Lakers don’t expect to spend big this summer, so Nash expects to be back next season. My column: http://t.co/kv2ROSQ5Um
— KEVIN DING (@KevinDing) March 5, 2014
It looks as if, according to the report, the Lakers are not interested in going on a spending spree this summer and are instead going to wait for the 2015 offseason to attempt to acquire star players. That would mean that the 2014-15 Lakers may look a lot like this years team, which means Laker fans may get to enjoy another tank worthy season with the addition of a potentially exciting lottery pick. The problem with rooting for the Lakers to tank once again is that the team does not possess it’s 2015 first round pick, which, ironically, they traded to the Phoenix Suns in the Nash trade.
Waiting for the 2015 free agent class may end up being the best course of action for the Lakers. The 2015 class includes players like Kevin Love, LaMarcus Aldridge, Rajon Rondo, Marc Gasol and Miami’s Big 3, if they choose not to opt out after this season.
The reason for the Lakers not using the stretch provision on Nash is that if they are truly focused on the 2015 class and have no interest in spending money on the 2014 free agent class there is no reason to keep Nash on the books for three more seasons. By using the stretch provision the Lakers would be cutting Nash and splitting his contract, which is worth $9.7M in 2014-15, in a third and paying him approximately $3.23M annually through the 2016-17 season. That $3.23M would count against the Lakers salary cap in those seasons.
It makes sense for the Lakers to save that provision if they choose to stand pat during the 2014 offseason. Nash has been working his way back and the Lakers look like they are going to give the former 2-time MVP a chance to end his career on a high note. However, based on his career in Los Angeles it is highly unlikely that Nash is going to be able to contribute to the team in any significant way for an extended period of time. Unfortunately that is the reality of being a 41-year old point guard in a young mans league.