The Los Angeles LakersRui Hachimura trade might have decreased the team’s chances of signing a star free agent in the upcoming offseason.

Rival NBA executives had told HoopsHype that they think the Rui Hachimura trade will make it harder for the Lakers to sign marquee players in free agency. Kyrie Irving has been the name most commonly linked to Los Angeles in rumors regarding whom the team might acquire this summer.

The Lakers reportedly have plans of re-signing Hachimura, who is headed for restricted free agency. Doing so would take up more of the Lakers’ salary cap space, giving the team less money to spend on Irving or other available stars.

The NBA’s salary-cap projection for the 2023-2024 season is $134 million. LeBron James and Anthony Davis are on the books for more than $87 million combined next year. Damian Jones could also pick up his $2.58 million option for the 2023-2024 season Hachimura is likely to command at least a $10 million salary in the first year of a new contract. 

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With more than $100 million committed to four players, the Lakers would not be able to fit another max salary on their payroll. It’s possible that Irving or another star could take less money to play in Los Angeles.

There have been rumors of a possible reunion between Irving and James with the Lakers ever since the Brooklyn Nets’ point guard flirted with the idea of opting out of his contract and becoming a free agent last offseason. Irving ultimately chose to remain in Brooklyn for one more year and a $36.5 million salary.

Kyrie Irving’s agent Shetellia Irving, told Bleacher Report that the Nets’ star would like to remain in Brooklyn with the right type of extension, but the two sides haven’t had any meaningful talks about a new contract.