The Los Angeles Lakers’ roster is just about full, and with free agency slowed to a trickle, the team is probably done making big moves. So now that the dust is mostly settled, how much cap space do the Lakers have left?
For answers on all cap related questions, arguably the top guy to turn to is Eric Pincus of Basketball Insiders, who rounded up how much money each team has left with free agency mostly over. According to Pincus, if the Lakers pick up all of their rookie-scale team options, they project to have $13.4 million left this year (2016), and could free up as much as $31.7 million next summer (2017).
That’s a big year for free agency, with names like Russell Westbrook, Blake Griffin, Chris Paul, and even Kevin Durant and Stephen Curry (among others) set to hit the market. But as demonstrated by the Golden State Warriors this summer, creative front offices can free up space to add free agents fairly easily as the cap continues to rise. As of right now, the Lakers look to have enough room to make a big move next year, but the last few offseasons have shown that is less important than having the right environment.
All these projections really reveal is that if the Lakers’ young core shows potential this year, they could help recruit a top player, and the team will have room to bring them in without making any major moves.
For the rest of the NBA’s maximum available cap space, you can read the rest of Pincus’ projections here. You can follow this author on Twitter at @hmfaigen.