Tag:2012 free agency
Posted on: December 14, 2011 10:26 am

For Orlando, Dwight decision is matter of timing

By Matt Moore

To trade or not to trade, that is the question.

Whether tis better to suffer the slings and arrows of rebuilding or... OK, I'm done with that intro. Ken Berger of CBSSports.com reports that talks between New Jersey and Orlando "gained momentum" Tuesday night and confirmed an ESPN.com report that the two teams have brought in Portland and another team to facilitate a deal. Portland would be sending Gerald Wallace to Orlando while getting draft picks and the cap space to sign Jamal Crawford. Granted, this makes no sense as constructed since Gerald Wallace is a near-All-Star and significantly better than Jamal Crawford, but we don't know the particulars of the deal yet or the additional team. 

For Orlando, the decision is complex, but boils down to a few factors for a simple formula. 

Circus surrounding Dwight this season and possible impact on chemistry + theoretical cap savings, first-round picks, and young players > or < the odds of convincing Howard to stay with a successful season. If it's greater than, take the deal, if not, wait. There's timing involved here. The Magic have to determine if the cost of dealing with this nonsense for another three months is worth a possible improvement in a deal if the deadline comes and New Jersey or the Lakers realize there's a chance they could miss out. As much as both suitors would try and force leverage by saying the Magic have to make a deal because they could lose Dwight for nothing, the Magic have the alternative.

Essentially, the Magic response is: "Without Dwight, we're going to be terrible, with or without picks and young players. So it's a bonus for us if we get something. For you, if you don't get Dwight, all your efforts are for nothing" and in the case of the Nets, that means the potential loss of Deron Williams. Howard's value at the deadline could be higher as teams get desperate. The Nets tipped their hand last season with their pursuit of Carmelo Anthony, offering up everything they could and having owner Mikhail Prokhorov meet with Anthony during All-Star Weekend. That same smell of desperation would be even more pungent at the deadline should the Nets be facing having sacrificed their future to get Deron Williams only to watch him walk away if they don't land Howard. There will be suitors for both men, including Williams' hometown team of Dallas.

But on the other side of that, the Magic do have to deal with this circus. Trips to New Jersey, New York, Los Angeles for either team, Dallas, Chicago will all be unbearable because of the storylines. Teammates will know their future is uncertain because of Howard's decision-making, and that will affect chemistry. That's not to say they can't overcome it, but there are consequences to constant speculation. Howard's decision has a thousand impacts on this league, and everyone is waiting to see what happens.

If Orlando wants to keep him, if they really truly believe it when he said he would consider staying, then they can try and swing a trade to improve the team and in doing so gamble even more of their future on keeping Howard. A strike-out and the Magic have set the franchise back a decade. But if you believe Howard leaving makes that the case regardless, it may make it easier to swallow.

The Magic have been reticent in these talks since the beginning. As opposed to New Orleans, who clearly are doing everything possible to get a deal done, provided the league will get out of the way and let them, the Magic aren't rushing to collapse this window of contention. From here on out it's matter of figuring out what the timing is and whether being a part of all this offseason insanity and having it carry over into the season is worth it.  
Posted on: December 13, 2011 10:25 am

Chris Paul wants it all

By Matt Moore 

Chris Paul seems like a genuinely good human being. 

I don't know this for a fact. I'm going off of conversations I've had with others, off of interviews, and efforts, off of quiet things like charitable elements he's contributed to without fanfare or flashbulbs. So many athletes would have bailed on New Orleans after Katrina, and instead Paul embraced her, took on the role of being an icon for a city in need of heroes, took on the weight of being a savior. He's known as a quality person and locker room leader, and is a professional in every sense. You need look no further than the fact he's shown up to Hornets practice every day during this debacle as proof of that.

It's easy to take the route of saying Paul is selfish. That he's only looking out for himself and doesn't care about the city or the team or its fans. But that's a myopic view of a complex situation. Unfortunately, just as bad is the overly simplistic view that Chris Paul is a victim, that he has been unfairly put in a terrible situation by the evil league of evil that is the NBA, or the incompetent collection of malcontent owners, depending on your interpretation. There's this concept that Paul's role in this is completely natural, normal, that he cannot be blamed for the situation he's enduring. After all, he didn't want the NBA to own the league.

