After Gathering Resources and Losses, Lakers Need to Spend Big, and Soon

EL SEGUNDO, Calif. — The Los Angeles Lakers have so far resisted just throwing stacks of money at their problems.

That waiting game ends this summer.

All the Lakers' plotting and postponing to bounce right back to contending status via a superstar-free-agent splash has to be cashed in this offseason.

The Lakers will spend this summer. They hope they can spend on a new superstar such as Kevin Love. But perhaps it has to be an excellent player without particular cachet such as Greg Monroe. If the market doesn't go their way and they have to settle for two good players, that's not ideal, but so be it.

In any case, it's time to offer the kind of contract commitments that push deep into the future and draw legit players, because this is the last chance the Lakers have to capitalize on the salary-cap space they have hoarded the last few years.

The massive infusion of money from the NBA's new national TV contract with Turner and Disney will make 2016 a spending free-for-all.

But we're not in 2016 yet.

"Two years from now, it looks like almost every team in the league is going to have cap room," Lakers general manager Mitch Kupchak said Thursday. "We do have a lot of cap room this summer. You can look at that as a strategic advantage, yeah."

That means two things for Lakers fans:

One, this is as bad as it gets. The Lakers just finished a 21-61 season that was the worst in franchise history, Los Angeles or Minneapolis…after going an embarrassing 27-55 the season before. Reinforcements are finally coming.

Two, the better the talent the Lakers sign this summer (or trade for if they surrender their top-five draft pick), the better the talent they'll be able to sign next summer—when those free agents will have myriad options. The Lakers might well be able to sign two max free agents to come play together in 2016 (dream world...

About the Author