NBA analyst gives a surprising update on the possibility of a major Lakers trade

Anthony Davis
Anthony Davis / Jonathan Bachman/GettyImages

Days into NBA free agency, the Los Angeles Lakers have yet to make any major moves, and it appears that they won't be able to. According to NBA cap expert Keith Smith, the Lakers are projected to be a second apron team.

That severely limits their ability to make moves and essentially closes the door on them making a blockbuster deal. After all, they will be unable to aggregate salaries to acquire a big contract. For instance they would be unable to combine D'Angelo Russell and Rui Hachimura contracts to acquire Trae Young, Jerami Grant, or Zach LaVine. 

Not only that but with the Lakers signing Bronny James to an NBA contract instead of a two-way deal, they have no remaining roster spots available, with all 15 accounted for. While they could make a one-for-one deal, they would have to take back less money, which also severely limits the kind of trades Los Angeles can make.

Do the Lakers have enough to win next season with minimal changes to their roster?

The answer, at the moment, appears to be no. Although teams like the Denver Nuggets appear to be worse and the Minnesota Timberwolves appear to be marginally better, the Lakers were definitely a tier lower than those teams, and of course the Western Conference champions Dallas Mavericks, who have definitely gotten better this summer.

While continuity can be helpful to a Lakers team that often has a lot of off season turnover, they were the seventh-best team in the West last season and figure to be around that next season. That, of course, assumes that LeBron James can still play at a high level and that Anthony Davis can be similarly healthy, and both of those are big asks.

Bronny James' outlandish contract proves the Lakers have lost their collective minds. Bronny's outlandish contract proves the Lakers have lost their minds. dark. Next

There is the possibility that LeBron takes less than reported so that they can stay under the second apron and make a deal for the likes of Kyle Kuzma. That is uncertain and even if he does and they can, it's unclear whether the Lakers have enough to make noise in the West.