From SBNation.com: 
NBA owners have varying goals. Winning is typically high on the list. There's no question that Demps and Weber want the Hornets to win, now and later. Sperling could very well feel empathetic with the franchise, as well. But the men who Stern answers to could care less if the Hornets win now or later: it's all about setting the franchise for a sale in excess of $300 million (which sounds ridiculous when you say it out loud, given the prices tagged to the Charlotte Bobcats, Philadelphia 76ers and nearly the Atlanta Hawks).

Given the purpose of the Hornets right now according to its owners, can you blame Chris Paul for wanting to be elsewhere?
via Chris Paul And The Morality Of Choosing Your Team - SBNation.com by Tom Ziller.

Stop. Right there. Just stop.

This started last year. Well before the sale. There were rumblings for a few years, but it kicked into high gear in July. Of 2010
When Paul was quoted a few weeks ago as saying he'd be open to a trade if the Hornets aren't committed to building a championship team, it was only a small hint as to the size of the chasm that exists between the franchise and its cornerstone player. Paul, in fact, has put into motion an aggressive exit strategy that will accelerate in the coming weeks, and his clear intention is to be traded before the start of the 2010-11 season, a person with direct knowledge of his plans told CBSSports.com Wednesday.

"He wants out," said the person, who has been briefed on Paul's strategy but spoke on condition of anonymity because he was not authorized to discuss it publicly. "He wants to play with another superstar. He wants to follow LeBron's model of teaming up with other great players."
via With Paul wanting out, new Hornets brass facing crisis - NBA - CBSSports.com Basketball News, Scores, Stats, Schedule and Standings.

This has absolutely nothing to do with the ownership situation, beyond creating a greater roadblock to the team's ability to snag a superstar to play next to Paul. The problem with that thinking, however, is that the Hornets never were going to land a star. You're not seeing superstar team-ups in Milwaukee or Charlotte or Indiana. Paul's desire for the bright lights can be traced back to last summer, to starting trade demands and toasting to joining Melo and Amar'e in New York. This is what he and his representation has wanted, so let's not go acting like this is some sort of brand new development. 

Now, from there, Ziller argues that the max salary structure is what creates this, essentially, that the NBA's own system is what provides this situation. The extra year being provided teams in order to keep players isn't enough to keep them home. And he's absolutely right.

My problem comes in with this idea that Paul has a "right" to demand a trade. That he shouldn't be criticized for wanting out. Using the current context ignores that he lit this fire nearly 18 months ago. And it ignores one subtle problem. This is all on him.

Paul can have free agency. There's nothing to stop him, nor should there be. Trying to hog-tie players to franchises is nonsense. They have a right to work wherever they want, same as you or I, provided they can garner the necessary offer. If someone's willing to pay me to write in Seattle, there's no law or leverage restricting me from doing so... unless I have a contract that says I write in Houston, or Kansas City, or Denver. That contract exists as a legal bond between me and my employer in a given city, just like Paul's is a bond between he and the Hornets.  But when that contract expires, Paul has every right to pursue his options. That's not what he's doing. He wants his cake and to eat it, too. 

Paul can make the max money allowed under the system. He can not exercise his opt-in for the 2012-2013 season, re-sign with the Hornets, and make the extra money allowed by signing a five-year deal vs. a four-year deal. There is nothing standing in his way from pursuing either option. Play where you want, or play for more money. He's not being restricted by tyranny. This is not tyranny. It's a collectively bargained professional sports structure. If Paul wants to bail on New Orleans after his contract is up, no one should criticize him. He gave that city all he could through a very difficult situation, with not great support on the floor, has bled for that team. He's paid his dues. And if he wants to return for the extra money, he's more than entitled to it. Say he'll sign the contract this summer right now, and all this, the distractions, the circus, the stress, it all goes away.

