The Los Angeles Lakers tried to tell everyone. In interview after interview, team executives like Magic Johnson and Rob Pelinka promised they would be quiet in free agency this summer to conserve cap space for 2018.
Still, the sheer amount of rumors the Lakers have been tied to regarding free agents made it appear they would do something in free agency, but thus far the Lakers have yet to make a peep.
According to Mark Medina of the Orange County Register, that may not change soon. Medina reports that the Lakers not only “do not sense any imminent deals,” but that “as of Friday evening, the Lakers also did not have any meetings scheduled with any free agents.”
This is the rare case of “nothing happening” also being news, because the Lakers don’t have a full roster, with 12 players under contract and 13 once they sign second-round pick Thomas Bryant. That would leave the Lakers with two roster spots and two two-way contracts to offer players, and while the team could just leave those spots empty and remain financially flexible, their nearly $18 million in cap space would suggest they’ll sign someone eventually.
As of right now, it appears that may not be the plan. The Lakers will instead sit back, relax, and wait to see who the best player they can get on a one-year deal is. It could be a successful approach if a desirable player like Kentavious Caldwell-Pope is left standing when the music stops on the musical chairs of free agency, but it also might leave the Lakers with Rajon Rondo.
The Lakers are clearly all-in on 2018 free agency, potentially to the point they are all-out on the 2017 offseason.
Harrison Faigen is co-host of the Locked on Lakers podcast (subscribe here), and you can follow him on Twitter at @hmfaigen.