Los Angeles Lakers 2014 Off-Season
The Lakers disappointing 2013-2014 season started with the departure of Dwight Howard last summer. Kobe played all of 6 games this season because of multiple injuries, and Steve Nash was also out of the lineup nearly all year. That left the Lakers with a hodgepodge of NBA cast-offs like Nick Young, Kendall Marshall, and Xavier Henry getting major minutes. The results were the 6th worst record in the NBA. The only players under contract for the Lakers next season are Kobe Bryant, Steve Nash, and Robert Sacre.
The Lakers are still one of the most attractive NBA franchises in the league. That means that they’ll get the first crack at many of the league’s premier free agents. Free agents this summer include NBA stars LeBron James, Carmelo Anthony, and Chris Bosh, among others. The Lakers have a great shot at Carmelo Anthony, and they’ll likely go out all to obtain his services this summer.
The Lakers will also have the 6th pick—which could end up as high as #1 on draft day. The Lakers will have the opportunity to draft a number of franchise changers, and while they’ll likely miss out on Wiggins and Embiid, they’ll probably get a chance to draft guys like Julius Randle and Dante Exum.
General Manager Mitch Kupchak has let it be known that he’s willing to trade the pick, which makes it possible that the Lakers try and make a home run deal regardless of where that pick ends up in the lottery.
It’s difficult to ever count the Lakers out, because of their legacy and Mitch Kupchak’s track record. But it looks like their rebuilding process is likely to take more than just one summer. Kobe is still aging (and taking up nearly a third of their team salary cap), and they aren’t likely to get anything out of Steve Nash next summer. They’ll have limited flexibility in that regard until both Kobe and Nash are off the cap, which could be two years from now.
The Lakers best chance at having a winning season next year is signing Carmelo Anthony—so look for them to make a strong push in that direction come July.
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