Things have to be positioned in a way where star players — in particular one star free agent from Akron, Ohio — are making commitments to playing with the Lakers next season for him to come.
The Lakers can make that happen. As it stands right now, they have about $41 million in salary committed next season. That’s a guaranteed max slot for one player even at 35 percent of the cap. They’d need to ship Luol Deng’s bloated salary out via trade or the stretch provision to make room for another max slot, but that’s doable. They could also potentially trade more young pieces for a star instead of signing one in free agency.
The Lakers haven’t been able to even get meetings with the top free agents over the last few seasons. That does matter. But a commitment from George would change everything.
The Lakers will be one of the few teams with max cap space next summer, which makes them all the more attractive to the top free agents on the market. LeBron James, DeMarcus Cousins, Westbrook himself, and Chris Paul could all be on the market next season in addition to George.
As always, we’ll see. Tim Hardaway Jr. seems like a major risk, and there is wide consensus that giving a player with as long an injury history as Blake Griffin five years is a dice roll. We haven’t seen one of the new Designated Player extensions — like those given to James Harden and John Wall — play out fully yet, but perhaps there is injury risk there, too. Odds are there will be one-off bad contracts going forward, but nothing like the spate we saw in 2016.
Let this be another gift the cap spike gives us, in Cheap Infant NFL Jerseys addition to the Ultra-Warriors: a return to the days of the cap-crushing bad contract. We missed you, old Cheap Jackie Robinson Jerseys buddy. Welcome back.