And, to be clear, it's within his power to request a trade. If a player is unhappy with a situation, he should be able to voice that. He's got the right to express himself, at least through his representation. (Side note: NBA, can we please get away with the fines for players voicing trade demands in public? Because at this point, it's just insulting to everyone. The fans, the teams, the players, the media.) No one should argue players should abdicate their own interests, even if that includes requesting a trade and blowing up a team's season.  Teams will look to dump a player once he's past his prime, the fans will boo him if his performance suffers. It's a two-way street and loyalty is patently fickle, even if some young fans will always cheer the guy whose name is on the back of their jersey. 

However, what should not be tolerated, is the idea that Paul should be pitied for this. That the league is punishing Chris Paul unfairly. Had Paul's representatives kept quiet, had Paul himself not instructed them to demand a trade, again, 18 months ago, we wouldn't be here today. Paul has every right to put himself in this position. But that decision comes with the media circus. It comes with the risk that ownership will mishandle the process, especially when it's the NBA running that process. And it comes with the criticism. 

Paul can be the hero, lifted up by all and admired for his stances. Or he can be the star, chasing the shine of a ring under the brightest lights. He can't have both.

If this current economic model has created this situation, if this is "just the way it is," then there's a flip side to it. The current fan environment has created the consequence that Paul will have to deal with the stress his decision puts on himself and his teammates, on the city and its fans.

Paul actually can have his cake and eat it, too. But you have to deal with the stomach ache that comes along with it.  
Posted on: December 5, 2011 10:07 am
Edited on: December 5, 2011 10:16 am

Barnes says Dwight Howard wants to come to L.A.

By Matt Moore  

Interesting element in play right now. The lockout is still in effect, which means players can't be fined, which means Matt Barnes can say whatever he wants. 

Like, oh, say, telling the press that both Dwight Howard and Baron Davis have talked to him and said they want to play in L.A.



The key quote? 

"I've talked to both of those guys and they want to be here, so we'll see what happens."

Technically, Barnes isn't tampering anyway. He's just saying that both of those guys have said they want to be here. Davis is at least a candidate for amnesty, so he's a possibility if he'll take a reduced salary. But Howard of course is under contract. 

The bigger problem is this continues a pattern. It's easy to pass this off, to say this is just one roleplayer saying Howard wants to come to L.A. and there's more to it. But we keep seeing the same things, whether it's talk of LeBron wanting to play with Wade, or Chris Paul toasting to playing in New York, there are rumors and whispers and small elements that seem to light the way for a small market star headed to a bigger one, and then it happens. And then everyone acts surprised.

Howard will deny it, and say he loves Orlando, and all the while, the same pattern will keep spelling Howard to the Lakers. Maybe Matt Barnes was just messing with the media. But in the meantime, Magic fans have to be sick with the fact that everyone keeps laughing about how obvious it is, that they're about to lose their second franchise center in fifteen years to the Lakers.

(HT: IAmAGM.com
Posted on: December 1, 2011 12:22 pm
Edited on: December 1, 2011 4:43 pm

The Bynum Dilemma

Ken Berger joined the Tim Brando Show on the CBS Sports Network Thursday to talk about the trade rumors that continue to swirl around Dwight Howard before his 2012 free agency. Berger says that Howard is interested in the Los Angeles Lakers should he choose to leave Orlando. Ken breaks down the scenario in the above video. But what stands in the way for L.A. is owner Jim Buss' favoritism towards Andrew Bynum. Should the Lakers surrender Bynum in order to win now with Dwight Howard and Kobe Bryant? Is it time to give up on the Bynum experiment? The window is open for the Lakers. All that stands in their way is the Bynum Dilemma.

By Matt Moore

Jim Buss made the call to draft Andrew Bynum for the Los Angeles Lakers. As he has worked his way towards taking the reins from father Jerry in running the most successful (at least profit-wise) team in the National Basketball Association, one thing has been clear. Andrew Bynum is his guy. In May, Bynum was described as "untouchable" in trade talks by Yahoo Sports. Longtime Lakers scribe Roland Lazenby described how the younger Buss was setting up Bynum as the future of the franchise. It was thought that any talks of Dwight Howard following in Shaquille O'Neal's footsteps yet again by going from Orlando to Los Angeles, the kind of market his ego and commercial appeal craves, would be dashed by the Lakers' firm support of Bynum as the franchise of the future. 

