The Los Angeles Lakers are set to have millions and millions of cap space next summer, which is a very rare occurrence in Lakerland. However, they may not spend it all in the off-season of 2014, and it might not be used up by simply signing incoming free agents.
In an interview with the L.A. Times, Mitch Kupchak listed the possibilities that such a great amount of cap space would give the team going forward:
[pullquote]”I’m not sure if you’ll see that Dwight Howard type of player go from team to team, although it is possible,” Kupchak said. “We do feel Los Angeles is a destination spot. We have complete confidence in the organization, the city, our fan base, that we would be considered as a destination for players in the future. So we’re hopeful going forward that the flexibility that we have will be beneficial.”
Kupchak is not allowed to talk publicly about specific players on other teams, but he also alluded to the potentially talented pool of players who could be available two years from now, when Kevin Love, LaMarcus Aldridge, Marc Gasol and Rajon Rondo could be free agents.
“You have to look beyond next year. You can’t say we have all this flexibility and we’re going to use it all next year,” Kupchak said. “You don’t know if you’re going to use it for a free agent or a trade or to sign back Pau or Kobe. We’re in the position where we can sit down at the end of the year and look and see what’s best for the organization. We’re in control, so to speak.”
After years of trading or selling their first-round picks to other teams, the Lakers still hold their first-round pick in next year’s draft, projected to be one of the strongest in almost a decade.
“In terms of the cycle that other teams go through, we’re probably in as good a position as we could be,” Kupchak said. “But there’s a lot of unknowns. It’s unpredictable what exactly is going to take place a year from now.”[/pullquote]
Simply put, the Lakers’ focus isn’t just on Carmelo Anthony and LeBron James in the summer of 2014. Sure, that’s likely their Plan A, but they’ll also have a Plan B, Plan C, Plan D and so on. If the Lakers miss out on signing any big names in 2014, they can simply wait until 2015 when another batch of stars become available.
There’s also always the chance that a trade comes along, or Kobe Bryant and Pau Gasol have great a great season in 2013-14, and then re-sign for less money next summer. Or the Lakers get a decent draft pick in the 2014 class which is said to be the deepest in years.
Either way, the Lakers have plenty of routes they can go down to improve the team going forward.