NBA sets 2015-16 salary cap at $70 million

On Wednesday, the NBA announced the salary cap for the 2015-16 will be set at $70 million.

The Lakers are one of the many teams under the salary cap as the July signing period begins at 9:01 p.m. in Los Angeles.

The league's April projection was a cap of $67.1 million. The additional $2.9 million in spending power for teams is considerable. Instead of $22.2 million, the Lakers should have  $25.1 million to spend.

The Lakers currently have just five guaranteed players under contract, along with three non-guaranteed (Jordan Clarkson, Tarik Black and Jabari Brown).

Since the start of July, during the NBA's annual moratorium, the Lakers were able to negotiate deals to trade for Indiana Pacers center Roy Hibbert for draft considerations, along with agreeing to terms with free-agent guard Lou Williams and free-agent forward Brandon Bass.

Hibbert's contract will take up between $15.5 million and $17.8 million of the Lakers' cap room, depending on his 15% trade bonus, which can be waived under a certain set of circumstances. 

Williams projects to earn $6.7 million in the first year of his contract, while Bass' expected salary remains unclear.

Hibbert at $17.8 million leaves just $1.7 million for Bass.  If the Lakers time the Pacers trade properly, and with Hibbert's permission, the waived bonus would allow the Lakers to pay Bass $4.0 million.

The Lakers can also look to trade away players like Ryan Kelly, Nick Young and/or Robert Sacre without bringing back salary in return.

The team also needs to sign their three draft picks, D'Angelo Russell (second overall), Larry Nance Jr. (27th) and Anthony Brown (34th) in June's NBA draft.

The Lakers are reportedly losing at least four of their own free agents with Ed Davis choosing the Portland Trail Blazers, Ronnie Price the Phoenix Suns and Wesley Johnson the Clippers. Jeremy Lin announced via Instagram on Wednesday that he’ll be joining the Charlotte Hornets.

The free-agent fates of Wayne Ellington, Carlos Boozer and Vander Blue remain unresolved.

The NBA also set the luxury tax threshold at $84.7 million.  The Lakers' payroll may near $75 million for the coming season eventually, well under the tax line.

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

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