The Los Angeles Lakers have been among the most vocal teams about wanting the NBA season to continue. It’s easy to understand why. They currently hold the best record in the Western Conference and the current group of players get along very well. Plus, the team is going to have a lot of tough decisions to make this offseason.
Obviously, the priority will be to keep Anthony Davis around, but a lot of other veterans could hit free agency. John Hollinger of The Atheltic broke down what the Lakers might do:
These guys have so many variables that it’s hard to know what to think – five Lakers have player options for next season, making cap planning a challenging exercise. Additionally, Dwight Howard is on a minimum deal with no Bird Rights. Assuming he’s too good to sign another minimum deal, it means the Lakers would have to use a chunk of their mid-level ($9.25 million) to re-sign him.
While some other teams have important calculations involving the luxury tax, one presumes the Lakers would be willing to cut a tax check in return for a championship. That’s an important variable, because if L.A. is willing to spend up to the hard cap apron (about $6 million over the luxury tax line) its options expand significantly. I’ve also assumed the Lakers will waive little-used Quin Cook, who only has $1 million of next season’s $3 million salary guaranteed, and stretch that payment.