Before you argue that Tracy McGrady is not the same player he once was, consider that exactly because of that he will not be paid the same money he once was paid.
Now let’s get to business.
The Los Angeles had a payroll of over $91 million in 2010-2011. That included large contracts to Kobe Bryant, Pau Gasol, and Andrew Bynum. They also have Ron Artest and Lamar Odom making over $6 million a year.
So, how do they obtain two more players demanding big contracts? You take advantage of a sign-and-trade deal with a team bound to lose their superstar.
There are plenty of rumors in Toronto and LA about a possible sign-and-trade deal that would bring All-Star forward Chris Bosh to Los Angeles in exchange for a package consisting of Andrew Bynum, Jordan Farmar, and/or Sasha Vujacic.
In this scenario, salaries almost match and would make it a relatively simple three-for-one deal.
This trade makes sense for both teams, since Toronto will receive a good player in Farmar, a solid bench scorer in Vujacic, and a dominant low-post presence that would allow Andrew Bargnani to play his true position of power forward.
For the Lakers, this provides yet another solid big man that stays healthy and is as consistent as they come.
Recent rumors have been around suggesting that Tracy McGrady is interested in signing with the Los Angeles Lakers.
Tracy McGrady has been in the league for a long time and understands that if his wish is granted, he will be playing a bench role as the sixth or seventh man.
That being said, he should also understand that any contract offer will come in that range.
We saw Ron Artest take less money to play in Los Angeles last year, after having arguably one of his best seasons as a player and as a person in Sacramento not too long before.
If Tracy McGrady plans to follow in Artest’s footsteps, he might find himself wearing a Lakers jersey as well as a championship ring next summer.
Not too bad for a guy that has never seen the second round of the NBA playoffs.
Let’s talk about numbers.
Chris Bosh will be maxed out, making at least $18 million in his first year of what I expect to be a six-year deal.
Tracy McGrady should be willing to agree to an offer worth an amount close to the Mid Level Exemption of about $5-6 million a year.
Assuming both players are obtained via the trade explained above and free agency, the Lakers will have $63 million committed to Kobe, Gasol, Odom, Artest, Bosh, and McGrady.
Assuming Derek Fisher accepts a deal worth about half of what he made this year (which would be about $3 million), and the Lakers are able to either keep Mbenga and Powell, or sign other players to veteran’s minimums, and sign a draft pick, the payroll will be barely over $93 million.
Not too different from $91 million.
If this were to happen, the NBA will be all about the Lakers next season, and who knows if for the next three or four years.
Now let’s hope we get to see better competition next year and think more about what if this does not happen for the sake of fans of the other 29 teams.
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