Lakers have their guard, what's next as the free-agency period nears?

On Thursday night, the Lakers added a key piece in guard D'Angelo Russell with the second overall pick in the 2015 NBA draft.

With Russell, along with Kobe Bryant finishing out the final year of his contract at $25 million, and second-year guard Jordan Clarkson hoping to show he can improve upon his All-NBA rookie season, the Lakers are well stocked in the backcourt.

The franchise will also get power forward Julius Randle back on the court after a broken leg knocked him out in the first game of his rookie season.

Guard/forward Nick Young and forward Ryan Kelly, along with Bryant and Randle, are the only four Lakers with fully guaranteed salaries.

Clarkson's non-guaranteed $845,059 deal for next season is as safe as can be.  The Lakers also appear high on guard Jabari Brown and forward/center Tarik Black, who have similar contracts.

The team will ink Russell to a four-year, rookie-scale contract, starting at $5.1 million for the coming season, although the Lakers might wait until they use their cap space this summer, gaining an extra $850,520 of spending power if they delay Russell's signing.

Forward Larry Nance Jr., taken Thursday with the 27th overall pick, will take up $963,000 of the Lakers' cap space before signing but probably will receive the standard bump of 120% to $1.2 million once he signs his deal.

Stanford small forward Anthony Brown, drafted 34th overall, has no effect on the Lakers' cap position.

The Lakers have three significant decisions. Forward/center Jordan Hill has a team option at $9 million.  Center Robert Sacre's deal is non-guaranteed unless waived before the end of the month, otherwise it locks in for $981,348.

Guard Vander Blue, who joined the team as an injury replacement over the final days of the Lakers' 21-61 season, is eligible for a qualifying offer $1.1 million, which would make him a restricted free agent -- although that's probably an unlikely outcome.

The Lakers can opt Hill into his contract and trade him to another team, provided it didn't hurt their cap position -- or returned a player of significant value.

If the Lakers pass on Hill, Sacre and Blue, the team could have $22.7 million in spending power, presuming the salary climbs to NBA's most recent projection of $67.1 million.

The exact figure won't be announced until July 9, although teams can negotiate and come to terms with free agents as of June 30 at 9:01 p.m. PDT.

Keeping Sacre would trim the Lakers' cap room to $22.2 million, a positive sign for the third-year center's return, his contract eating up just $456,255 more than an empty roster charge of $525,093.

Hill, on the other hand, would drop the Lakers' cap space to roughly $14 million -- taking away the team's ability to chase a free agent worth a maximum salary.

Portland Trail Blazers forward LaMarcus Aldridge may be atop the Lakers' list.  He'll be eligible for a four-year deal with the Lakers starting at $18.8 million.

The Blazers will try to keep Aldridge, probably offering a five-year, $108-million contract.  The Lakers top offer would be four years at roughly $80 million.

The Lakers can also offer a similar offer to Clippers center DeAndre Jordan or Cleveland Cavaliers forward Kevin Love, but both have the same financial incentives to stay with their existing clubs.

It's going to take a strong pitch from the Lakers to nab a top free agent, although some may leave their situations for reasons beyond the money.

Other power players on the free agent market are thought to include Marc Gasol (Memphis Grizzlies), Paul Millsap (Atlanta Hawks), Greg Monroe (Detroit Pistons), Brook Lopez (Brooklyn Nets), Robin Lopez (Blazers), Tyson Chandler (Dallas Mavericks), Omer Asik (New Orleans Pelicans) and Brandan Wright (Phoenix Suns), among others.

The Lakers could also look to use their cap room to absorb a big man in trade, such as Indiana Pacer' center Roy Hibbert, earning $15.5 million for next season.

While the team discussed a DeMarcus Cousins swap with the Sacramento Kings, the Lakers may be hesitant to include Russell should negotiations resume.

General Manager Mitch Kupchak also indicated the team would like to bring back forward/center Ed Davis, who opted out of his contract this last week.

If the Lakers do spend almost $19 million on a maximum free agent such as Aldridge or Jordan, they'll have roughly $4 million left to spend in free agency.

The team would also have a $2.8-million room exception, followed by minimum contracts to fill out the roster.

Trading away a player such as Young could increase the Lakers' spending power by almost $5 million, provided no salary comes back in return.

The Lakers went into Thursday's draft with the plan of finding a suitable big man in free agency -- but ultimately it's up to an available player to choose the Lakers.

The following is a potential depth chart for the Lakers next season, with a 14-man roster (one shy of the maximum 15):

Point guards: D'Angelo Russell, $2.8-million free agent
Shooting guards:  Kobe Bryant, Jordan Clarkson, Jabari Brown
Small forwards:  Nick Young, Anthony Brown, $4-million free agent
Power forwards: Julius Randle, Ryan Kelly, Larry Nance Jr.
Centers: Robert Sacre, Tarik Black, $19-million free agent

Email Eric Pincus at eric.pincus@gmail.com and follow him on Twitter @EricPincus.

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