The good thing about the Los Angeles Lakers is that they have a plan. They have a myriad of different ways that they could end up going either this upcoming summer or next summer.
However, there are a number of factors that will determine which route they decide to go. The Lakers pawn in almost every situation is Steve Nash. If they pursue to sign a big name this summer, they’ll likely use their “stretch provision” to waive Nash — would would extend the rest of his contract money over the next three years.
If they elect to wait until the summer of 2015, they’ll keep Nash and simply let his contract expire out.
But according to Kevin Ding of Bleacher Report, that decision has already been made. The Lakers — right now — plan on waiting until the summer of 2015 to make a “big” free agency splash. However, as Ding points out, everything changes if LeBron James is available and is interested in LA.
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.
Everything goes out the window if LeBron James opts out of his Heat contract and is interested in the Lakers this summer, but otherwise the Lakers plan to piece a roster together again next season around Kobe Bryant and save their cap space for 2015 free agents such as Kevin Love, LaMarcus Aldridge, Rajon Rondo, Marc Gasol and maybe James.
Notice how Carmelo Anthony isn’t mentioned as a potential target for the Lakers? That’s because he isn’t. Ding goes on to say that we shouldn’t expect the Lakers to make any substantial offers to Anthony, or Chris Bosh (who has been rumored as the most likely Heatle to leave) for that matter.
So much for that whole Carmelo Anthony to LA movement that was gaining steam earlier this season.