LA Lakers roster contract situation: Who is under contract, free agent or extension elegible?
The Los Angeles Lakers’ financial and roster situation has been a concern due to their significant expenses and transfer decisions this year.
As the Lakers gear up for the summer of 2023 after being swept by the Denver Nuggets in the 2023 Western Conference Finals, one of the key concerns is whether they will have cap space available to make significant transfer moves.
The financial situation for the Lakers has been a cause for worry, given their hefty expenditures this year. They found a staggering $17.2 million over the tax threshold, resulting in a whopping $35.9 million penalty. The Lakers are now poised to enter the repeater tax in the upcoming 2023-24 season, and this designation will subject them to higher luxury tax rates than the previous three seasons. It’s important to note that surpassing the tax line by the same amount would now incur a staggering $54.1 million penalty due to the repeater tax.
Given these increased costs, the Lakers may find it necessary to reevaluate their roster and explore more cost-effective options. A pivotal factor in making this decision is the performance of some of their highest-paid players, particularly those who did not contribute significantly during the playoffs. The Lakers have potential outs on certain players they acquired near the trade deadline, such as Malik Beasley and Mo Bamba. This allows them to remove these players’ salaries from their books or explore trade possibilities that align better with their team’s needs.
In light of recent league-wide changes and stringent regulations affecting teams operating above the second tax apron, the Los Angeles Lakers are compelled to reassess their trading strategies and evaluate potential player replacements. Notable names on their radar include Malik Beasley, Mo Bamba, and DeAngelo Russell, should they pursue a trade involving Kyrie Irving. This tactical shift aims to create the necessary cap space to retain critical players like Austin Reaves and Rui Hachimura while potentially exploring options such as Lonnie Walker IV or seeking a suitable replacement utilizing a portion of the mid-level exception.
Like many other teams, the Lakers are grappling with the implications of the new rules introduced in recent years. These regulations place significant limitations on teams operating above the second tax apron, necessitating careful consideration of their trading positions and the potential impact on their roster composition.
Players’ contract situation
Anthony Davis is from 2020 on a 5-year $189,903,600 contract with the Los Angeles Lakers with an annual average salary of $37,980,720. In 2023-24, Davis will earn a base salary of $40,600,080 and become extension-eligible this offseason.
LeBron James signed a contract in 2023-24 for two years, with a guaranteed amount of $97,133,373. His average yearly salary was $48,566,687, and he earned a base salary of $46,900,000. In his 2024-25 salary, a player option is projected at $50.7 million. However, after being swept in the Conference Final, he announced that he still needs to think about his NBA career continuation in the offseason.
The Lakers are expected to focus on signing Austin Reaves as their top free agent this summer. Reaves, a second-year guard, has become one of the most impressive undrafted players with his remarkable offensive improvement this season. Austin Reaves is on a 2-year $2,488,776 contract with an annual average salary of $1,244,388.
The young Japanese basketball sensation is now on the verge of becoming a highly sought-after free agent. His exceptional scoring efficiency and invaluable contributions during the playoffs have thrust him into the spotlight, capturing the attention of both fans and NBA franchises alike. The Los Angeles Lakers, recognizing the immense potential of this emerging star, have a significant opportunity to retain his services. By extending a qualifying offer of $7.7 million, they can secure restricted free-agency status for the talented player. Hachimura is still on his 4-year $20,341,348 contract with the Washington Wizards.
As the June 30 deadline approaches, DeAngelo Russell finds himself at a pivotal juncture in his basketball career. While he still can avoid free agency by signing an extension, certain limitations come into play due to his trade restriction. Nonetheless, the talented point guard has the potential to secure a more lucrative deal as a free agent, albeit with the possibility of a market correction affecting his next contract.
His trade restriction imposes certain constraints on the terms of such an extension, limiting it to a maximum of two years at a total value of $67.5 million. Recent contracts signed by players like Terry Rozier and Spencer Dinwiddie may serve as benchmarks, suggesting that Russell’s next contract might align with those figures.
Next season, the 24-year-old player will have the option to sign an extension. He is considered one of the league’s top talents and is an excellent fit for the Lakers team. While his role was somewhat diminished in the later rounds of competition, he remained a critical contributor throughout the regular season and their series against Memphis. Additionally, he is known for being an excellent bargain for the team. In 2023-24, Vanderbilt earned a base salary of $4,640,000.
In the upcoming 2023-24 NBA season, Malik Beasley is set to earn a salary of $16,524,106, subject to a team option. While this option provides flexibility for the team, the remaining wage beyond the team option is currently not guaranteed.
Furthermore, the player remains extension-eligible until June 30, which means that if the team exercises their option, the player will retain extension eligibility throughout the entirety of the 2023-24 season. This presents an opportunity for contract negotiations and the possibility of securing a longer-term deal with the team beyond the current season.
For the 2023-24 NBA season, Shaquille Harrison’s salary of $2,413,304 is subject to a team option. The team can choose whether to keep the player at the specified salary. The team also has until June 30 to extend the player’s contract if they decide to exercise their option. If the player is retained, he will remain eligible for a contract extension for the entirety of the 2023-24 season.
Christie’s base salary for the 2023-24 season will be $1,719,864, with a corresponding cap hit and dead cap value of the same amount.
Lonnie Walker IV has agreed to a one-year contract with the Los Angeles Lakers worth $6,479,000, with the entire amount being guaranteed. This deal includes an annual average salary of $6,479,000. It is also worth noting that in the 2023-24 season, Walker IV is expected to earn $7,774,800 while having a cap hit.
Troy Brown Jr.
Troy Brown Jr. is still on his rookie $1,968,175 contract with the Los Angeles Lakers, including $1,968,175 guaranteed and an annual average salary of $1,968,175.
For the upcoming 2023-24 season, Gabriel is set to earn a salary of $1,902,091. This figure will have a corresponding cap hit for the Lakers, accounting for his contract in their salary cap calculations.
Dennis Schröder is on a one-year contract valued at $2,641,682. Having the non-bird free agency status, Schröder is set to earn a salary while carrying a cap hit of $1,989,698 for the Lakers in the 2023/2024 season.
Tristan Thompson’s deal includes a guaranteed sum of $16,700 and an average annual salary of $16,700. Additionally, in the 2023-24 season, Thompson is set to earn a salary of $1,989,698 while having a corresponding cap hit.
Scotty Pippen Jr.
Scotty Pippen Jr. signed a 1-year contract with the Los Angeles Lakers. In 2023-24, Pippen Jr. will earn a base salary of $1,774,999 while carrying a cap hit of $1,774,999.