The Los Angeles Lakers brought in a younger roster that was set up to be the foundation of the team moving forward at the deadline. Los Angeles had the ability to bring every single new player back in free agency, whether it be with Bird Rights or in restricted free agency.
However, the NBA and NBAPA agreed to a new collective bargaining agreement over the weekend that sets a new tax apron $17.5 million above the initial apron with harsh penalties that are meant to curb spending.
Unfortunately for the Lakers, this could derail the team’s potential plans of bringing back all of the young players that were brought in this season. Los Angeles may have to cut corners where they can and certain players are more at risk than others.
3 Lakers the team may have to cut ties with because of the new CBA
3. D’Angelo Russell
D’Angelo Russell is an unrestricted free agent after this season but the Lakers have Bird Rights to bring him back if they deem fit. Russell is a polarizing player as he is not someone that many teams would be willing to pay a max deal to. However, in the NBA, it is common for players just under this max-contract level to still get a max deal.
All it takes is one other tea that is willing to pay him a max contract and suddenly that will be his price to stay in LA.
If Russell is getting a max deal he is projected to get just over $40 million next season. That would eat up all of the team’s remaining space under the luxury tax and would begin the countdown to the $17.5 million second apron.
There is a very real chance that the Lakers may look at Russell, recognize that he might not be worth a max deal, and let another team pay that much for him. It would certainly give the team more freedom to re-sign other players while also opening the door to stay under the tax apron altogether.
It still seems more likely than not that the Lakers would re-sign Russell and max sacrifices elsewhere, though, which leads us to the other two players on this list.