But Ken Berger of CBSSports.com reported Wednesday night that all could be changing:
It's no surprise to anyone that the Lakers will be one of the primary suitors in a possible trade for Howard, and a person with knowledge of the team's strategy told CBSSports.com that executive Jim Buss finally has dropped his opposition to trading center Andrew Bynum "for the right deal." That's code for "a deal for Dwight Howard," and it's clear from those familiar with Howard's thinking that he'd like to join the Lakers. Bynum may or may not be on the Magic's list of suitable replacements for Howard in a potential deal that also would have to include young players on rookie contracts and draft picks. The Bucks' Andrew Bogut may be a better fit, a notion that has conjured speculation in the agent community of a three-team deal that would land Bynum in Milwaukee, Bogut in Orlando and Howard in L.A.
via Post-Ups: Free agency signing days away, but frenzy exists - NBA - CBSSports.com Basketball.

And so the Lakers are faced with the Bynum Dilemma. Do you abandon the stud of the future (and more assets) to win now with the pieces you have from a two-time championship team? Do you give up Bynum when he's just 25? 

For years, Bynum has been talked about as being elite before his time. His potential has been there. The metrics to indicate his readiness has been there. But I've remained skeptical, wanting Bynum to establish himself as what he's talked about. There are too many question marks around Bynum, starting first and foremost with his injuries. Multiple knee surgeries in his early years leave an incomplete picture of his long-term health. More concerning than the injuries, though was his reaction to those injuries. He sought out his own doctors, took longer than expected each time with rehab, and was found to be partying his way through most of his recovery time. 

And yet, he was a huge part of why the Lakers won their second title, and a huge part of why the Lakers were still the favorites to win the West last year. He improved on both ends of the floor. If Greg Oden was the injured star young center whose defense was ahead of his offense, it was flipped with Bynum, and he started to show more at both ends. His aggressivenes took the form of a near-recklesness, including the time he accidentally gave Gerald Wallace a collapsed lung. Bynum has shown to be willing to give the hard foul, to use his body to intimidate other players. He gives Dwight Howard his toughest challenge outside of Kendrick Perkins and the Boston defense. 

But there's a flip side to that as well. His actions border upon dangerous, as evidenced by fouls given to Michaael Beasley and most notably a blatant cheap shot to J.J. Barea in the Mavs' sweep of L.A. leading to a suspension for Bynum to start the season. Dwight Howard racks up the technicals, and has been known to throw an elbow or four, but this kind of behavior is not his bag.

There's no question Howard is better right now. He's an MVP candidate, the reigning Defensive Player of the Year, maybe the most influential player on the floor at both ends. But to acquire him, the Lakers would have to surrender the new head honcho's big project, his pet player, the icon of the next generation of Lakers greatness. They'd likely have to surrender more assets like picks (they won't use), and supporting players (they don't need).

However, this is the Lakers. They never seem to need the same things other teams need, like draft picks, cap space, or stockpiled talent. They simply find ways to reload based on the attractiveness of their market, the mystique of their logo, and the savvy of their management. Surrendering Bynum would be a hard pill to swallow for the son trying to make his own name, set his own legacy. But it could also lead to the Lakers extending the title contention of Kobe Bryant until he's 40, and render the luxury tax meant to withhold the Lakers' spending in the new CBA moot, between an even stronger popularity with Howard and their new television deal which pays them $5 billion over 25 years.

Also, it should be noted Bynum has just two more years left on his contract. In 2013, should the answer as to whether Bynum will ever fulfill his promise still have a mixed answer, the Lakers would be looking at a max contract (as they already set that precedent for him with his last deal) for a 27-year-old with the same litany of issues as currently. If the next two years are his rise to dominance, great. If not, the Lakers will have wasted a shot at Dwight Howard's prime and be forced to weigh the answer as to whether and what to play Bynum.

