The current salary cap for the 2013-14 season is $58.7 million. The new cap number, which won't officially be set until the NBA completes its annual audit in early July, would represent a climb of $4.5 million.
The league limits how much a team can spend on players through the salary cap. The Lakers would be able to spend up to $63.2 million on free agency this summer -- although there are ways around that since the NBA primarily has a "soft cap."
Waiving and stretching Nash's salary would spread his salary over the next three seasons, reducing the Lakers' spending power for 2015-16, when players like
The Lakers have only three players under fully guaranteed contracts next season, including Nash.
Each of the Lakers' own free agents takes up specific amount of the team's space, relative to their previous salary and number of years with the franchise. The player's cap hold is removed if they sign with another team or are either renounced or re-signed by the Lakers, although there are limitations when signing other team's free agents as well as re-signing a club's own players.
If the Lakers keep Nash and choose not to renounce Meeks, the team would have up to $20.8 million in cap space. Meeks can then be signed via his "Early Bird rights" to a contract starting in the neighborhood of $5.6 million for next season.
The Lakers can also make qualifying offers to
Re-signing Gasol could use up a sizable portion of that cap space.
Another factor that could change the Lakers' spending power is the May 20
The higher the pick, the higher the salary. If the Lakers climb to the top pick in the draft (a 6.3% chance), that prospect would eat up $4.6 million in space.
The Lakers might also bring back
If Farmar, Henry and Johnson are willing to re-sign at the minimum, the Lakers can wait until after they spend their cap room before bringing any of the three back.