Feb 10, 2013; Miami, FL, USA; Miami Heat small forward LeBron James (6) and Los Angeles Lakers shooting guard Kobe Bryant (24) during the second half at American Airlines Arena. Mandatory Credit: Steve Mitchell-USA TODAY Sports

NBA Rumors: Los Angeles Lakers can clear cap room to sign two stars

The Los Angeles Lakers are seemingly always a major player in the offseason.

However, after losing center Dwight Howard to the Houston Rockets in free agency last offseason, the Lakers wound up in the lottery and many believe they would better served doing the same next year.

However, according to Ramona Shelburne of ESPN.com, the Lakers can clear enough cap room to sign two superstar level players.

It’s not a catbird seat like Miami will be in for as long as LeBron James is there, and it’s not as strong of a foundation as teams that already have two young stars like Houston, Portland or Chicago are working with. But it’s a something. And things could really get interesting if the Lakers can find a way to package Nash with the No. 7 pick in a deal — likely after July 1 — that doesn’t return any salary (say for a future draft pick or a veteran on a non-guaranteed deal) so they clear between $11 and $12 million in salary for this free-agent summer, giving them over $30 million in cap space to work with.

That’s enough so that if two of this year’s superstar free agents — LeBron, Carmelo Anthony, Chris Bosh, etc. — each took a little less ($15-16 million each) and wanted to play together and alongside Kobe Bryant, they could form a pretty hellacious threesome. It’s also plenty of money with which to woo one superstar on a max deal and a player in the $10-12 million range, like Luol Deng, or re-sign Pau Gasol.

The better plan may be to wait until next season when players like Minnesota Timberwolves’ power forward Kevin Love, Portland Trail Blazers’ power forward LaMarcus Aldridge and Memphis Grizzlies’ center Marc Gasol can all become free agents.

Of course, the Lakers could also sign one $10-12 million player and make a run at a star next year.

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Tags: Lebron James Los Angeles Lakers NBA Rumors Steve Nash

  • Dino Madness

    The Lakers desperately need to get rid of that nasty Nash contract so the team can find someone else who can actually contribute next season.

  • Lucas

    I dont care how the Lakers get rid of nash and his contract just do it, Trade him or stretch provision please just get rid of nash!

  • J Taylor

    Does the writer check his math?
    The team has $23M available and $30M available if they stretch Nash.
    What stars are going to play for $15M?

    - I guess Jacob is exemplifying more “amazing writing” and math skills and using Miami Heat math where stars sign for $15M. When is this guy going to stop writing as all he writes is bogus claim meant to spread false information and generate user hits?

    • Rangers

      No, they have more than 23 mill. Kobe/ sacre only people on payroll (about 24.5 mill) and added Nash stretch provision they are at about 27.5 mill. The cap is projected at 63.2 million. That’s about 35.7 million in free cap space.

      It’s also possible that lakers trade Nash and save 3~ million which would pay for the rookie contract. You can def get 2 stars for 18~ million a year (especially with poison pill structure)

      • wangkon936

        Yes, Ranger is right. The cap increases in 2014, from $71.8M to $77M. So, if you dump Nash’s contract, then you will have $37.9M of cap space. So, you can spend $18.9M on two stars. Now, you would have to surround those stars and Kobe with guys you can only get for the vet mins and/or other min contracts, but you can theoretically do that.