While the NBA Draft is just five days away, free agency takes place the following week on July 1. With the Los Angeles Lakers unlikely to exercise Jordan Hill’s $9 million option, they are projected to have $23 million in cap space.
One of the players the Lakers are expected to pursue this summer is Goran Dragic, who averaged 16.3 points, 3.5 rebounds and 4.5 assists. While Dragic was traded to the Miami Heat at the deadline, he will bypass his player option to become a free agent.
According to ESPN’s Marc Stein, the Heat plan to offer Dragic a five-year, $80 million contract:
Sources told ESPN.com that the Heat are planning to offer Dragic a five-year deal in excess of $80 million to keep him in Miami after acquiring the 2014 All-NBA third-team selection from Phoenix on trade deadline day in February.
While the Heat would not be offering him a max contract of five years that would exceed $100 million, the Lakers and New York Knicks will be able to offer him a four-year, $85 million contract:
Four-year offers from interested rival suitors in Dragic, such as the Los Angeles Lakers and New York Knicks, can go as high as $85 million.
Throughout the season, there have been reports of Dragic seeking a max contract with the Lakers expressing interest. However, with the emergence of Jordan Clarkson and the team possibly selecting D’Angelo Russell or Emmanuel Mudiay with their second overall pick, the cap space could be used to add talent in the frontcourt instead.
Heading into the off-season, the Lakers will have numerous options at the draft and in free agency. After suffering the worst win percentage in their history, Los Angeles hopes to speed up the rebuilding process while focusing on the long-term success of the franchise.[divide]