Anyone even passively following the NBA knew that this summer's free agency period was going to be spending free-for-all, but it appears the silly season is now primed to be just a bit sillier. The NBA projects the salary cap will be set at $94 million this summer, according to Shams Charania of the Vertical, $2 million higher than the initial projections of $92 million.
What does that mean for the Lakers? It means they are going to have a little more money to add to their league-leading cap space, which should now be projected at around $66.1 million, and more money to spend can't hurt, right?
While that would normally be true, this $2 million increase in room won't apply to just the Lakers, it will apply to teams league wide, meaning a team with a tighter cap situation has to do a little less roster juggling in order to offer a max contract or make a similar offer to one of the same free agents the Lakers are pursuing. It also aids teams over the cap, allowing them to keep their own free agents with slightly less luxury tax related pain.
However, it is $2 million extra the Lakers can use to help LeBron James put together the banana boat brothers in Los Angeles, so that would be a definite benefit if that was a thing that was happening (that is not a thing that is happening).
Even if it's not actually LeBron and the Superfriends, the Lakers will still have the ability to fit two max contract free agents into their cap space this summer, so they can at least try and sell players on picking a fellow free agent to bring with, but if they miss on those top of the market players they may be forced to overpay more marginal talents. If that's how this summer plays out, this cap increase may actually hurt the Lakers more than it helps.
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