You should probably read this before you grab a pitchfork and head for Staples Center to express your disgust at the Los Angeles Lakers reportedly offering 36-year-old Dirk Nowitzki a max-level contract.
Earlier on Tuesday, Marc Stein from ESPN reported that the Lakers and Houston Rockets offered Nowitzki a maximum salary deal, though the NBA champion ultimately decided to take less money and stay with the Dallas Mavericks.
However, Mark Medina from the L.A. Daily News later reported that the Lakers “would have never offered a max-level offer to Nowitzki,” according to a source.
As we mentioned in the original post, the idea of the Lakers offering Nowitzki a max-level deal at his age seemed a little strange, especially as he has been hit with various injury woes over the past few years.
Numerous times throughout the season, Lakers general manager Mitch Kupchak noted that the team would spend their cap money wisely and would not just commit dollars to players for the sake of it.
“I don’t think that we’ll use our cap money to patch together a team for next year. We’re looking to bring something [great] to Los Angeles,” Kupchak said after the trade deadline in February. “It may take more than one year to build, I don’t know. But because we have a lot of money [it] doesn’t mean we’ll spend it all. We’ll spend it wisely. And if we can’t [sign worthwhile players in 2014 offseason] then we’ll do the best we can this summer and we’ll look maybe to the next summer.”
After Carmelo Anthony and LeBron James decided they wanted to either go or stay home, the Lakers moved on with other plans by trading for Jeremy Lin and two draft picks while coming to agreements with two of their own free agents in Nick Young and Jordan Hill.
Building a title contender takes time. If a team has little patience and throws their money at just about anybody then they usually do not have much success in the league – just look at the New York Knicks.
Yes, a rebuild takes patience, and spending big dollars on a guy like Nowitzki would have been a bad move.
Thankfully, though, it was a move that was never actually in the Lakers’ plans.