Most Intriguing Free Agents for LA Lakers to Sign with the Mid-Level Exception

The Los Angeles Lakers are badly in need of an offseason overhaul after severely underachieving last season.

Their salary-cap situation doesn’t help them any in that regard. The Lakers are already over the cap and bordering on familiar luxury-tax territory for next season.

And that’s before you get to Metta World Peace picking up his $7.3 million option (guaranteed) or L.A. retaining any of their impending free agents (including Dwight Howard and the expected $20 million-plus salary he will command).

So in reality, the Lakers are staring down the barrel at another nine-figure payroll or thereabouts, meaning they are profoundly restricted when it comes to adding talent via free agency.

In fact, there are only two ways that L.A. can ink players to new contracts. One is by offering them the veteran’s minimum as they did last year with Antawn Jamison. The other is to use their mid-level exception.

Or, should I say, what’s left of it.

Tax-paying teams don’t have access to the full NBA mid-level exception as it is. The most they can offer a player is a deal lasting up to three years with a maximum starting salary of just over $3 million per year.

In L.A.’s case, they used up about half of their mini mid-level last season when they signed Jodie Meeks to a two-year deal that paid him $1.5 million in 2012-13.

Thus, the most lucrative contract they can offer any free agent is up to three years starting at about $1.6 million.

Here are three intriguing players they can target with that salary slot.

Ronnie Brewer

Remember Ronnie Brewer?

Just a few short years ago, he was a highly productive starting wing with the Utah Jazz going toe to toe with Kobe Bryant in the playoffs. He hasn’t done anything as noteworthy lately, but that’s not necessarily a bad thing as it’s bound to ...

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