Creating the Perfect Offseason Plan for LA Lakers

As the offseason approaches, the Los Angeles Lakers have two possible outcomes. The two paths the Lakers can take revolve around re-signing Dwight Howard or letting him go.

In either case, the Los Angeles Lakers start off with over $78.1 million under contract, which is already roughly $20 million over the salary cap.

However, a healthy Howard is worth the over five-year, $110 million investment the Lakers can make him. If Howard does choose to re-sign, roughly $20.4 million more will burden their salary cap, giving them very little room to maneuver for free agents. 

Assuming the Lakers are willing to reach the $100.1 million plateau they had reached for the 2012-2013 season, re-signing Howard will give them roughly $2 million to work with.

With potentially eight players under contract going into next season excluding Howard, the Lakers are going to have to use that $2 million to acquire three more role players.

To further complicate things, Kobe Bryant may or may not be a factor next season due to his Achilles tendon injury, meaning a fourth player may be needed to come off of the bench. 

However, the only player under contract after next season would be Steve Nash. Assuming Howard has signed a five-year deal, the Lakers can choose to retain their amnesty clause and sign journeymen and veteran free agents such as Tracy McGrady and others to tide them over for a season before they can completely rebuild during the 2014 offseason. 

In any case, with Bryant set to come off of the books after next season, re-signing the Black Mamba at a discount will be a top priority for the Lakers heading into the 2014-2015 season if Bryant doesn't choose to retire. 

This way, the Lakers retain the amnesty clause, bring back the same core this year (minus Bryant for at least a significant portion of the season) with optimistic hopes that health will be i...

About the Author