior. Which means there was no way to know that was going to happen the way it did. If the lakers signed KD with a broken down KB. the fairwell tour would not have been the way it was. the reason we didnt really care about winning because we knew we didnt have any other stars on the team so all this season CAN be about is KB's last season. if KD was here there would've been a completed different narrative. Those players didnt come due to be afraid of being a laker and dealing with laker fans Pushing for rings and not just wins during the season or their nice stat lines.


There was plenty of precedent for Kobe not being able to return to be the same player he was. The reason we needed to see it, to believe it, is because we had hope that Kobe would be the exception to that precedent.

Antawn is right. In Kobes earlier years we didnt need to attract star FAs. In the post Shaq era, we didn’t have the pieces.

In Kobe’s later years he was on the decline and attempting to come back from a devastating injury with, initially, not a whole lot of success.
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jonnybravo
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PostPosted: Thu Dec 06, 2018 4:35 pm    Post subject:

Lebron went from the willing passer that everyone wanted to play with to getting the Kobe treatment with the media.
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Aeneas Hunter
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PostPosted: Thu Dec 06, 2018 4:48 pm    Post subject:

Aeneas Hunter wrote:
You don’t remember the 2007/2008 plan. We never actually let the cap space open up, but that was because the various targets (Yao, Amare, Lebron, and a couple others) signed extensions with their existing teams rather than becoming free agents. This was talked to death back in the day, and the failure of the 2007/2008 plan led to Kobe’s “I’d rather play on Pluto” rant.


For those who don’t remember this era, I found an old article talking about it.

Quote:
On so many levels, the Los Angeles Lakers' approach to the next few seasons appears straightforward and even sensible: Cut payroll, limit most players to short-term contracts and try to free up scads of money for 2007 or 2008, when a fresh crop of high-profile free agents comes to market.

It's a plan. It has at least an intermediate goal set within it. It may yield a longer-term payoff.

Just wondering: What in the seventh concentric circle of Hades is Phil Jackson doing in the middle of it?

Is this really what Jackson rode in from the Montana plains to wrangle? It's almost an incomprehensible thought. Did the coach with nine NBA titles on his shelf really yank himself out of a post-retirement reverie to work with Smush Parker, Laron Profit and Chris Mihm?


http://www.espn.com/nba/columns/story?columnist=kreidler_mark&id=2141978
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LongBeachPoly
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PostPosted: Thu Dec 06, 2018 5:04 pm    Post subject:

The Juggernaut wrote:
Mitch did a terrible job of handling the cap space to sign potential free agents during Kobe's prime. It had nothing to do with stars not wanting to play with Kobe, the team just never had cap space to go after one. I also doubt Mitch could lure in a superstar even with cap, dude followed the rules too exact and had 0 charisma.


To be fair to Mitch, he didn't have much to work with.

During the Shaq years, getting under the cap was impossible due to his salary. Here's Shaq's salary in relation to the salary cap during his 8 years here:

1) 1996-97 --> ($10 / $24.36 --> 41.05%)
2) 1997-98 --> ($12.76 / $26.9 --> 47.43%)
3) 1998-99 --> ($15 / $30 --> 50%)
4) 1999-00 --> ($17.56 / $34 --> 51.65%)
5) 2000-01 --> ($19.22 / $35.5 --> 54.14%)
6) 2001-02 --> ($21.11 / $42.5 --> 49.67%)
7) 2002-03 --> ($23.34 / $40.27 --> 57.96%)
8) 2003-04 --> ($24.56 / $43.84 --> 56.02%)

The year he was traded (2004-05), Shaq was set to make $27.10 M and the salary cap was $43.87 --> 61.77%. We had to take back equal salary when we traded him. We took back: Brain Grant ($13.23), Lamar Odom ($10.55), and Caron Butler ($1.93) --> total was $25.71 M in salary which was 58.6% of the salary cap.

So up until 2004-05, there's nothing that Mitch could have done.

We acquired Gasol in 2008. In 2007-08, the salary cap was at $55.63 M. With Kobe, Odom and Gasol on the books, we weren't going to get under the cap after that.

So pretty much, Mitch only had a 2 year window, 2005-06 and 2006-07 to get under the cap during the Kobe years.

In 2005-06, the salary cap was at $49.5 M.

Here's our salaries for that year:

1) Kobe - $15.94
2) Brian Grant - $14.3
3) Odom - $11.47
4) Kwame - $7.5
5) Devean George - $5

That's already $54.21 right there for those 5 players. Only thing you can say is, maybe they shouldn't have taken on Brian Grant's contract. That's it. But they had to match Shaq's salary somehow in the trade.

In 2006-07, the salary cap was at $53.13 M.

Here's our salaries for that year:

1) Kobe - $17.72
2) Brian Grant - $14.85
3) Odom - $12.35
4) Kwame - $8.29
5) Vladimir Radmanovic - $5.22
6) Chris Mihm - $4.21

Total for these 6 players: $62.64. Again, Brian Grant stands out.

