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All right, so we're hearing all kinds of rumors.
The Lakers, believe it or not, are interested in potentially bringing in Dwight Howard.
That's right, the Dwight Mayor, Part two.
They're looking at bringing in Dwight Howard to replace the unfortunately injured DeMarcus cousins that something that may go down and may happen.
Joining me today is Keith Smith from Yahoo Sports and real GM and Celtics Block.
He's gonna help break down the salary cap ramifications of potentially going that route.
Keith Man, how are you doing? I'm doing great man A.
This sucks, You know, This is injuries.
They're always terrible, really bad with boogie.
Being down like that is just absolutely brutal.
This is a guy who missed the majority of last season, worked so hard to get back and the Achilles in the quad injury.
Now in a c l. That's just brutal.
It's it's it's nothing anybody hoped for.
Obviously, in my share, complete jerk and men hit the road.
If that's the way you are, that you root for gas to get heart, this is just awful.
It's awful for Lakers fans.
For Celtics fans.
Got Celtics fans.
Don't waste it like it is locked in that mode.
Yeah, I know, right? It's because we talked a week.
So we say that so often.
But n BA fans, right? If you're Celtics Francie, I know there's a lot of salt streams.
You do like boogie, so it's just it's just oxygen.
So there's no way around it.
And I know there's all this talk of, you know, maybe he can get back.
Has it happened so early before the season? But I just I don't know.
That's hard to know and At this point, it's It's really tough, so well, all the best for him, and hopefully he can make it back.
But at this point, I think the Lakers need to prepare is if he's no longer important. Plans.
Yeah, you know, I think that's the key.
Here is first of all, you all the best to DeMarcus cousins.
That's first and foremost beyond the Lakers suffering with losing one of their key players and all that Marcus cut.
Do you have to feel for him, given what he's gone through? Onda, As you said, the Lakers, they pretty much have to assume that he's not coming back.
I mean, look, the recovery time table I've seen, I've seen estimates of six months.
I've seen estimates of 12 months.
It all depends on how bad the A C L tear is and and all of that.
But at this point, I think the Lakers have to move forward, assuming that they aren't gonna have them.
Which means as of right now, JaVale McGee is the only true center on the roster, and they're going to need to go find someone else.
We're hearing rumors about Dwight Howard.
We're hearing rumors about Joe came Noah, Ah, and even Kenneth Faried.
A few other players that are out there the Lakers could look at.
And there's plenty of time to talk about all the drama around Dwight Howard, of course, the the lengthy history there and Lakers fans that, well, there's no love lost for Dwight Howard and and Joe came Noah and his his rivalry over the years with LeBron James and all of that.
But let's set all that aside from the moment, Keith.
And let's just talk about in terms of salary cap in terms of the rules of the n B. A.
What options of the Lakers have available to them to go and replace the Marcus cousins.
Because I heard a ton of fans talking about a disabled player exception and going that route.
What what do you What would you do if you were in their shoes? Yes, So I'm gonna say that I'm a self proclaimed expert on the disabled player exception after the Celtics lost Gordon Hayward five minutes in the season a couple years ago.
It's something that I've become very familiar with.
So how this works is you get a in amount if you apply in or granted the disabled, where exception you get an exception.
It is just a cap exception.
It is not a roster exception, so you don't get to add an extra player to the roster for this.
It's only a cap exception.
So if you get it, it is half of what the player's salary waas or if they're like a Max guy.
In the case of Hayward, it's an amount equivalent to the non taxpayer, mid level exception.
So in Cousin's case, three point 5,000,000 so you'd get a 1.
7 5,000,000 exception.
Now I do expect the Lakers will buy for it, because why not? It's not gonna hurt anything.
So you might as well apply for it and have it.
But the reality is a veteran minimum.
You mentioned Dwight Howard.
Uh, Kenneth Faried.
Guys like that, you're better for the player to sign them for the league minimum exception, because what that means is they're gonna actually make about two point 4,000,000 or so.
But the amount that goes on the cap for the Lakers would be about one point 6,000,000.
So you're better off just doing that.
75 Maybe something else materializes.
Maybe one of the guys who's over in China wants to come back later in the season.
Something like that is a They do get.
It won't expire for quite some time.
For for them, they will be able to have it pretty deep into the season to use that exception.
So the couple other things with it just Thio could clear the decks and hopefully, hopefully help people out is it is.
You can only use it to sign for a player or trade for a player that it's into the exception amount again.
Pretty small amount.
5 Pretty limited, but you could trade for a guy in a Manimal contract, but it has to be an ending contract to an expiring contract that can only be in the final year.
