Nine years ago, the league stopped the Lakers Hornets trade, leaving Paul out of the purple and gold jersey. Nine years later, the league's decision is likely to affect Paul again, allowing him to pass the Lakers once again. Beijing October 25th, CBS sports expert Sam Quinn analyzed the reasons why the new plan of the league schedule may prevent Paul from joining the Lakers.
The league’s deal has a salary balance rule, which means that the Lakers must at least send players with 80% of Paul’s annual salary as a bargaining chip for Paul. Paul's annual salary for the 2020-21 season is $41.358 million. The Lakers must at least send players with a total annual salary of $33.087 million. This is the difficulty the Lakers may face.
Currently, the Lakers have only six players in the contract: James, Green, Kuzma, Cook, Caruso and Horton Tucker. They are still waiting for the official decision of the other five players. Among them, Thick Eyebrow, Pope and Rondo are expected to break out of the contract, and players who break out of the contract cannot be traded. McGee and Bradley may implement player options, and they can be traded.
If so, the Lakers will have eight players that can be traded on the rules. Obviously, James is not for sale, and the Lakers are not willing to send Caruso away. In fact, only six players can trade.
The problem is that the total salary of these six players is only $32.65 million, which is about 430,000 short of the minimum salary required by Paul. The Lakers can theoretically put the No. 28 pick in, because according to draft rules, the rookie's salary next season will reach $1.96 million. If Horton Tucker is replaced with the No. 28 pick, the Lakers’ total offer can reach $33.09 million. Meet the trading standards.
The problem lies here. The draft pick can be traded in two ways. If it is traded before the draft, it will not represent any salary. Technically speaking, the Lakers will not do this. The second way is to trade after the draft. After signing a rookie contract, he will become a real player and his salary can be included in the offer.
In 2014, the Cavaliers traded Love in this way. After they selected Wiggins, they signed a contract with him, and then traded for Love based on an 80% salary balance. According to regulations, rookies must be traded 30 days after signing.
In the regular season, this is not a problem. Rookies are usually allowed to sign on July 2 (Beijing time, the same below). The new season usually starts in October, so wait until the beginning of August to comply with the 30-day trading rule without any problems. The four-month offseason is enough to give the team time to wait and complete the deal.
But the two-month offseason is very difficult. The league plans to start the new season on December 23, and the NBA Draft is scheduled for November 19. This means that the free agency market may start on December 2. If we regard December 2 as the normal season of July 2nd, then the Lakers will not have enough time to wait 30 days after signing the rookie. This means that the Lakers cannot get Paul before the start of the season if they don't send Caruso.
After all, if it is reached, it will be a 6-for-1 deal. The Lakers cannot make such a deal after the start of the game, because they will fill five vacancies. After the game, how can they find these five people? Have to meet the demand for the championship?
According to Quinn's analysis, it is really difficult for Paul to join the Lakers, or it is difficult to achieve without paying a huge price. The Lakers rely on this lineup to win the championship, they are more secure or make minor repairs, risking to bet on Paul, it is really unnecessary. What do you think? Feel free to leave a message and comment.