So the answer to the Bynum dilemma is this: the tantalizing potential does not equal the assurance of dominance now. Bynum has million-dollar athleticism, on bad wheels with faulty operating software. Jim Buss may want to make his own name with his own path, but he would do well to remember what has always made the Lakers great. Demanding excellence, now and always.
Posted on: November 30, 2011 5:25 pm

Pop Quiz: What's the value of Chris Paul?

Fall is here, hear the yell, back to school, ring the bell ... Wait, we're almost to winter. What happened? Who cares, there's a season! The NBA season is right around the corner, and NBA training camp starts in just a couple weeks. To get you ready for the season, we've put together some pop quizzes. Pencils ready? We start our Pop Quizzes with this question... 

What's the value of Chris Paul?

By Matt Moore 
Over the next... however long it takes for the question of Chris Paul and where he plays next season to ge answered, there's going to be a common reaction to people regarding trade proposals. It goes something like this.

"What? They can't trade Chris Paul for (X player, X player, Y pick)! That's not nearly as good as Chris Paul!"

And all of these measures miss the point.

Should the New Orleans Hornets decide that the battle is lost and it's time to start over by trading Chris Paul, there is nothing they can get back that will be of equal value to him. There is nothing they can get in return that will eventually be better than him. There will be no offer that will result in analysts, fans, and bloggers, including those that work here saying the Hornets won the deal. It is impossible. You never win trading a star. You never come close to winning by trading Chris Paul.

Which is why so many will advocate against trading Paul. But the only reason to make such a deal is if the game is already over. At that point you can't be looking to compete, to make the playoffs, to keep your season ticket holders happy or to keep them at all. You are looking to restart. It's a reset button on the franchise, and it could cost the city of New Orleans its team. But if that's the decision you reach, that means you've explored every option, considered every trade, made every attempt at acquiring a free agent, done all you can. It's over, Paul will be headed to a bigger market, and you simply have to evaluate what you can get.

There's a misconception that in a trade, you have to get back equal value to justify it. But that's a little bit absurd. Stick Chris Paul with a series of offensive weapons and you're going to have one of the best scoring machines in the league thanks to his vision, skill, and ability. Stick him on the Milwaukee Bucks and you have a great defensive team that's better on offense but still not good because it doesn't matter if Paul is dishing to people who still can't hit the shot. More importantly, getting back Derrick Rose doesn't help your franchise much (and no, Bulls fans, no one is saying the Bulls would trade the MVP, just roll with me here) if you have no one to help him out. The lesson is that bringing back talent does not equal talent lost. There's a plan to a franchise, or at least there should be, and a decision like this means you start completely over. That's how the NBA works.

That's the hard part, really. It's not figuring out what assets, because you only have so many partners, because no one will trade for a player who doesn't want to play for them. From there it's just details. The odds are very high that most of the players the Hornets would trade Paul for will be gone within three years. It's also highly likely that both the GM and coach who help orchestrate the trade will also be gone. That's how the NBA works.

So if you want to capitalize on this as an opportunity, as damaging as the effects are, you don't try and determine what Chris Paul means to your franchise, because it can't be calculated. You don't try and measure his impact on the team, because you can't. You don't try and formulate how to return even 50 percent of what he provides the Hornets, because there is no such math. You simply try and put yourself in the best position to draft the next Hall of Famer that comes your way, to be able to add talented players around him immediately, and to hope the next time that player doesn't feel like those streets will make him feel brand new or that the big lights will inspire him.

What's the value you look for in trading Chris Paul?

The quickest way to forget you lost him.
Posted on: November 29, 2011 1:22 pm

Report: Celtics considering moving Rondo?

By Matt Moore 

The Boston Celtics are looking for one more title run with this group of All-Stars.

And they may be willing to sacrifice one of the Big 4 to get there.

In the ESPN report detailing Chris Paul's desire to join the Knicks, no matter how difficult that may be, another piece of info slipped in. This time, it was about the Celtics, and specifically, Rajon Rondo. From ESPN:
While Boston is not shopping Rajon Rondo, it would be open to trading him in the right deal, sources say. The Celtics feel they need more scoring to take the load off Paul Pierce.
via Chris Paul and New York's hopes - TrueHoop Blog - ESPN.

