Unless your name is Kobe Bryant, or you’re under contract like Steve Nash or Robert Sacre, there’s no guarantee you’ll be in a Los Angeles Lakers uniform in 2014-15. And the same goes for head coach Mike D’Antoni.
The Los Angeles Daily News outlined which players are likely to stay and which are likely to get their walking papers now that the regular season is over.
The Lakers are expected to extend Bazemore’s $1.1 million qualifying offer, as the report indicates the team likes his athleticism and work ethic. A longtime Laker, Farmar provides insurance for Nash. The team is high on Henry, who the they view as a high-potential project. The Lakers like Kelly’s high basketball IQ, not to mention he wouldn’t demand a large contract. Marshall will be retained mostly because he’s a cheap asset, while the team likes Meeks’ demeanor, though they expect he’ll have other suitors.
Iffy is the future of Pau Gasol, who has been on his way out of Los Angeles quite a few times over the past few seasons and battled injuries for most of 2013-14. Per the report, the team and Gasol are both “lukewarm about reuniting.” The key here is Gasol’s salary demands, as the power forward earned more than $19 million this season, which is way out of Los Angeles’ price range. The Lakers believe Gasol is on the downslide of his career, but would retain him only because of his friendship with Bryant.
As for the players who can begin to pack up their lockers and bring their golf clubs out of the attic, Marshon Brooks is expected to get the boot, which will allow him to seek out his sixth NBA club over the past four years. The team would like to retain Jordan Hill, but he’s gone if D’Antoni remains the coach. Hill wants to play in a system with a greater emphasis on big men. The team is “iffy” about Wesley Johnson, as it questions the swingman’s work ethic. The Lakers and Chris Kaman are expected to part ways. Nick Young is expected to opt out of his $1.2 million player option in hopes of receiving a longer, more lucrative contract. However, the Lakers will likely offer Young a reduced salary in contrast to what other teams may be willing to offer.