The Los Angeles Lakers will have salary cap space to work with, and they're planning on making the most of it. "They will spend this summer," Kevin Ding of Bleacher Report said during a video segment."That's the one good thing Lakers fans can hang their hat on. They're not going to save their money for the future."
It's not a surprising suggestion, as the Lakers will have somewhere in the ballpark of $23 million in cap space to work with after bringing in the second overall pick, along with No.'s 27 and 34. Ben Rosales has extensive insight on the Lakers' salary structure this summer, which you can find here. There should be enough space to make maximum-level offers to top talent like Marc Gasol, LaMacus Aldridge or any other talent that might become available. Lakers general manager Mitch Kupchak has focused his efforts on the draft, but following it up with a big free agency signing could be a one-two punch that jolts the franchise forward.
The Lakers have already been linked to being interested in several free agents, though negotiations do not open until July 1. That allows a week for the NBA Draft to settle in before the next important offseason stretch begins. Kupchak has stated the Lakers aren't interested in "jeopardizing" their future in order to try to win in what might be Kobe Bryant's final season. That doesn't necessarily mean the team won't spend on a player that can be a building block for a franchise that suddenly has a new foundation forming.
The Lakers are preparing for the drastic jump in salary cap projected ahead, meaning they'll proceed with the understanding they'll additional room to work with down the road. Additionally, it sounds like the front office expects the free agency market to be tougher in the summer of 2016 as more teams will have space to make offers to available talent. Los Angeles should be a major player with a young core coming together that could use established All-Star talent to develop around. Ding just reaffirms the Lakers will play hard this summer.