It's not the first time it's been suggested that Rondo could be on the block. He's consistently been mentioned as being included in talks, despite being one of the perennial league leaders in assist rate. Experts still have their doubts about him because of his inconsistent shooting and volatile personality. But there are some repors which indicate that this just isn't going to happen.

The Celtics moving Rondo would be more likely to occur in a move to acquire Chris Paul from the Hornets. With their projected available space in 2012, assuming they don't break the bank on Green or re-sign any of the big three to a massive extension, they should be in line to nab at least one major free agent, especially if Paul Pierce retires or is given the amnesty. A trade featuring Rondo, the Clippers' protected pick they acquired in the Perkins trade, and pieces might make Boston a great fit for Paul.

But it should be clear, the Celtics' management still believes very firmly in Rondo and what he's helped them accomplish. It's unthinkable that a point guard of Rondo's caliber would be traded, but that's the environment we operate in when Chris Paul and Dwight Howard are (potentially) on the market.
Posted on: November 29, 2011 9:31 am
Edited on: November 29, 2011 10:46 am

Report: Lakers want Chris Paul AND Dwight Howard

By Matt Moore

The Los Angeles Lakers have a championship core. This same group of players were responsible for two out of the past three titles, and even without the services of Phil Jackson, there's every reason to believe that this team as-is can win another title with Kobe Bryant, Pau Gasol, and Andrew Bynum as its engine. But what comes after? The Lakers have begun looking to the future. They don't just want to stay competitive towards the end of Kobe Bryant's career, they want to transition seamlessly into their next phase of dominance.

And that means acquiring one of the big free agents in 2012, Dwight Howard or Chris Paul. Except they don't want one of those two. They reportedly want both.

From Mark Heisler, who covered the Lakers as a beat writer before taking up with SheridanHoops.com:
When the NBA couldn’t get a full ban on sign-and-trades, it left his Lakers in position to pull off a coup they’re dreaming of, which would make signing LeBron James pale by comparison.

If Dwight Howard and Chris Paul wind up on the market — a safe assumption as far as I’m concerned — the Lakers could offer Andrew Bynum for Dwight and Pau Gasol for CP3, or vice versa.

Nothing says that they will be enough to land either player, but it should put the Lakers in the running for both.

Oh, and Dwight likes the Lakers. Asked which All-Star he would most like to play with last season, he answered “Kobe Bryant.”
via Lakers will look to acquire Dwight Howard and Chris Paul.

Just to review. We just had a five-month lockout because teams were upset about large market teams acquiring multiple stars, scavenging small markets and leaving them with nothing. And the Los Angeles Lakers and their 17 professional basketball championships are aiming for both Chris Paul and Dwight Howard. Glad we lost those 16 games over this.

There are a large numbrer of reasons why this is unlikely to happen. For starters, Chris Paul reportedly has New York as his first choice. Secondly, the biggest advantage the Lakers have is the assets to trade for Paul which the Knicks don't have. But the new CBA does have one new stipulation to prevent such dealings, the extend-and-trade adjustments. While sign-and-trade restrictions don't take effect until 2013, early reports indicate that extend-and-trade restrictions are immediate. The changes say that the same setup that Carmelo Anthony used to get his way to New York and get the extra year on his deal via Bird Rights is different.

The changes to the CBA suggest that teams that extend-and-trade a player can only extend him for three, versus the maximum four-year extension or five year re-sign he gets for staying with the home team. The only way around that is a six-month waiting period. The Hornets could re-sign Paul to the full Bird rights extension and then trade him, but they would have to wait six months. But a more likely scenario would see the following scenario: the Lakers can trade for Paul in the final year of his contract and then extend him, but that must be done after six months. Which means, they have to acquire him six months prior to his free agency beginning on July 1. Which means they have to acquire him by... January 1. With a season starting on the 25th. Not exactly a lot of time to pull that off.

