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John Albert Rudoff

The question is not whether the Buss family can afford to, rather, can it afford not to in a competitive environment where the Lakers represent one of the few successes in a sea of economic failures. @ what price hope? Initiative?

jason

I listened to you and Ireland talk about this on the air and I think you're leaving out some very important information when it comes to determining what Ariza and Odom should or could get.

First off, there are only 5 teams that can offer more than $9 million to any one player - Memphis, Detroit, Atlanta (if they don't re-sign any of their free agents), Oklahoma and Portland. The pool of free agents this summer goes beyond just Odom and Ariza.

Second, the teams with that cap space might not even use it this summer or on a free agent at all. Does Detroit go after Odom or Boozer or David Lee this summer or do they see if they can take a shot at Bosh or one of the other 2010 free agents next summer? The cap space can also be used in a trade. Does Oklahoma spend their money on a long contract for a free agent or do they trade with a financially strapped team for a player on a shorter contract like Tyson Chandler?

Third, some teams simply can't afford to spend money. Half of the teams in the league needed a loan just to cover operating costs and I believe Memphis was one of them. Are they really going to be adding to operating costs that they can't afford as it is? That financial situation also gives teams with both the cap space and the ability to use it a great deal of leverage in making trades since they can take on big ticket players and send back nothing or next to nothing, just like Denver did last season with Camby.

You also shouldn't use what comparable players got in previous years as an example. The economy has changed and the market has changed. There are more free agents out there than there are teams with money to spend, so while a Bobby Simmons might have gotten $50 million a few years ago, he would not be able to get near that today. It's no different than the housing market. Just because your neighbor was able to sell his house for $1 million a couple of years ago, doesn't mean you can get that much for the same house now.

And finally, there's the length of the contracts to consider. The current CBA expires in 2010 and it doesn't look like the new one will be more favorable towards the players in terms of salaries, raises or length of contract. There won't be too many teams out there willing to sign a free agent long term only to find out that it cripples them long term once that new agreement comes into play.

New Jordans

It's great to hear from you and see what you've been up to. This blog makes me realize the energy of words and pictures. Keep coming up with ideas.

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It goes without saying that Steve was and still is infinitely and incomparably more important than anything that ever happens to the Oregon Ducks. But we graft emotions about the important stuff in life, stuff we couldn’t ordinarily find voice to express, into the rise and fall of the sports teams we support.

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