While we’re waiting on Kawhi’s decision, the Lakers are preparing two scenarios. The bad one is Kawhi goes somewhere else, and they have a max slot and no-one to give it to. The good one is he signs with them, and then they have to fill the roster.
The first scenario means they would opt to spread out the money over several impact starters and bench players. The problem is, most of those guys have already signed with other teams. That’s the cost of waiting on a superstar – the market dries up. There is no one left who can legitimately play in important playoff minutes. Don’t forget, even without Kawhi; the Lakers will be the favorites for the title. They need such players.
The better option would have Kawhi, Davis, and LeBron on max contracts. That would mean the Lakers would have to sign ten minimum contracts to fill the roster – most in NBA history. This would be the most extreme example of the superteam era. That’s why Igoudala was mentioned in connection to the Lakers once he was traded to Memphis. But, Memphis said they have no intention to waive him but are willing to listen to trades. They are not letting him walk away for free. The Lakers have no assets left to give.
So, a lot of minimum players are working out as hard as they ever have in their life, hoping they might get the call. Richard Jefferson is one of them, tweeting he is coming out of retirement – the same RJ that won the title with LeBron in Cleveland. Some of the names circulating in NBA circles are quite known. Some are ludicrous. Some are surprising. I’ll let you decide where do these two guys fit in those categories.
Yep, Mota Ellis and Amar’e Stoudemire are gearing up to get on the Lakers roster. We often forget that an NBA player is officially retired once they turn in their papers. A player can leave, spend a decade resting, and then get signed by a team. As long as they don7t turn in their papers, they are eligible for the veteran’s minimum.
While there have to be 10 better options than Amar’e, who at the age of 36 is playing in Israel, and looked done in New York in 2012 and Monta Ellis who averaged 8.5 points in Indiana in 27 minutes played in ’16/’17, these are the Lakers. The Brand is always attracted to big names, and LeBron isn’t a stranger to preferring burned out veterans to inexperienced young players.
If it were any other team, you’d say no chance. But because it’s the Lakers, are you 100% they would never do it?
That’s why Kawhi should resign with Toronto.