The Los Angeles Lakers fell well short of vying for a second straight NBA title. It sends the franchise into a crucial summer with the task of reshaping the roster around its superstar talent. That said, veteran point guard Spencer Dinwiddie may have just put himself on the map for the Lakers.
Lakers are heading into a critical offseason
The Lakers’ early playoff exit quickly shifts the gears toward a crucial offseason to adjust the roster around their stars LeBron James and Anthony Davis.
Los Angeles will venture through the summer with the mindset of building a championship-caliber team behind their star power. The front office holds the luxury of possessing two of the game’s best talents to construct a strong supporting cast around them.
With that in mind, one potential offseason target has emerged that would improve the roster.
Spencer Dinwiddie may have just signaled a desire to join the Lakers
The Lakers are heading into the offseason, eyeing notable roster moves to push the franchise back into NBA title contention.
Among those changes may see a revamped backcourt if the team elects to move on from Dennis Schroder. One potential option could quickly see the front office target soon-to-be free agent Spencer Dinwiddie. According to Kristian Winfield of The New York Daily News, the veteran point guard wants to return home to Los Angeles, putting the Lakers squarely in the picture.
“Home is the preferred destination,” the source told The Daily News. “But he wants to secure his financial future, too.”
The pathway to joining Los Angeles would require a sign-and-trade as the team doesn’t possess tremendous salary-cap space to pay Dinwiddie what he likely wants. He’s looking to earn more than the $12.3 million player option for the 2021-22 season salary he plans to turn down.
Bleacher Report‘s Eric Pincus recently broke down the scenario stating that if the 28-year-old wants around $20 million, it would require a third team to facilitate a trade and the necessity to move either Kyle Kuzma or Kentavious Caldwell-Pope. Meanwhile, the Clippers are finally capped with Kawhi Leonard needing to opt-out of his deal to create financial room.
Any sign-and-trade would also trigger a hard cap due to the team receiving a player in return. For example, the 2020-21 season featured a 109.14 million team salary cap while the luxury tax sat at 132.6 million, putting the hard cap at roughly $138.9 million.In other words, meaning the Lakers can’t exceed the luxury tax by more than roughly $6.3 million next season.
The team went through that experience this past campaign, which made things a bit tougher to build the roster. Beyond holding an interest in acquiring Dinwiddie, Los Angeles would need to become comfortable working with the hard cap for the 2021-22 season.
Front office must retool the backcourt
The Lakers front office’s top priority is focused on building a championship-caliber roster around their two stars.
James is under contract through the next two seasons and just finished his 18th campaign. General manager Rob Pelinka hopes to make the most out of the four-time league MVP’s remaining time with the franchise by contending for another NBA title or two.
Dinwiddie fits the billing as a significant offseason addition that can bolster the backcourt. Although he’s returning from a torn ACL, the 28-year-old has proven to be a high-impact player. He’s a year removed from his breakout campaign, where he averaged 20.6 points and 6.8 assists. His playmaking ability as a passer coupled with his shot-creating skill set is what the Lakers need.
Earlier this month, rumors emerged that the Lakers previously attempted to trade Kuzma for Dinwiddie before this past season’s trade deadline. Los Angeles holds interest in the veteran guard that may play a significant factor in a possible offseason pursuit.
All that suggests Dinwiddie could be in the team’s plans, and it may be a simple wait-and-see process.