An Early Look at Los Angeles Lakers’ 2014 NBA Free Agency Plans

The Los Angeles Lakers are hobbling to the finish line of a lost season and will miss the playoffs for the first time since 2004-05. Kobe Bryant and Steve Nash have already been shut down due to injuries, so the front office must move forward by planning for the 2014 NBA offseason.

The question is: What does the strategy actually look like?

LA only has three players on guaranteed contracts for 2014-15. That list includes Bryant, Nash and Robert Sacre, according to ShamSports. One way or another, the Lakers are going to have to fill out a 12-man roster by staying busy during the summer.

That may consist of signing a big-name free agent like Carmelo Anthony to slot next to an aging Bryant, but general manager Mitch Kupchak and Co. may lean toward a more conservative route that utilizes one-year deals for long-term cap flexibility.

Regardless of what the blueprint is, however, the Lakers have more questions to answer than any other team in the Association.


The Nash Factor

Father Time has caught up to the Lakers point guard, but he continues the fight to get back out on the court.

Although cutting ties with Nash via the stretch provision is an option for LA, it doesn’t appear as if the organization plans to do that.

Bleacher Report’s Kevin Ding wrote the following in a March column:

As of this time, Nash will get one last chance to play next season with the Lakers, who are not planning a free-agent spending spree this summer and are therefore thinking it does not make sense to use the stretch provision to waive Nash.

The Lakers would rather be done with the entirety of Nash’s $9.7 million salary next year if they’re not planning on spending much next season, as opposed to stretching that money across the next three seasons if they waive him and suffer future burdens.

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