According to Los Angeles General Manager Mitch Kupchak, the team will only sign additional players to veteran minimum contracts. L.A. can still use its mini mid-level exception, worth approximately $3 million per year.
Kupchak's remarks come hours after it was reported that Antawn Jamison would be coming to the Lakers. Jamison reportedly has chosen to sign with the Lakers over the Bobcats and Nets. The forward may want to join Los Angeles, but it still remains to be seen whether or not the Lakers want him at $3 million per year.
In his 14th NBA, Jamison was still an effective scorer. He averaged 17.2 points and 6.3 rebounds per game. He shot a career low 40.3 percent from the field, but did so as one of the Cavaliers primary scorers. With L.A., Jamison would be the team's fifth scoring option behind Kobe Bryant, Steve Nash, Andrew Bynum and Pau Gasol.
Los Angeles is still looking to improve its roster for next season, but another scorer might not be exactly what they need. The have four potential 20-point scorers in their starting lineup. A free agent whose number one ability is to put the ball in the basket might not be their first priority.
When reports first surfaced that Jamison would sign with the Lakers, Kupchak immediately refuted the notion.
We're not about to do anything, he told ESPNLosAngeles.com. I would know.
A more defensive minded player like Grant Hill would probably be a better fit for the Lakers. Hill is older and has shown that he can be effective while not being a top scoring option. He's also a traditional small forward, which is probably Los Angeles' biggest need right now.
Hill was on the Lakers wish list, but will reportedly sign with the Clippers.
Because a player like Jamison is not a pressing need for L.A., they might decide to save their money and round out the roster with cheaper options.
There are rumors that L.A. is in talks to bring in Jermaine O'Neal. O'Neal has not had much success of late, but he wouldn't cost the team a lot of money. The center has only played a total of 49 games in the last two seasons, but was once one of the best big men in the NBA.
Signing O'Neal would be a low risk, high reward option for the Lakers. He averaged just 5.0 points and 5.4 rebounds per game last year, but his low cost makes him an attractive free agent.
The Lakers are over the salary cap and want to avoid paying a lot of money in luxury tax penalties.