How Much Each Laker is Paid and Why It Matters

Devin Ebanks and Derrick Caracter were both second round picks selected in the previous NBA draft by the Lakers. Since they are second round picks, their contracts, as dictated by the CBA (Collective Bargaining Agreement), are one year agreements (assuming they make the team) with a team option to keep them for another year.

For Ebanks and Caracter, they will both make the rookie minimum which is ~$400,000 for their first year and ~$700,000 for their second seasons. Since both of these guys are considered low-risk, high-reward players, they will probably both be guaranteed spots on the Lakers’ roster, and will likely be brought back the following season unless they totally bust or do something stupid.

They will be playing for a chance at NBA glory with their futures at stake, so they will both bring their A games whenever they get the chance.

Theo Ratliff signed with the Lakers for the veteran’s minimum of roughly $1.35 million. Ratliff has bounced around the league in his twilight years and has been on seven teams in the past five seasons. His contract is for one year only. I think the message is pretty clear—he wants to win a championship before his career is over (this will be his 16th season and probably his last).

The Lakers need him for one reason and one reason only. Ratliff is a defensive specialist with a career average of 2.5 blocks per game and only 25 minutes. He even managed to accumulate 1.5 swats per game last season as a 36 year old veteran playing 20 minutes per contest. Ratliff is the Lakers’ insurance policy in case either Bynum or Gasol gets hurt, and he will provide a solid defensive presence as a backup center or even power forward.

Offensively he’s about as adept as Kwame Brown, but that’s obviously not his role. He likely won’t get much playing time unless somebody gets injured, but as the team’s oldest player he’ll contribute when called upon. Theo’s looking to contribute to a championship team, and with the Lakers he will have the opportunity to finish his career with a ring.

As a defensive big man who protects the rim, Ratliff has been on the receiving end of some pretty nasty posters.  *Let’s hope we don’t see too many plays like the ones in the video below.


Matt Barnes is joining the Lakers this season and this will be his eighth team in his eighth year in the league. Matt signed a contract with the Lakers for $1.7 million for the upcoming season with a player option for $1.9 million for the subsequent season. I’m not the biggest Matt Barnes fan, but my gut feeling says that this is a bargain for a player of his caliber.

Barnes will be used as an energy spark off the bench, and he’ll play the role of defensive pest. He can hit open jumpers and slash to the basket. The player option on his second season will probably be dependent on how content he feels on the Lakers team. He will make a decent amount of money and play on a championship caliber team, but it’s also possible that another team would give him a more lucrative offer if he produces.

I expect Matt Barnes to bring the energy every game hoping to attract suitors, but I think he’ll realize home is where the heart’s at and stay with the Lakers both seasons.

May 17, 2010 - Los Angeles, CALIFORNIA, UNITED STATES - epa02161664 Los Angeles Lakers guard Shannon Brown drives hard to the basket between Phoenix Suns forward Amare Stoudemire (L) and guard Jason Richardson (R) during second half action of game one of their semifinal playoff game in Los Angeles, California, USA, 17 May 2010. The Lakers won 128-107.

Shannon Brown re-signed with the Lakers for a very reasonable $2.2 million this year and a player option for $2.4 million the year after. This is a great deal for a player of his ability. Although Shannon is most definitely a bench player, his energy and athleticism can change the momentum of a ball game. He has many shortfalls (decision-making, ball-handling, consistent shooting, passing, and mid-range game), but he has the potential to be a very valuable player to the Lakers.

Since he’s still young (25 in 2 months), Shannon will be playing to secure a long-term contract with the Lakers or any other team. I expect Brown to have similar production to last year and continue to impress us with his jumping ability and improved all-around game.

Next: Role Players

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