The ebbs and flows of free agency mean that you may win some and you may lose some. While the Lakers were outbid by the Pacers for Bruce Brown, something that was largely out of their control, they turned around and flipped the script on the Miami Heat.
The Lakers signed Vincent to a 3-year, $33 million deal that took up nearly all of the mid-level exception. It was a surprise of a deal both because it was a name the Lakers were not linked to, and some thought the Lakers may split up the MLE on multiple players.
But to land Vincent, the Lakers had to outbid the Miami Heat for him. According to NBA reporter Barry Jackson, the Heat’s offer to Vincent was significantly lower than the Lakers’ and was one they were not budging on.
One other Vincent nugget: Rob Pelinka and Darvin Ham made pitch to him in conference call this evening. Has good chance to be Lakers starting PG.. Heat had chance to increase offer but wouldn't budge from 7.7 M starting salary. Gabe would have loved to stay. Damn tax!— Barry Jackson (@flasportsbuzz) July 1, 2023
Pat Riley, while having coffee with Vincent in Santa Monica this week, tried to convince him to stay, told him how important he is. But even with taxes in California, hard to turn down 33 M from Lakers over 24 M from Heat.— Barry Jackson (@flasportsbuzz) June 30, 2023
Effectively, it appears the Lakers and Heat both were offering three-year deals, just with far different dollar amounts. The difference in money though, when taking into account the lack of income tax in Florida, is far smaller and might even favor the Heat in that scenario.
Another factor in the move, presumably, is that Vincent is from California, so this is a return home of sorts for him. While he’s not from Los Angeles, he is now back on the same coast as where he grew up.
Either deal he took was going to be a big payday for Vincent, who only a few years ago was an undrafted free agent. While it’s not quite the pay raise his soon-to-be teammate Austin Reaves will get this summer, it’s still a lot of money for someone whose first contract in the NBA was an Exhibit 10.
The Lakers had their hands tied when it came to Bruce Brown and lost him to the Pacers completely out of their control. However, they were able to take advantage of having more spending power than the Heat and land Vincent in return.
They got their guy. Whether or not it was the right call remains to be seen but the fact the Heat, fresh off a Finals run, wanted to retain him and couldn’t is still noteworthy.
You can follow Jacob on Twitter at @JacobRude.