The Los Angeles Lakers are on the verge of doing something potentially record-breaking if they sign Kawhi Leonard. Although it’s not exactly something many fans will opt to brag about. While the Lakers appear to be at the forefront of the free agency pursuit of Leonard, it remains a question mark as to whether they’ll be able to emerge as the winner. If they do, it’ll set up one of the best big threes in the entire NBA.
LeBron James, Anthony Davis and Leonard. Tack on Kyle Kuzma and the Lakers have a well-rounded core to build around. But the only problem is that building around them this season will come in the form of minimum contracts and veteran deals to piece together the roster.
As ESPN’s Brian Windhorst revealed, the Lakers could actually set an NBA record by filling out their roster with a whopping 10 minimum-contract players.
“If they complete the grand slam by getting Leonard, they face playing next season with a record 10 minimum-contract players, which could present an array of challenges even with their star power. The futures of the Lakers and Nets are shimmering but they may not be at their best for a bit.”
This can’t be considered all that surprising, especially when factoring in how much money James, Davis and Leonard would cost the Lakers. Interestingly, the team’s roster has already started to take shape (sort of).
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Lakers Roster Prior to Potential Kawhi Leonard Signing
There’s virtually no question that Leonard will receive a max contract wherever he signs, so the Lakers would be on the hook for another huge deal. As of the time this article is being written, the Lakers are set to have exactly five players on their roster, two of which are free-agent signings.
- Anthony Davis
- LeBron James
- Kyle Kuzma
- Jared Dudley
- Troy Daniels
This leaves the team with a number of holes to fill, and they specifically will need to find a point guard and center to hold down the fort. Another question is how the Lakers would opt to navigate their lineup with four potential starters at forward in LeBron, Davis, Leonard and Kuzma.
As far as how the roster construction may look when the new season rolls around, there’s a high likelihood we’ll see a few veteran or cost-effective young guards brought into the mix. This could include re-signing Rajon Rondo while potentially adding a player like former Golden State Warriors guard Quinn Cook as a young player with upside.
Lakers Salary Cap Outlook With Kawhi Leonard
As Spotrac shows, it’s expected that both Jared Dudley and Troy Daniels will make just north of roughly $1.62 million on minimum deals. Kuzma’s cap figure comes in at $1,974,600, but the big money is obviously spent at the top, and this is even before Davis receives the expected contract extension set to come his way next year.
LeBron’s cap figure is set at more than $37.436 million for the 2019-20 season while Davis’ is roughly $27.093 million. Assuming Leonard is signed, a max contract for him would be worth somewhere around $141 million over four years. That would average out to $35.25 million annually, meaning the Lakers will have just under $100 million tied to three players with a Davis extension on the horizon.