Gabe Vincent was one the Lakers major signings over the summer, but his departure from the Heat was a bit of a shock considering how well he fit in with Miami’s system.
Vincent played a huge role in getting Miami to the NBA Finals in 2022-23 and off the back of that, was able to sign a three-year deal worth $33 million as a free agent with LA.
Miami could offer the 27-year-old $34 million over four years and he explained how signing with LA was a rational, considering the Heat’s financial situation.
“I think I had a good playoff run, and I think that changed my value,” Vincent told the Miami Herald when asked why he didn’t return to Miami in free agency. “I think once that changed, it just became more difficult. I think Miami wanted me to be there. I think I was naturally looking to return to the team I just had a Finals run with and the team I had been with for the last three or four seasons. It’s unfortunate it didn’t work out. But my value had changed.”
The combo guard played on a minimum salary of $1.8 million last season and admitted that money played a factor in his Lakers signing.
“I’m not going to sit here and act like the dollar figure didn’t play a role at all. It did. I’m human,” Vincent said of his free-agent decision to sign with the Lakers. “A guy like me with my kind of background, we don’t see opportunities like this often. So I wanted to make sure that I took the best situation overall for me.”
Miami as a state has no income tax, whereas Los Angeles does.
But Vincent was still always going to make more for the purple and gold regardless.
“My taxes took a hit and it still ended up being more,” Vincent said. “Some people will say it’s not much more. But I also was in the G League a year and a half and I was on a much different salary. So I don’t undervalue any bit of it. Obviously, I’m grateful to the Heat and I’m grateful to the Lakers, and I’m excited to have this opportunity and I’m just trying to make the most of it.”
Vincent is yet to find his feet besides the likes of LeBron James and Anthony Davis in LA.
He also has to compete with D’Angelo Russell for minutes at the guard position and has suffered a knee injury which will sideline him for the coming weeks.