All of these elements are in place for Dwight Howard, and Deron Williams (should the Nets just give up for some reason) as well.

The most likely scenario involves Paul entering free agency, and then signing a four year contract with Los Angeles or New York. But if the Lakers were to acquire Paul prior to free agency, it would give them an extra year to offer Paul, and it's hard to imagine him passing that up. Max contracts with bird-rights are five years, as opposed to the four-year counting option-year of an extension.

But if the Lakers want to acquire either player (or both, if we like fantasies), then they're going to need to trade some of that core. Specifically, Jim Buss would have to give up on his pet project, Andrew Bynum. Lamar Odom and pieces might be able to acquire Chris Paul, but there's no sense in bringing in Howard and pairing him with Bynum. Either playing power forward would be clunky and awkward. Where this leaves Pau Gasol is yet to be seen.

Hornets fans have to love all this. LOVE IT.
Posted on: November 27, 2011 8:16 pm
Edited on: November 28, 2011 11:52 am

Report: Lakers limited in amnesty market

By Matt Moore 

Update: Important note from James Ham at Cowbell Kingdom, the clause for the amnesty in the leaked proposal reads as follows:

Each team permitted to waive 1 player prior to any season of the CBA (only for contracts in place at the inception of the CBA) and have 100% of the player’s salary removed from team salary for Cap and Tax purposes.

Salary of amnestied players included for purposes of calculating players’ agreed-upon share of BRI.

A modified waiver process will be utilized for players waived pursuant to the Amnesty rule, under which teams with Room under the Cap can submit competing offers to assume some but not all of the player’s remaining contract. If a player’s contract is claimed in this manner, the remaining portion of the player’s salary will continue to be paid by the team that waived him.
via Cowbell Kingdom.com - A Sacramento Kings Blog.

Because a player will not have the right to refuse a bid, the Lakers would not have the ability to bid on Davis or Lewis because they are over the cap. This could have dramatically bizarre impacts on the entire process. 

Original post:

The whole point of the "competitive balance" aspect of the lockout was to try and limit some of the patterns wherein teams like the Lakers would have inherent advantages in the free agency and trade market. Regardless of whether you believe those measures were legitimate or not, that's the alleged point and a big reason why half of the games missed are absent from the schedule. But one potential ramification of the new rules is that the Lakers could wind up improving their already stacked roster,  which surprised everyone by not making the Finals last season. 

The Lakers could be aiming to bring in Baron Davis or Rashard Lewis, according to a report from the LA Times:
The Lakers are curious to see if veteran point guard Baron Davis gets cut by Cleveland. He has two years and $28.7 million left on his contract, though he can be signed for substantially less than that. The Lakers also want a shooter and are monitoring whether forward Rashard Lewis (two years, $43.8 million remaining) gets waived by Washington.

Because the Lakers are so far over the salary cap with a current payroll of about $90 million, their only real spending tool in free agency is the mid-level exception, which will shrink dramatically from last year's five-year, $29-million maximum for such a player.
via Lakers basketball: Lakers have new coaches, many questions for 2010-11 season - latimes.com.

The Lakers are widely expected to exercise the amnesty clause on Luke Walton, freeing up some salary space, though they'll still be in luxury tax category. With most of the  tax restrictions not expected to take effect until 2013, the Lakers should be in position to use the MLE on either player. Davis is a much better fit for need considering the Laker's strength at both power forward with Pau Gasol and Lamar Odom, and small forward with Metta World Peace, Odom, Matt Barnes, and occassionally Kobe Bryant able to play the spot. On the flip side, a replacement has been needed for Derek Fisher for quite some time, and Davis would be an ideal candidate with his range.

Davis also is heavily involved in Hollywood through his film production company. This kind of move would represent the exact kind of move the lockout was designed to stop. Instead, the Lakers, who have won two of the past three championships, could be geared to add a former All-Star who fits perfectly with their roster. 

The more things change, the more things could potentially stay the same.
The views expressed in this blog are solely those of the author and do not reflect the views of CBS Sports or CBSSports.com