When Lakers’ fans dream, they dream big. With it clear they needed some changes to the roster after getting bounced in the second round for the second consecutive year, they thought big moves, not tweaks.
One of those big moves — get free agent Deron Williams. He fills a need at the point guard spot and would instantly become the second best (at worst) player on the team.
Not going to happen. Lakers fans shouldn’t even bet on the seemingly accepted conventional wisdom they can get Lamar Odom back. From the Los Angeles Times.
(The Lakers) have very little to spend on free agents because they are so far over the luxury-tax threshold. Their biggest tool is the $3-million “mini” mid-level exception.
“I know they don’t have any money to just go out and sign me. It’ll have to be some kind of [trade],” Williams said Wednesday at the E3 Expo, where he promoted the video game “NBA Baller Beats….”
As for Odom, the NBA is standing firm on the relatively new rule that players cannot return to their old teams for a full year after being traded, a change made in the new collective-bargaining agreement last December.
That means Odom cannot return to the Lakers until December, a couple months into the season. Once Dallas either buys out his contract or trades him to another team that buys out his deal (he is scheduled to make $8.2 million but can be bought out for $2.4) Odom will be free to sign anywhere. Except the Lakers. That’s the new rule part of the new labor agreement.
As for trading for Deron Williams, the Nets are not going to do that for Pau Gasol. They might be tempted for Andrew Bynum, but what the Nets really want to do is get a big name player (Dwight Howard) and keep Williams in house. If it’s a sign-and-trade (where Williams now cannot make more than just signing as a free agent) is he going to choose the Lakers and being in Kobe’s shadow over getting to go to his native Dallas and pair with Dirk Nowitzki for the same money?
Not likely. But keep dreaming big, Lakers fans.