On Thursday, the Lakers added four new players, signing guard Lou Williams, forward Brandon Bass and rookie guard/forward Anthony Brown, while trading for center Roy Hibbert from the Indiana Pacers.
The team managed to milk every drop out of the NBA’s $70-million salary cap, getting help along the way from Hibbert, who waived $2.2 million of his trade bonus to join the Lakers.
Hibbert was eligible to receive 15% of his $15.5-million salary for the coming season ($2.3 million), to be paid out by the Pacers. Instead the two-time All-Star will receive a bonus of just $78,185.
His salary now counts as $15.6 million on the Lakers’ books for the coming season, even if the Pacers are responsible for a small sliver.
Prior to acquiring Hibbert, the Lakers committed $21 million to Williams over three years, paying him a flat $7 million per season.
The Lakers also locked in Bass on a two-year, $6.1-million deal with a player option on the second season. The former Boston Celtics forward will make $3.0 million for 2015-16.
Brown, the 34th overall pick in June’s NBA draft, was given a strong commitment from the Lakers with a three-year deal. His first season will be for a fully guaranteed $700,000 -- above the rookie minimum of $525,093.
The Stanford senior is also fully guaranteed next season at a minimum salary of $874,636. If he’s not waived before Aug. 1, 2017, Brown’s third year will lock in at a $1.0 million minimum.
The Lakers have yet to finalize the contracts of their first-round picks, D’Angelo Russell (second overall selection) and Larry Nance Jr. (27th), but both are expected to sign before the team’s Las Vegas summer league debut on Friday.
Unsigned, Russell and Nance combine to take up $5.2 million of the Lakers’ cap space, but Russell will probably sign for $5.1 million and Nance $1.2 million. The Lakers gained $1.1 million in spending power by delaying the contracts of their two first-round picks.
The team also has Kobe Bryant, Nick Young, Julius Randle, Ryan Kelly and Robert Sacre under guaranteed contracts. Jordan Clarkson, Tarik Black and Jabari Brown are nonguaranteed at $845,059 apiece.
All told, including the two unsigned rookie, the Lakers have a total payroll of $70.1 million. The Hibbert trade pushed the team to $100,000 over the salary cap.
The Lakers still have one significant spending tool, a $2.8-million “room exception.” The franchise can also sign players to minimum contracts.
If everyone currently on the team (including Russell and Nance) is on the roster on opening night, the Lakers only have room to add one additional player before hitting the maximum of 15.
The Lakers can sign up to 20 players during the offseason.