You do not remove a player at the end of his contract. You have to give notice to the league that you are renouncing that players rights. Contract being over is meaningless for cap purposes. The Lakers can renounce those guys rights as you suggest to create cap space but what exactly do they gain in that scenario? They would be absolutely crazy to think they can cobble together a good team purely out of the 2014 FA class. The reality is the elite players aren't leaving. They are universally on good teams in mega cities. NY.MIA.CHI The 2014 FA Class will probably end up miserable. Bosh and Wade are NOT opting out. LeBron 'might' but the Lakers would never be in the conversation for him considering they'd have no roster. That's as real as it gets. The Lakers will basically be in ATL mode in your scenario. Cap space minus a team anyone wants to play for. And the Clippers are over the cap again and still signing guys to sweetheart deals because that is the team in LA guys want to play for nowadays. Homie is a west coast thing. Not a 17 year old thing. Thus the LAL tie in. I love talking NBA because guys actually do move around. But the Lakers takes are completely nonsense thus far. I've yet to hear a single reasonable, realistic Lakers take. Chris Kaman is flat awful. He averaged 10 points and under 6 rebounds. He is truly disastrous as a defender. Pau Gasol is a far better center then Chris Kaman. Better on offense/defense and the boards. There is a reason Kaman signed for chump change. Dallas wouldn't have brought him back for even the minimum. Carlisle hated that dudes game. If you want to live in dreamland where all is well for the Lakers there are Lakers boards for doing just that but this board is mixed amongst fan bases and people are going to tell you the truth. 10 months ago the Lakers were all but guaranteed a 2 seed at least according to their fan base. And pretty much every day since until DH announced his decision the Lakernation was certain he was staying in LA. But the scary thing for Lakers fan is "he left for basketball reasons". Weak run and gun coach, overpaid veterans around a roster in shambles. Long-time respected owner passed away and left squabbling kids. The Lakers first task is going to be facing reality. Make the tough decision to either sell out for cap space or start to build assets this year. Because trades for Gasol/Nash aren't likely to come easily. Teams HAVE to be at 90% of the cap this year to start the season. So they can't be more than 6m below the cap. Outside a big trade exception there's really no way to just offload players at the deadline for picks. It will require taking back players.