But yeah, looking back, it's hard to see where Mitch could have managed the salary cap any better to create enough room to go after a big time free agent. Probably if they traded Shaq for a bunch of expiring contracts - that would have been the only way.
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activeverb
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PostPosted: Thu Dec 06, 2018 5:47 pm    Post subject:

^
Mitch did a good job. We lost a GOAT level player and sunk to a sub .500 team, but were back in the finals in two years.

It feels like he is sometimes graded on the curve:

1. Winning is a ring is the standard so for those years Mitch gets a C
2. Making the finals and losing is a D
3. Anything less is an F.
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PostPosted: Thu Dec 06, 2018 5:53 pm    Post subject:

You got it. We had no cap space when Kobe was Kobe was pre-achilles tear. And then the problem was that nobody wanted to play for a crap team, not that they didn't want to play with Kobe. The only big name free agent that I can remember going to a crap team or near crap team in that time frame was Greg Monroe, and he was a borderline big name free agent that year.
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artoo
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PostPosted: Thu Dec 06, 2018 6:01 pm    Post subject:

I think Ron Artest signed because of Kobe.
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LongBeachPoly
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PostPosted: Thu Dec 06, 2018 6:10 pm    Post subject:

artoo wrote:
I think Ron Artest signed because of Kobe.


Yeah, he was a midlevel signing though. They were talking about big time free agents - max type players, not midlevel signings
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PostPosted: Thu Dec 06, 2018 6:41 pm    Post subject:

There was 2014 and 2015 but nobody wanted to hop on that sinking ship. 2014 would’ve been the best chance I can remember with Melo still being pretty good, despite the hate he gets, and teaming him with Kobe and a re-signed Pau.
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PostPosted: Thu Dec 06, 2018 6:41 pm    Post subject:

It's rare to see a GOAT-level player attract a big name FA. Steph Curry attracting KD was exceptional and it only happened because the cap rose big time that summer.

The other thing is that guys like Kobe, Lebron, MJ and even Magic aren't easy to play with, both in terms of style and play and also in terms of things like them demanding the best of their teammates as leaders and getting all of the credit when their team wins.
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PostPosted: Thu Dec 06, 2018 7:10 pm    Post subject:

slavavov wrote:
It's rare to see a GOAT-level player attract a big name FA. Steph Curry attracting KD was exceptional and it only happened because the cap rose big time that summer.

The other thing is that guys like Kobe, Lebron, MJ and even Magic aren't easy to play with, both in terms of style and play and also in terms of things like them demanding the best of their teammates as leaders and getting all of the credit when their team wins.


It's rare, in part because until recently it wasn't as easy for free agents to move around, and, as you note, creating a lot of cap with a superstar in his prime is hard. I can only think of three times it's been pulled off:

1. Durant joining with Curry & Co.
2. Lebron joining with Wade and Bosh.
3. Moses joining with Dr. J
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PostPosted: Thu Dec 06, 2018 7:16 pm    Post subject:

activeverb wrote:
slavavov wrote:
It's rare to see a GOAT-level player attract a big name FA. Steph Curry attracting KD was exceptional and it only happened because the cap rose big time that summer.

The other thing is that guys like Kobe, Lebron, MJ and even Magic aren't easy to play with, both in terms of style and play and also in terms of things like them demanding the best of their teammates as leaders and getting all of the credit when their team wins.


It's rare, in part because until recently it wasn't as easy for free agents to move around, and, as you note, creating a lot of cap with a superstar in his prime is hard. I can only think of three times it's been pulled off:

1. Durant joining with Curry & Co.
2. Lebron joining with Wade and Bosh.
3. Moses joining with Dr. J


Tim Duncan was pretty close to joining Grant Hill and Tracy McGrady
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PostPosted: Thu Dec 06, 2018 7:22 pm    Post subject:

AFireInside619 wrote:
We already have a Kobe Bryant thread. It’s called the Official Lebron James thread. 🤪


Serious question why isnt there a Kobe thread?
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PostPosted: Thu Dec 06, 2018 7:27 pm    Post subject:

LKA wrote:
AFireInside619 wrote:
We already have a Kobe Bryant thread. It’s called the Official Lebron James thread. 🤪


Serious question why isnt there a Kobe thread?




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PostPosted: Thu Dec 06, 2018 7:28 pm    Post subject:

deal wrote:
LKA wrote:
AFireInside619 wrote:
We already have a Kobe Bryant thread. It’s called the Official Lebron James thread. 🤪


Serious question why isnt there a Kobe thread?





Serious question man
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LongBeachPoly
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PostPosted: Thu Dec 06, 2018 7:59 pm    Post subject:

LKA wrote:
AFireInside619 wrote:
We already have a Kobe Bryant thread. It’s called the Official Lebron James thread. 🤪


Serious question why isnt there a Kobe thread?


Cuz nobody puts Kobe in one thread.

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