The NBA-loving world is in an understandable frenzy given everything that has transpired over the last two days. Already, with the framework of a new collective bargaining agreement (CBA) just beginning to get sorted out by the people with enough patience to study that mess, fans from all over are starting to work on "WELCOME" banners for players they probably won't get.
As usual, L.A. Lakers fans are leading the charge. And, as usual, New York Knicks fans aren't far behind.
Without a doubt, the most fascinating thing to come out of the new CBA thus far has been the “amnesty” clause. By using this one-time provision, teams can waive a useless/overpaid/old player without his salary counting towards the salary cap and without having to pay luxury tax on his salary.
That means players like the round mound of eternal disappointment that is Cleveland Cavaliers point guard Baron Davis will likely be axed. According to the Los Angeles Times, he and Washington Wizards forward Rashard Lewis are players that the Lakers may theoretically be interested in.
The problem with the general assumption that the Lakers have a good shot at landing either guy lays in the fine print of the amnesty clause. As per James Ham of Cowbell Kingdom (via Tom Ziller of SB Nation):
A modified waiver process will be utilized for players waived pursuant to the Amnesty rule, under which teams with Room under the Cap can submit competing offers to assume some but not all of the player’s remaining contract. If a player’s contract is claimed in this manner, the remaining portion of the player’s salary will continue to be paid by the team that waived him.
Translation: the Lakers, who are currently sitting way, way, way over the cap at something like $90 million, are at the bottom of the ladder when it comes to teams who get first dibs at guys like Davis and Lewis (assuming they even get waived).
Just from a dollars and sense standpoint, the odds of either guy (but Davis in particular) falling to the Lakers are slim.
Beyond dollars and sense, though, Mike Prada of SB Nation doesn’t believe that the Wizards will part way with Lewis anyway – so the whole debate might be moot. And frankly, while the Lakers do need a 3-point shooter, it’s hardly as big of a glaring hole for the team as the point guard slot is. That should be priority number one, not scouting the world for the next Vladimir Radmanovic.
Wasn’t Steve Blake supposed to know how shoot 3-pointers?
Bottom line: the Lakers desperately need to add something even remotely resembling a legitimate NBA point guard who doesn't move in slow-mo. Davis, while not exactly a defensive maven, would be a great addition.
Unfortunately, contrary to what we were initially led to believe, leaving a trail of doughnuts from Cleveland to Los Angeles will not be enough to lure him into a purple and gold uniform.