Real story behind Pelinka/Lakers "not knowing how CBA works"
aka Woj/Ramona/ESPN were being complete morons..
The most fascinating story following the Lakers’ trade for Anthony Davis was that general manager Rob Pelinka didn’t know the rules of the salary cap and had no idea that if the trade was completed immediately after the business moratorium ended on July 6 instead of at the end of the month, the Lakers would not have the necessary salary cap space to sign a free agent to a maximum contract.
That would certainly feed the popular narrative of Pelinka as a bungling team executive who is in over his head. But that was not the case, according to multiple team officials. Say what you will about Pelinka, and the jury is still out on him running the Lakers’ basketball operations, but he was an NBA agent for 20 years and knows the salary cap and collective bargaining agreement (CBA) better than most.
The Lakers also have Marshall Rader, who is the team’s salary cap and CBA analyst — or “capologist” as some like to call the position. He’s a self-described “salary cap nerd,” who worked in basketball operations in that capacity for the San Antonio Spurs and Indiana Pacers. He also worked on the salary cap and player contracts at the National Basketball Players Assn. and Impact Sports Management, which is the agency that represents Kawhi Leonard.
The notion that Pelinka and the Lakers had no idea about the impact of the timing of the deal and only found out after seeing it on Twitter or television never made sense.
“Of all the stories out there,” said one Lakers official. “That’s easily the dumbest.”
There’s a difference between not knowing a rule and trying to work your way around it. The timing wasn’t ideal, but the Lakers weren’t going to kill the deal for Davis over it and knew they had an alternate path to getting the cap room they wanted.
The issue for the Lakers from the start was that the New Orleans Pelicans had no intention of keeping the Lakers’ No. 4 pick. They had planned to trade it, which they ended up doing in a draft night deal with the Atlanta Hawks. So it was never really up to New Orleans to delay the trade 30 days, and there was no reason for the Hawks to delay the trade in order to help the Lakers secure maximum free agent money. Not only does that not make much sense for the Hawks, but they also want Virginia’s De’Andre Hunter, whom the Lakers drafted for Atlanta, signed and playing for them in the Las Vegas Summer League next week, not sitting at home for a month just to benefit the Lakers.
So the Lakers’ plan was always to find a third team in their deal with New Orleans to take on the contracts of Mo Wagner, Isaac Bonga and Jemerrio Jones while working with Davis’ agent, Rich Paul, to get him to waive his $4-million trade bonus in order to create a maximum salary slot of $32 million by the start of free agency on Sunday. The Lakers accomplished both by Thursday.
Re: Real story behind Pelinka/Lakers "not knowing how CBA works"
Everyone must've forgotten that Pelinka was once a reviled agent (which means he knew his stuff) and was brought in partly because he's a CBA expert, thus Magic wouldn't have to struggle to understand it. Everybody made 'ha ha, Magic Johnson is stupid' jokes at the time because of it.