Los Angeles Lakers: Best and worst free agency outcomes

(Photo by Mark Blinch/NBAE via Getty Images)
(Photo by Mark Blinch/NBAE via Getty Images) /
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Los Angeles Lakers
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A Good Outcome:

All of the latest intel has Kyrie Irving signing a long-term deal with the Brooklyn Nets. If the rumors are correct and Kyrie joins his hometown team, that would leave D’Angelo Russell without a squad.

The Lakers could then offer Russell a 4-year, $80 million contract to come back to LA and play for the Purple and Gold.

On this surface this sounds impossible, because Russell is a 23-year-old All-Star who is certainly worth the max, but Bleacher Reports Eric Pincus recently laid out a plan the Lakers could use to snag D’Angelo for less than the $27 million per season he’s worth,

"“The Lakers could use a trick perfected by the Miami Heat in 2017: signing multiple players to unlikely incentives to lower their cap number. Because the Lakers didn’t make the playoffs this past season, Russell could earn a base salary of $20 million with a $3 million unlikely bonus dependent on Los Angeles advancing to the postseason. As long as the team hits that mark, he would get his additional money while the Lakers would still have about $13 million to either go after a center or possibly pursue defensive-minded guard Patrick Beverley.”"

The Lakers could follow Pincus’s plan and offer Russell $3 million in bonuses, or they could up that amount to $5 or $6 million. Either way, LA would then have $12 million left over, along with the mid-level exception to fill out the roster.

The Lakers could then sign Danny Green to a 3-year, $24 million contract, add Seth Curry with the $4 million left over, and finally bring on Dewayne Dedmon with the room exception. Dedmon’s worth more than the room exception, but he’s 30-years-old and he’s only played in 12 total playoff games. It’s easy to see him taking a discount to chase a ring with the Lakers.

Finally, LA could fill out the rest of the bench by offering minimum contracts to Alex Caruso and JaVale McGee.

Here’s what the squad would look like next season:


  • PG: D’Angelo Russell
  • SG: Danny Green
  • SF: LeBron James
  • PF: Anthony Davis
  • C: Dewayne Dedmon


  • Alex Caruso
  • Seth Curry
  • Talen Horton-Tucker
  • Kyle Kuzma
  • JaVale McGee

That’s a championship squad, capable of winning at a high level even if one of Russell, James, or Davis misses time due to injury.