Or you can also use it to claim a player off waivers again as long as they fit into that amount can be combined with another player in a trade.
You couldn't come, but Lakers don't have any other exceptions left anyway.
The user awful room exception already, so you can't you wouldn't be able to combine it that way or anything like that.
So it's a true 1.7 5,000,000.
Trader claim a player in their final year of their contract on Lee is the way you could do that.
And if you sign, a player could be only for a one year deal only for this season or if it's used in season the remainder of the season.
Well, let me ask you this, Keith.
Let's say that the Lakers do apply if that disabled player exception does that automatically rule out cousins for the remainder of the season.
Or how would that work like, let's say, in a bite of the time April comes around, he's rehab.
He's feeling better, and he feels like he could get back out there again.
It's an extreme long shot, but let's say the Lakers decided to take the gamble and throw him back out on the floor.
Is that even a possibility if they apply for that exception? Yeah, that's a great question.
So again thrown it back to Gordon Hayward.
Right? If you remember we started hearing things, maybe you could come back in March or eat.
What's that obviously he didn't, and that all prove proved unfounded.
But, no, it doesn't preclude that what the finding has to be to qualify for the disabled, where exception is the player has to be found Maur likely than not to be out through essentially this season.
It's June 15th is the date that they used so that that's just kind of kind of a random Nate there.
But that's that's what it is.
That the players more likely than not to play does not mean that the player can't return.
So now the Lakers would have to keep cousins on the roster.
Obviously, if they wanted him back, or if they waved him, they'd have to resign him at that point.
His rehab goes fantastic and he can make it back.
Think of it as that's just Justus.
As bad luck as it is to be in the position to get the disabled player exception, you're thinking it is you're in just as good a spot to do.
It's just it's good luck that the player gets lt quicker than expected income return.
Now here's something that popped into my head in regards to cousins and his his contract situation.
We had talked previously, you and I had about what the Lakers options would be if cousins blew up this season that if he was fully healthy and had a great I had a great season with the Lakers even be able to keep him around.
And we had pretty much come to the conclusion that they probably wouldn't have enough money to.
Wouldn't make sense for them to keep them, keep him on the roster rather than wave him.
And then, if they decide to give him another shot next summer, say he signs for a bet, minimum deal or whatever next summer, just to see if he can get healthy, Then you've got two years under contract with the same team, and then you're looking at early bird rights.
If I'm doing the math right, correct correctly there.
So is that something that should be a factor in their in their thinking that maybe you keep him on the roster? Or would waving him even impact that that's ah situation? Yeah, well, it would depend if they if they were to wave him and bring him back later, it would, so they would ultimately be covered and be be okay with that.
But I think what you're going to see is you keep him on the roster until you need the roster spot.
The reality is right now they've got If I if all my math is correct and I've counted anything up, they've got 18 players on standard contracts before those guys are on Exhibit 10 summer deals.
So those guys air likely to be waived anyway, which was going to leave the Lakers with an open roster spot.
So unless you run into a situation for some reason, you need to roster spots.
Then I think you leave cousins on the roster.
Let him go because that three point 5,000,000 fully guaranteed, doesn't it? You're you might as well call it.
It's on your cap now, no matter what, Anyway, there's nothing you can do about that.
The other pieces that three point 5,000,000.
That's Ah, not it's not a huge amount, but it's a significant amount.
If you wanted to use that in trade later in the season, if you were to pair him with the CIA contagious Caldwell, Pope or Avery Bradley or somebody like that to go, Neil get a player makes you a 10 to 15,000,000.
Something in that range that starts to put you in range of being able to pull off a deal like that.
And that's that's really important, because you wanna you're trying to build yourself flexibility.
Now you run into a spot where Oh, my gosh.
Now we also lost, You know, let's not knock on wood here, but we lost javale McGee.
Now we gotta go sign two guys.
Well, then, at that point, you're probably gonna start thinking about arable cousins is gonna go.
But that's where his future planning to yet leaves all that flexible for you down the line as well, because you could reasonable you could do is then give him another, say, 3.
5 or $4,000,000 deal next season using his early bird rights.
And then you could could bring him back.
We're using his non bird rights rather, and you bring him back on a small bump using his early bird rights here after that.
And you start to build it up if you know if he obviously we can make it back and looks really, really good, right? You've got that flexibility.
I would say at this point just adding up all the injury history and where he's at is a player.
I think he's probably looking at minimum contracts from here on out.
But you could still do the minimum thing.
And then if he blows up a year later, whatever, sure, your your position.
But, yeah, I don't think you make a move with cousins unless you absolutely have to.
