The Lakers have been dumb for what…half a decade? They are getting dumber by the month.
The Knicks could have gotten Melo in FA, but there was certainly pressure from Melo and his agent for a trade. I guess there are financial incentives for a player to resign with the team he’s already playing instead of signing with a new team. Melo’s trade was a power play from Melo, not from the Knicks.
These guys are not making charity to franchises just because they are hometown or in a big market. They are, like anyone, trying to make as much money as possible in the most comfortable situation. If Paul George points that his days as a Pacer are over, he won’t wait for the year to end to get out. He’ll demand a trade, and the place he’s traded to will be the place he signs his next contract.
There’s no way to know, but I guess the Magic man will go for the splashy signings as soon as possible. And Russel’s agent is probably already asking for a trade.