How could a decline in the NBA salary cap help the Los Angeles Lakers?
The NBA saw a huge decline in revenue last season for a variety of reasons. Those include the COVID-19 pandemic, rising tensions with China, illegal streaming of games and the fact some games were played in the morning and afternoon.
With that being said, there was a report that came out that the salary cap is expected to dip between $3 and $12 million. That is a large amount and could have a huge impact on teams across the board.
Teams that are already strapped and pushing into luxury tax could have to front huge bills. Players could be on the move to help heal large tax bills. This in turn could come in handy for the Los Angeles Lakers.
As of right now, every single team in the NBA is over the salary cap. Due to cap holds, returning players and such, no team has space. As free agency kicks off those holds come off when players sign or they get renounced.
There are a few teams slated to have a good amount of salary-cap space. But when you take into account the 2021 free-agent class and also what’s on the market, there isn’t much for teams to go after.
Non-playoff teams such as the Phoenix Suns, Atlanta Hawks and New York Knicks will have space. But none of them are in the contender status, therefore could help the Lakers bring back Kentavious Caldwell-Pope.
Caldwell-Pope, who had an up-and-down season for the Lakers this year, went from being the laughing stock of the fan base to third-best player on the team in the NBA Finals. With reports he will opt out of the final year of his deal, this creates intrigue.
The Lakers own Caldwell-Pope’s bird rights, allowing the team to exceed the cap to re-sign him. But it also creates the opportunity that if someone is interested in him the Lakers could pull off a sign-and-trade. With cap options limited this puts the Lakers in a win-win situation.
They either get Caldwell-Pope back or they get an asset for him. With their superstar duo in place the Lakers don’t have to worry about a declining cap. Rob Pelinka did a tremendous job keeping this team out of the tax and still winning an NBA Championship.
The rich could get richer this offseason.