So let's say that, I mean, obviously, it looks like the Lakers do need to replace him.
They need to find somebody else who can play center.
And that's where these rumors they're coming from about about Howard about know about Kenneth Faried and all these other other players that are out there.
They do have an open roster spot so you can go ahead and sign somebody.
But when I look at this roster, I see I only see one true small forward.
I see LeBron James, and I'm sure you could say Kyle Kuzma, Maybe he can eat up some minutes at small forward, play a little bit out of position dating Green could play out of position to heat up some minutes at small forward as well.
But in terms of true three's, there aren't that many in in the n.
A. Right now, I think you need is many wing defenders as possible.
The name that we've been hearing is Andre Iguodala that they've been keeping their eye on him, and that's why they've kept this 15th roster spot open.
Now they almost certainly have to burn it on a center.
So let's say Iguodala or someone like that suddenly becomes available and wants to join the Lakers, and they could use someone like that.
What could they possibly do short of waving DeMarcus cousins? Is there someone else that you would look to waver? What can they do to free up a Ross respondent? Bring in another wing defender? Yeah, I think at that point so well, let's be Let's be clear.
So So let's just play this out.
Let's say they used the roster spot to to sign a center.
Whoever it is doesn't matter right now, So that's your at your max of 15 players.
Then you've got your two way guys.
Then you get into the season, and now a good aisle is available.
Or or let's say it's right at the beginning of the preseason.
What whenever is so what you're looking at that point is you've gotta free up a roster spot because there's no there's no, there's no I are in the n b A like there is in the NFL.
There's no roster exemption.
The only way you ever get a roster exemption.
If four players air injured at the same time, then the N B a king of what's called the hardship exception and allow you to add 1/16 player to your roster against 19th in this case with the two or 83 with the two way guys.
But what, what what you would see here for the Lakers? They're obviously not in that position, so you're gonna have to leave somebody else.
So let's say they decide. It's not cousins.
They want to keep that around.
I think you're probably my guess would be the guy you'd be looking at.
The one who jumps off the page to me is Troy Daniels, because I don't I don't see where he's gonna fit in this rotation at this point.
Gosh, they've got guards kind of wing guards coming out of there.
Your years at this.
You know, all the guys that they signed, they can get just as much out of any of those guys that they're gonna get a get a get out of Troy Daniels and all those players that they signed.
At least bring something else to the table where Daniels is really just a shooter.
The other option, I would say, is let's say you get into the preseason and you're into your workouts in preseason games and talent Warden talker just doesn't look good.
For some reason, that's an easy contract to get off of.
You have to eat.
A small guaranteed amount into next season is well, but those were the guys that make sense to me.
The other option is you could maybe that look to swing a trade.
But because they signed so many guys this summer, they're not eligible.
Treat those guys till mid December, so you could be one of those things.
And it's kind of funny that the two guys that they're now most commonly linked with Diego Dollar ever since he was traded by the Warriors, that's been a rumor.
And then you've got Dwight Howard, both of them still property of the Memphis Grizzlies on the Memphis Grizzlies roster.
So you're gonna have to deal with Memphis, you know, is Memphis.
Can I cut those guys? It seemed like Howard was a sure bet to be cut.
They have not done so yet.
Which says, to me, they've been kinda again.
It's all about keeping your options open at this some year of, Well, maybe we could trade him.
And even if its we trade him and get a small, small asset back, or we trade him to take on a bigger worst contract from somebody else.
So Memphis kind of still holding the cards there because they don't have to rush well, yeah, let's let's talk about that real quick before we finish up here.
We've heard through Sham Straw, Nia of the athletic that that the Lakers are looking to have a conversation with Dwight Howard they want have.
They would have a little chat with them, which makes tons of sense, but he's under contract with Memphis Grizzlies, so they would have to give their approval.
Say we're okay with you talking to our player, Even though we've heard that they're probably gonna wave him.
Where's the incentive for Memphis knowing that the Lakers don't really have anything that they could possibly trade for Dwight Howard, that there's no way to really make the salaries were given that so many of their players are still ineligible to be traded.
So what's the incentive for Memphis? Is that just hoping that Howard has another A new location? Then he's going to give back a little bit more, more money in a buyout situation.
Do you think that's the the motivation, or what angle is the Grizzlies looking at this from? Yes.
Oh, that's a good question.
There's a couple pieces, and the 1st 1 you hit is then you know if he knows he's going to go there, make for himself actually made two point 4,000,000 or so then, yeah, maybe he gives back two point 4,000,000 to them in a bio.
