The Lakers signed Luol Deng (four years, $72 million) and Timofey Mozgov (four years, $64 million) last summer to contracts that have become significant impediments to Los Angeles’ ability to upgrade its roster.
What were they thinking?
Eric Pincus of Basketball Insiders:
It wasn’t hard to look around the league and see that few teams would benefit from an amnesty clause. Though the previous two Collective Bargaining Agreements allowed teams to amnesty a single player (removing his salary from the cap and luxury tax), a rapidly rising salary cap reduced most teams’ desire for that out. The votes just weren’t going to be there.
Why didn’t former Lakers executives Jim Buss and Mitch Kupchak, who were in charge in the summer of 2016, realize that? Maybe because communication broke down between them and controlling owner Jeanie Buss, who would have been more involved in negotiating the CBA.
Even if there were an amnesty, it’d be beyond dumb to overpay someone with the intent of amnestying him. Far better to save it for an unintentionally bad contract. The Lakers were bound to have one of those.
After all, there has never been more than one amnesty allowed in a CBA, and the Lakers signed both Deng and Mozgov.
I’m not sure we completely understand what Jim Buss and Kupchack were thinking with Deng and Mozgov. But this is just more evidence these signings defied all reasonable logic.