The Los Angeles Lakers have some business decisions to make following the season. Los Angeles is set to pay roughly $30 million dollars for exceeding the league’s salary cap parameter and may have to cough up a similar amount next season if cost-cutting measures aren’t made.
Kobe Bryant is expected to miss a significant portion of next season after suffering a devastating Achilles injury and is owed $30 million in the final year of his contract, but it’s unlikely that they will use the league’s amnesty provision on him.
So by the process of elimination, that leaves only one logical candidate that makes sense for the organization to cut in order to gain some much needed flexibility and that’s Pau Gasol, according to Mike Bresnahan of the Los Angeles Times.
Waiving Gasol via the “amnesty” provision in July could potentially save them more than $60 million in luxury taxes. They would still have to pay his $19.3-million salary, though he could be snapped up by a bidding team that would owe the Lakers millions to help with that cost.
The Lakers also could try to trade Gasol, but his hefty salary next season could be difficult to move and they would likely have to take back salaries totaling at least $15 million, which wouldn’t really help a goal to avoid ridiculous luxury taxes.
The Lakers should really consider this as a viable option, simply because their roster lacks depth and Bryant is sucking up a significant chunk of their salary cap space and it’s unknown when he’s going to play.