Jordan Clarkson is the odd man out in Los Angeles if the Lakers sign superstars like Kevin Durant, Hassan Whiteside and DeMar DeRozan, according to latest NBA rumors basing on the contract situation in L.A. for next season.
With a huge salary cap space for all NBA teams, free agents like the Oklahoma City, Miami Heat and Toronto Raptors superstars are expected to take a look at the situation in L.A. as the team remains one of the top destinations for NBA players.
The current salary cap in the NBA is at around $70 million and it’s expected to rise to $90 million after the new TV deals by the league with ESPN is included. The rise in salary cap will bring more NBA rumors to almost all teams this offseason.
According to Eric Pincus of Basketball Insiders, the Lakers are projected to have a salary cap space of $56,667,604 after the salaries of Kobe Bryant and Roy Hibbert, among others are removed from roster’s finances after the 2015-2016 NBA Season. Bryant earns $25 million and Hibbert $15 million this season, the two highest paid Lakers this season.
Despite the big jump in salary cap space, the Lakers will be committed to luring the superstars first and is not expected to prioritize a role player like Clarkson.
Earlier in the season, Zach Lowe of ESPN reported that DeRozan is expected to opt out of his contract after this year and explore free agency, opening more NBA rumors for the 2016 offseason.
“That starts with DeRozan, a lock to decline his option and hit free agency this summer. A bunch of teams, including DeRozan’s hometown Lakers, are prepared to offer him a max deal starting at $25 million per season, and the Raptors know they will have to spend big to keep him,” Lowe said in a past article.
Durant is also expected to explore free agency and he will demand a similar max contract so if the Lakers get commitment from the two superstars, it could pave the way for Clarkson’s exit in L.A. since they can’t afford the point guard anymore. Whiteside is also looking for a maximum salary contract.
Clarkson, who will be playing in his third year next season, is expected to demand the maximum salary which could range from $34 million to $58 million. The first two years of that contract is expected to average around $6M to $7M with a max salary on the third or fourth years because of a previous NBA rule as noted by forumblueandgold.com.
The salaries to two superstars, among the likes of Durant, Whiteside or DeRozan, would almost equal the salary cap space created for next season. With DeAngelo Russell seen as the long-term point guard in Los Angeles, it appears NBA rumors will center around Clarkson on his way out of the Lakers if the team prioritizes signing other NBA superstars.
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