By now, it’s no secret that the Lakers are in desperate need of a big offseason with very little wiggle room in terms of cap space and valuable assets.
Starting with their salary cap, the Lakers have -$53.4 million in cap space for next season, according to Spotrac. It doesn’t take a cap expert to realize that is… not ideal. It also means Los Angeles will only be able to sign free agents for the veteran minimum unless it is using its $6.3 million midlevel exception, $2.7 million trade exception or $1.7 million trade exception.
That leaves a condensed list of impactful players the Lakers could sign in hopes of plugging the right pieces around superstars LeBron James and Anthony Davis.
Victor Oladipo | Unrestricted free agent | Age: 30
Oladipo has been plagued by injuries but started to show signs of being a capable scorer and defender again as he got more comfortable after his return this past season. If Oladipo was willing to take a “prove it” deal with the Lakers, he would certainly play a bigger role than he did in Miami and receive plenty of attention playing alongside LeBron and co.
Gary Payton II | Unrestricted free agent | Age: 29
Payton was one of the unsung heroes of the Warriors’ championship season as a lockdown perimeter defender and energy guy. The Lakers could use a jack-of-all-trades-type player like Payton, who would give Los Angeles an instant boost in a huge area of need.