A few days ago, it looked like there was a chance the Lakers could snatch Carmelo from the Knicks. Whatever the Lakers and Kobe pitched to Carmelo, he was buying. Maybe it was the Lakers history of excellence. Or the beautiful weather. Or playing with Kobe. Just kidding about the last one. But word on the street was that Carmelo was seriously considering the Lakers now, as well as the Knicks and Bulls. Then it seemed like a sure thing that ‘Melo was coming back to New York. But then something happened and he had second thoughts.
This isn’t about Carmelo, though. It’s about the Lakers, and their efforts to keep Kobe’s last few years in the league somewhat relevant. They’re just trying to complete a short-term roster that can stay relatively competitive in the West. And that’s no easy task.
But, what exactly do they think they’re doing? They just gave Jordan Hill a 2 year/$18 million deal. Yes, that Jordan Hill. The one who averaged not even 10 points per game and 7 rebounds. In other words, a nice role player, but definitely not worth $9 million per season. And then they gave Nick Young a 4 year/$21.5 million deal. Yeah, that guy who’s dating Iggy Azalea. That’s over $14 million per season for the next two years given to average role players. Not exactly the type moves that will put you on the fringe of the playoffs in the West. Probably not even in the East either.
It’s usually not a great day (for the Lakers, at least) when the prize of the day is Jeremy Lin. Seriously though, the trade for Jeremy Lin was a very good one for the Lakers. They got Lin, a very competent player, on a one-year lone, as well as first round pick, basically for free. They get a solid starting point guard and a future pick simply because the Rockets thought they could Chris Bosh. Pretty upsetting for the Rockets, who ended up missing out on their master plan of signing Bosh and then keeping Parsons. They will get to keep Parsons, but they gave up Asik, Lin, and a 1st round pick for a plan that blew up in their face.
So what does that leave the Lakers with? Kobe and a group of so-so players: Lin, Nick Young, Jordan Hill, and the sad team the Lakers had last season, most likely minus Pau Gasol, the lone bright spot of the club. It’s not ideal for Kobe. He deserves better in the twilight of his career. But frankly, it’s tough to feel bad for him. If he really cared about winning more than anything in his final few years, then he wouldn’t have signed on for such a hefty two year extension. But who am I to tell a player to take less money? Kobe took the money and that’s completely understandable. Just don’t expect to form a legitimate contender with a soon-to-be 36 year old as the centerpiece to your team.