Your Los Angeles Lakers could have up $34-36 million in available salary cap space, assuming the team doesn’t make any big moves at the trade deadline for long-term money (which as of now is fairly up in the air).
Tonight’s opponents, the Sacramento Kings, have several impending 2023 free agents who could fit well around oft-injured LA stars LeBron James and Anthony Davis. Spotrac supplies a full list of Sacramento’s forthcoming free agents, but we’re limiting ourselves to the highlights today:
Barnes could start at either forward spot alongside LeBron James. The 30-year-old combo forward could help spell LeBron James defensively against bigger fours, but also has the athleticism to stay with small forwards. The 6’8″ vet has had a down year offensively, and his sticker price may dissuade LA from making a major long-term investment, but if his market value settles in the $10-$15 million annual range (he’s currently earning $18.4 million in the last year of a four-season, $85 million contract with Sacramento) he could still be a great pickup to help shore up the Lakers’ frontcourt.
is averaging 14 points on .464/.314/.818 shooting splits, 5.3 rebounds, 1.8 assists and 0.9 steals a night across 37 games, all starts.
Just what the Lakers need: another 6’4″ shooting guard. Well hey, their current one (Lonnie Walker IV) is playing pretty darn well on both sides of the ball this season, and could be in line for a raise next summer. Davis would represent a significantly cheaper option for LA, and could probably be had something a smidge above the veteran’s minimum as a solid three-point shooting role player Last year Davis averaged 10.4 points on a .423/.329/.818 slash line, 3.1 rebounds, 1.3 dimes and 0.8 steals.
3. Trey Lyles
The 6’9″ power forward, like Davis, has taken a step back this season in a smaller role with the team. He’s averaging 5.8 points and 3.5 rebounds a night in 14.5 minutes, a big dip from his 10.6 points and 5.6 boards in 22.8 minutes, across 24 games (20 starts) with the Kings in 2021-22 — he was dealt from Detroit midway through the season. He’s more or less Wenyen Gabriel, but considering that LA is almost sure to part with Damian Jones in the offseason, the team will be looking for more minimum-salaried big man bench reinforcements.
There are a few other veteran free agents, namely center Alex Len and LeBron James’s old Cleveland Cavaliers teammate Matthew Dellavedova, who could probably be worth a look at the veteran’s minimum or even a non-guaranteed deal next season.