Came across this interesting bit this morning. From Ric Bucher:
Last note on Lakers for now: Tom Penn, NBA cap guru, said on my radio show that as constituted, they could face a
luxury tax hit of as much as $85 million next season. Even with that humonguous TV deal, it's hard to imagine them paying that on top of the $90-some million due for player payroll. One option, I'm told, is to amnesty Pau Gasol and the $19 million he has coming next season. It sounds crazy, but if they can't deal Gasol -- and he still would appear to be the most tradeable commodity -- for draft picks or anything that brings a lot less than $19 million in salaries back, they're on the hook for 1 1/2 times his salary and more thanks to the repeater tax. I have to check back with Penn, but I would think if taking Gasol's money off the cap and making another small move gets them under the luxury tax, the $85 million goes away. So maybe you can look at it as a move that gives away Gasol for nothing. Or, just possibly, you can look at it as keeping $85 million in the Lakers' pocket.
I've been in the camp of not wanting Pau (as are, I believe, the majority of folks here I've seen here) just because he'd be way too expensive. But this possibility of him being Amnestied is interesting. I've liked Pau over the years and even though I think he's a little past his prime, I also think he wasn't being used right in the current LA system and thus, could still have a couple productive years ahead of him. He's got a championship pedigree and is a true 7-footer with plenty of experience at the 5. He's a high-character guy who would probably love to come to a 'team-first' environment. He'd be great help in developing Meyers and could play alongside him in certain rotations (twin towers!) He speaks both French and Spanish so Victor and Nicolas would have a new buddy to talk to. If we could get him on a reasonable contract (with LA paying him the balance of his enormous current deal) I would be stoked to acquire him. Either way, I don't see any teams in this brave new Association willing to trade for a $19.2M 32-year-old so this theory doesn't seem like too much of a stretch.
Think, for a minute, about this starting line-up:
If we could claim him off waivers, should we? And if so, whats the most we would want to bid to claim him? If he were on the block, how much do you think he'd get?
(of course, I recognize that there are many things regarding the timing of his amnesty, cap holds, contract stipulations, etc. that I'm not very knowledgeable in that could make this idea impossible; maybe you could help me out...?)