When the Los Angeles Lakers swung a sign and trade deal with the Phoenix Suns for point guard Steve Nash followed by a blockbuster deal to land the best center in the NBA in Dwight Howard, Lakers fans went nuts. Talk of a 17th NBA championship rung throughout Laker land, and fans were once again excited for the start of a season that has so much promise. But, one thing that many fans have overlooked is that this Lakers core may end up costing the Lakers a fortune.
For the 2013-2014 season the Lakers are estimated to have an outrageous $200 million in salary and tax penalties, an amount that has never been seen in the NBA. Because of this many people have debated that the Lakers could be looking to shed some salary, and possibly looking to trade Pau Gasol. But contrary to popular belief, and according to Mitch Kupchak, theLakers are just fine with their roster and are not looking to make any moves at this time.
With the Lakers new $5 billion deal with Time Warner Cable the fact of the matter is that the Lakers can absolutely afford to make deals such as these. With the backing of one of the greatest owners of all time in Jerry Buss, a team that sells out every game at egregiously over-priced tickets, and is near the top every year in merchandise sold, the Lakers are one of the very few teams in sports who can pull this off. The NBA’s salary cap wizard, Larry Coon, had this to say about the new NBA luxury tax, “The prohibitive luxury tax makes it so only the super-rich are going to be able to continue to spend at their current levels, so you’re going to end up with a couple of haves and a lot of have-nots.”
Lakers GM Mitch Kupchak acknowledged this fact, but also noted that the Lakers, along with owner Jerry Buss, are not scared of this new system put in place. Additionally Kupchak stated that he has talked with Jerry Buss about the looming $200 million bill, and the has not one bit deterred by it. Adding also that Buss knows the costs of trying to put together a team with multiple superstars and, more importantly, a team that will win.
As a Lakers fan you should rarely have any gripes about ownership. Yes Jim Buss may have made a few bad choices over the last few seasons, but the 2012 off-season should be a confirmation that, just like his Dad, Jim Buss is committed to winning, no matter what the cost may be. And as a fan, isn’t that all you can ask for out of an owner?
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