And that lowers the cost of reality is the Grizzlies have about three or four guys that they could potentially be eating the contracts on because they've also get Solomon Hill, Miles, Plumlee and Iguodala All that 10 plus 1,000,000 then that becomes a You don't really want to carry that much dead money are the books.
If you're Memphis, ideally, so what you're trying to do.
There is lesson that hit.
So that's one thing.
There's also the goodwill factor where your building goodwill with both the Lakers and Dwight Howard and the reality is at this point for Memphis.
There is no way Dwight Howard plays any wool for them, other than is maybe a trade piece, but and that's even fairly unlikely.
At this point, it's more like, Well, just wave him.
So what you're really looking at if you're Memphis, is all right, go go meet with the Lakers because it doesn't impact us one way or the other.
It can only really help us, because then we can kind of get things put into a spot where we at least feel pretty good about you know what we're doing here? Him again. You build that good.
Will you also build a goodwill with Dwight Howard's agent, his agency, And you know all those things.
So it's all stuff you hope plays for down the line.
All right, Keith? Well, yeah, that makes a ton of sense.
And it's gonna be really interesting to see, you know, if if the Lakers do wind up boarding that Dwight Howard trade once again, I never would have thought we'd see the day, but But here we are amazing the way the NBA's works out.
At least I still don't believe a like one of those things are.
Mike, you gotta be kidding me because he also had not is much when he had some history with LeBron back in their calves.
They're not nothing really bad.
But there was all these rumors that they froze him out in the Olympics because they thought he was a clown all that stuff.
So I I just I don't know I would Personally, I'd go joking.
No, I thought he actually showed a decent amount left, and I think he fits.
But if you could get joint to come in and say for 15 to 20 minutes a game, we need you to rebound and play defense and he's willing to just do that and, you know, well, 30 the occasional lob around the rim find done.
It's not gonna hurt.
You know what the deal he'll get from the Lakers because it's gonna be a minimum contract that's not working up they'll just caught him and move on anyway.
They're nowhere near the luxury tax.
They can just keep kind of cycling through options until they find one that hits.
Yeah, that's that's a great point.
The risk is minimal to them because even if they if you bring in Dwight Howard and if he's he's acting like a clown, if he is, is not fitting in with the team.
If he's not doing what he was brought in to do, let's say he starts complaining about touches very easy just to wash your hands and say, OK, we'll see you later and then you bring in somebody else.
Maybe then you can do Ah, Kenneth Faried or like you said, joking Noah, solemn measuring is out there.
There's there's a number of guys out there that they could turn Thio.
They've even got some guys in the D League that they could give a look.
So yeah, definitely plenty of options.
So if they do go sign Dwight Howard, he's gonna have to be on his best behavior because it is a very easy path for the Lakers.
Just to say all right didn't work.
We'll try something else.
It's there, really is.
There's almost no nothing lost there with that, you know? Yeah, Maybe you lose a game or to know that Zio maybe there and then the other thing I think this probably does is at some point Frank Vogel and staff.
If they need to involve Rob Pelinka in the front office as well, at some point, they're gonna have to sit down with Anthony Davis and, at some point, have the conversation.
We need you to play some five.
It's probably maybe we can try to limit it to closing minutes in the first half and then closing games there.
But that's gonna be their best roster is with him at the five.
And then LeBron and probably a bunch of shooters around the bend there.
Yeah, who's ma? You know, Bradley called mobile whoever is right as defenders, they just It's the Danny Green.
Obviously, those air, the balance pieces I think you need if you want to have your best best group together on the floor because that's that's just where it all fits best.
But but But we'll see because it's, you know, he's made it pretty clear he doesn't want to play the five bronze made it clear he doesn't want to play the four.
So at that point.
But if you're talking total of maybe 67 minutes a game last few minutes of each half that that's a different story.
Everybody, you know, we all love Draymond Green at the five, right? We think that's great.
Amount of time that actually happens is fairly limited.
It's just It happens when at the most impactful points in the game when everybody's flipping over for that crunch time.
Yeah, yeah, exactly.
Okay, well, I think that's Ah, that's, um, really good info there that she gave us.
Keith really summed up the whole situation that the Lakers are in and we'll see where they go from here.
Who knows? We may be looking at Dwight Howard and the Lakers jersey again.
Could be joking. No, I like you suggested.
I'm kind of hoping for Kenneth Faried for a variety of reasons.
It's gonna be really interesting to see which way they go.
We know they're going to be adding somebody, and we're just gonna be kind of hold their breath waiting to see who that is.
Key. Thanks so much for joining me today.
Thanks for having me.
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