Despite being all-in to contend for a title this season, the Lakers made sure to plan for the near future in the event things don’t go as planned with the LeBron James & Anthony Davis pairing. 2021 brings a loaded free agency class that rivals the insanely talented 2019 bunch that just hit the market and with heaps of cap space at their disposal, the Lakers have the ability to hit the reset button if need be.
Lakers Have Tons of Salary Cap Room for Loaded 2021 Free Agency
Assuming the Lakers resign Anthony Davis, they are already sitting at a whopping $62 million in available cap space with LeBron. The Lakers did a good job this summer of signing players to team-friendly deals that allow them to cut ties with nearly the entire roster after this season via team options. LeBron does have a one-year player option on his contract for the 2021-2022 season, though the line of thinking is that he will most likely opt out and hit the free agency market one last time.
Should that happen, with $62 million in available space, the Lakers would have ample money to bring on one max player alongside Davis and even possibly another that would be willing to take a minor pay cut. While the lineup depth would take a major hit in this scenario, the Lakers could theoretically have another shot at putting together a big three.
Included in the free agency class are names like LeBron James (player option), Kawhi Leonard (player option), Paul George (player option), Giannis Antetokounmpo, Blake Griffin (player option), Bradley Beal, CJ McCollum, Victor Oladipo, and Rudy Gobert among many others.
Lakers 2019-2020 Season Outlook
While the Lakers have put themselves in an advantageous position heading into the future, as mentioned above, the team is currently built to make a run at an NBA title. With LeBron and AD set as the centerpieces for the roster, the Lakers did an excellent job this summer at filling in strong supporting members to help maximize both players’ skillsets.
Focusing on outside shooting and perimeter defense, the Lakers should offer James considerably more reliable kick out options from deep while helping to spread defenses out – opening up crucial driving lanes for James and Davis. The addition of Danny Green, in particular, should prove to be a huge boost to the team’s play on both ends of the court. One of the NBA’s best spot-up shooters and a steady presence on the defensive end, Green should be relied on heavily to pick up a large chunk of minutes alongside the two stars.
Kyle Kuzma is another name worth keeping an eye on as the third-year player had a fantastic summer by all accounts. A strong showing for USA Basketball was marred by a late ankle injury that kept him off the FIBA roster, yet Kuzma showed enough in his exhibition appearances to give Laker fans hope that their only remaining homegrown star has taken a major step forward. Re-tooling his outside shot to get a more consistent and repeatable motion while spending a few weeks learning under legendary defensive coach Gregg Popovich, Kuzma could prove to be an elite sixth man off the bench with James and Davis likely manning the two forward spots.