The Lakers are set to field the oldest roster in the NBA next season — by a large margin — but the team’s owner doesn’t seem to take issue with it.
In fact, she seems to be completely on board with their recent moves.
Jeanie Buss is well aware that the team traded away the majority of its assets to acquire Russell Westbrook. And she probably also knows that all the free agents they’ve recently signed are over 30 years old.
But Buss defended the recent moves, and also explained why they didn’t have the salary cap room to sign any younger players.
“We’re over the cap,” Buss said, via The Athletic. “We have really no room. When we made that trade (for Westbrook), we knew we’d have to fill the roster with seven or eight players at the veterans minimum. And so trying to convince players to come on one-year deals for the minimum is a challenge. So you get a lot of guys that are willing to take less money for the opportunity to possibly go for a championship, or play in a city that has other opportunities as they transition to the next part of their career. And we kind of had to capitalize on that because we’ve got three players taking up 90 percent of our payroll, and certainly, Russell Westbrook. You know we’ve got a big three now, and Russell is somebody that’s from L.A., went to UCLA, and I think our fans are going to be just cuckoo for him, are going to be so happy that he’s here. It’s like the return of one of our own.”
That’s all true, but no one forced the Lakers to jump through hoops to sign a player who’ll be suiting up for his fourth team in roughly two years.