The Los Angeles Lakers as presently constructed do not seem capable of contending for a title. This entails that perhaps the roster needs to be shaken up a little, and that typically involves trades.
Dwight Howard’s looming free agency holds things up a little given that his departure directly impact the Lakers’ needs going forward.
For the sake of this exercise, we will assume that Mitch Kupchak will put the full-court press on the three-time Defensive Player of the Year and re-sign him.
Per ESPN.com, executives are of the belief that the Purple and Gold have positioned themselves to have an abundance of cap room in the summer of 2014 with the hope that LeBron James will opt out of his contract in that offseason.
Armed with a multitude of expired contracts, the Lakers will have an opportunity to sign the four-time MVP in free agency. This is pertinent at present time because the Lakers will not be looking to compromise that cap room by adding long-term contracts on their books.
It’s a tricky dilemma, though. The Lakers cannot acquire big salaries, but they must be relevant enough for James to believe he can steer the team to a title with the talent on board.
The only player under contract for the Purple and Gold going into the 2014-15 season is Steve Nash. Granted, with Howard re-signed, the Lakers in this instance have two players under contract for a total of roughly $30 million if they renounce the remainder of their free agents (Kobe Bryant included).
This scenario provides Kupchak with approximately $28 million in cap room to use in free agency.
With that said, there are still a few interesting potential trade packages where the Lakers can acquire talent without eating too much into that projected cap room.