NBA rumors have it that the Los Angeles Lakers will have nearly $70 million in salary cap space to lure top free agents to the storied franchise, according to multiple reports.
Los Angeles added to their league-leading cap room figure this summer when Brandon Bass announced he will become the latest members of the Lakers to opt for free agency this summer, ESPN reported. Heading into the free agent signing period, the Los Angeles Lakers have only six players under contract for next year for a total of $23.1 million.
The salary cap room is enough to sign two players to maximum contracts, bringing the Los Angeles Lakers a chance to improve on their 17-65 record this season. In addition to the No. 2 selection in the 2016 NBA Draft later this month, bringing in two impact free agents is part of the Los Angeles Lakers’ plans to quickly turn around the NBA franchise’s fortune, the Inquisitr previously reported.
The Los Angeles Lakers gained their massive amount of salary cap space through the defection of high-priced players — like the now retired Kobe Bryant and his $25 million salary in 2015-2016 — and the anticipated $20 million league-wide increase in the salary cap because of an influx of TV revenue. Players like Brandon Bass see the massive increase in the cap space as a chance to increase their own salary during the free agency period as analysts are predicting teams will pay higher prices for players’ services this summer, according to SB Nation.
By acquiring talent in the 2016 NBA Draft, the Los Angeles Lakers will ensure the team can spend the maximum amount in free agency to bring in top talent. Los Angeles has the second pick in both the first and second rounds of the draft, giving the Lakers a chance to add two quality players from this year’s crop of athletes at a discounted rate.
Rumors suggest that Duke player Brandon Ingram will be player selected with the No. 2 selection for the Los Angeles Lakers, according to multiple reports. These reports assume that the Philadelphia 76ers will select LSU product Ben Simmons with their No. 1 selection in the NBA draft.
Kevin Durant appears to be the top target for the Los Angeles Lakers this off-season. The 6-9 forward player would be leaving the Oklahoma City Thunder — a team that took the Golden State Warriors to the limit in the Western Conference finals — for a team that finished with the Western Conference’s worst record. Kevin Durant has a financial reason for staying with the Oklahoma City Thunder, however; the former University of Texas star can make up to $50 million more with his current team than signing with another team after next season, the Inquisitr reported.
Los Angeles isn’t the only team that has an interest in Kevin Durant. In addition to the Lakers, as many as 10 teams could make a run at the All-Star, including the Warriors and the San Antonio Spurs.
If Kevin Durant decides to stay with the Oklahoma City Thunder — as all rumors currently suggest — then the Los Angeles Lakers appear to be targeting two guards to join the team. Rumors point to DeMar DeRozan from the Toronto Raptors and Mike Conley of the Memphis Grizzlies as the likely free agents Los Angeles would target as either could earn the max contract offer from the Lakers to join the West Coast team.
Speculation about who else is being targeted by the Los Angeles Lakers centers around centers. Rumors have suggested that either the Toronto Raptors big Bismack Bioyombo or current Miami Heat standout Hassan Whiteside could be lured to the Los Angeles market to pair with the other top Lakers talent signed in the free agency period, the Inquisitr reported.
What do you think the Los Angeles Lakers will do with their nearly $70 million in salary cap space this summer? Leave your thoughts in the comment section below.
[Photo by Sean M. Haffey/Getty Images]