Josh Hart Concerned About Lakers Paying for Top Free Agent

Josh Hart Lakers Free Agent Payroll

Getty Josh Hart of the Los Angeles Lakers sits on the bench before a game.

Heading into his third season in the NBA, Josh Hart and the rest of the Los Angeles Lakers young core are finally getting to the end of their rookie contracts. With rumors of bringing another top free agent player in alongside LeBron, Hart voiced what the rest of the young Lakers are probably thinking on Gilbert Arenas‘ “The No Chill Podcast”.

Josh Hart Voices Concern With Lakers Paying for Top Free Agent

Where’s all the money going to go? Luckily we got a lot of young guys, I’ll be on a rookie contract, zo still will be, Kuz still will be. But then to next year, Kuz is up, I’m up, Zo is up. When you just have that money aspect, it’s just like ‘where’s that going to come from’ especially if we sign another big guy this year.

Hart is rightfully concerned regarding his and the rest of the Laker’s core young members future with the team. The Lakers have been extremely vocal in their quest to go out and sign another star player and should that happen, they would be fairly limited in terms of their cap flexibility moving forward.

While Gilbert Arenas makes a few jokes about how the luxury tax doesn’t impact the Lakers and that they print money, these new Lakers have shown themselves to be a bit more frugal than the years under Dr. Buss. If the Lakers sign another max-contract player, there is a good chance that the Lakers have to let at least one, if not more of their young players walk.

Making Sense of the Los Angeles Lakers Payroll

Heading into 2019-20, the Lakers currently have $66 million of the $109 million salary cap allocated. While the Lakers luckily have two more seasons of Hart, Kuzma, and Ball (as Hart mentioned), Ingram hits restricted free agency after next season. Likely to command something around at least $20 million (possibly more should he continue his improved play), Ingram alone will push the Lakers fairly close to the salary cap moving forward.

If the Lakers bring in a max-contract free agent this summer, it makes retaining Ingram, Hart, Kuzma, and ball even that much tougher. While they are able to go over the salary cap to retain them (due to their Bird rights), the Lakers would face a steep penalty to do so. As Arenas joked, LA is willing to spend the money but needs to see a bit more progress from their young core in order to bite the bullet and go all in.

READ NEXT: Lakers News: Derek Fisher Says Frank Vogel a Good Fit to Coach LeBron James

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