FanPost

Why the Lakers have to trade Pau Gasol this summer

I believe the Lakers must trade Pau Gasol this summer, or they will amnesty him next summer.

The reason for that is the impending luxury tax for the 2013/14 season.

The current 2013/14 Lakers payroll is:

  1. Koby Bryant 30.5M$
  2. Pau Gasol 19.3M$
  3. M.W. Peace 7.7M$
  4. Steve Blake 4M$
They will probably re-sign Andrew Bynum for 18M$ That brings the total payroll to 79.5 M$ for just 5 players. Let's assume they spend another 15M$ on the other 10 players, with a total payroll of 94.5 M$. That's a conservative estimate, it could very well be 105M$ or even more.
The luxury tax level for the past two season has been around 70M$, so I'll assume it will be 75M$ for the 2013/14 season. That makes the Lakers 19.5 M$ above the luxury tax level.
The 2013/14 will be the first season with the incremental luxury tax:
  1. 0-5 M$: 1.5$ for 1$
  2. 5-10M$ 1.75$ for 1$
  3. 10-15 M$: 2.5$ for 1$
  4. 15-20M$ 3.25$ for 1$
  5. 20-25 M$: 3.75$ for 1$
  6. over 25M$: penalty increases by 0.5$ for each 5M$ tax bracket
That means that Pau's contract will cost the Lakers 42.7M$ in luxury taxes, which brings his total cost to 62 M$.
Obviously that's a lot of money, even for the Lakers. They will have to amnesty him, or trade him. I believe that no team will trade for him, since they will know they can get him for free at a lower cost by the amnesty process.
That's why the Lakers have to trade him this summer. That's the source for all the trade rumors they're trying to create - they're in a desperate position. It's just like the CP3 trade situation this winter, and we all remember how it ended with Lamar Odom.
The wolves have the upper hand, and they should not panic into a bad trade.


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