Lakers Rumors: Refusal to Use Mid-Level Exception Would Make No Sense

Alex Ballentine@Ballentine_AlexFeatured ColumnistJuly 29, 2012

LOS ANGELES, CA - MAY 18:  Head coach Mike Brown of the Los Angeles Lakers shouts and signals a play during the game against the Oklahoma City Thunder in Game Three of the Western Conference Semifinals in the 2012 NBA Playoffs on May at Staples Center on May 18, 2012 in Los Angeles, California. The Lakers won 99-96.  NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and or using this photograph, User is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement.  (Photo by Stephen Dunn/Getty Images)
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The Lakers, by all appearances are in full-fledged win now mode—which makes general manager Mitch Kupchak's comments on using the mini mid-level exception on the Los Angeles Lakers' official blog confusing. When asked about using the exception, Kupchak had this to say:

We look to add value. We have a mini mid-level still available, but I think it’s unlikely we’d use it unless there’s an incredible value out there.

The term "incredible value" is of course arbitrary, but it would appear that the Lakers aren't interested in adding another piece with the exception, which would allow the team to sign another player for up to $3 million.

Given the team's moves in the offseason, now is not the time to decline the ability to add yet another piece. 

With players such as Leandro Barbosa (who would provide good depth at both guard positions behind Steve Nash and Kobe Bryant) and Kenyon Martin (who still provides solid defense and some scoring in the frontcourt and could be an insurance policy should Andrew Bynum get hurt again), it isn't as if there aren't players on the market that can't help them.

If the Lakers were a team that was filled with young prospects that they'd like to get minutes and develop then it would make sense to not bring in a veteran with the exception. However, this is a team that now starts four players over the age of 31 and will rely heavily on veterans to take them to a title. With the backcourt of Nash and Bryant, the Lakers' title window is short. 

While there's something to be said for letting young players develop under the tutelage of older, more experienced players, the Lakers' sole focus at this point should be to get one more title out of this nucleus. To hold off on adding more depth to accomplish that goal makes no sense.


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