The Los Angeles Lakers are in a difficult position this offseason: they need to re-sign key players like Julius Randle and Kyle Kuzma, but also have a hole at point guard, as their current starter, Lonzo Ball, will become a restricted free agent next offseason. So, who should be the Lakers’ point guard of the future? The options are limited, but here are five Lakers who could be the odd man out come October.
The Lakers are currently facing a whole bunch of issues. Last season saw the team go down 3-1 to the Warriors in the NBA Finals. During the offseason they lost LeBron James to the Cleveland Cavaliers, and are now missing out on the services of superstar Anthony Davis. In order to avoid a total rebuilding job, the Lakers have to fold some players of their own. Here are five players who may not be with the Lakers next season.
The Los Angeles Lakers have struggled as of late. The team, once considered the class of the West, is now stuck in the basement of the Western Conference standings. The Lakers have lost seven of their last nine games, and some players have voiced their displeasure at just how badly they’ve played of late.. Read more about los angeles lakers schedule and let us know what you think.
No matter what happens this season, the Lakers are the favorites to win the NBA championship next season. As long as LeBron James and Anthony Davis are the tandem, the league should expect the Lakers to always compete at the highest level to win.
With LeBron turning 37 next season, the players around him are incredibly important. We saw the Lakers go from first place in the Western Conference to seventh without LeBron and Anthony Davis. The Lakers will need to do some major team development to be competitive in this limited championship period.
The Lakers will have 11 future free agents in this year’s 2021 class. These include the following:
– Languages Horton-Tucker (limited)
– Costas Antetokounmpo (limited)
– Devontai Kakok (restricted)
– Andre Drummond (freelance)
– Dennis Schroder (freelance)
– Alex Caruso (freelance)
– Jared Dudley (freelance)
– Wesley Matthews (freelance)
– Ben McLemore (freelance)
– Markieff Morris (freelance)
– Montrezl Harrell (optional player)
With LeBron and Davis alone costing $76.4 million and another $26 million for Kentavius Caldwell-Pope and Kyle Kuzma, the Lakers will have to make some tough decisions. Under the 2021-2022 salary cap rule, teams can spend between $112 million and $136.6 million.
If Harrell exercises his option, the Lakers would already have a $121 million payroll. If he doesn’t, it could open the door for other players to return. All we know is that not all 11 players will return. Which players are the hardest to bring back?
5. Alex Caruso
Credit: Getty Images
Caruso has been very good this season and will ask for a lot of money. Defensively, he provides the rebound that the first unit doesn’t always show. Offensively, it was one of his best seasons, shooting 43.6 percent from the field and 40.1 percent from three-point range.
That kind of work could help him get a contract of about $10 million a season. Caruso currently earns just $2.7 million, but there is widespread speculation that Caruso will likely return to the Lakers. The LeBron regime has believed in Caruso from the beginning, and he is one of those players who thrives in this system. Of all the players who could have left for more money, Caruso could have easily gone back to Los Angeles for less money to continue competing for a championship. Caruso is the equivalent of Shaun Livingston during the Golden State dynasty.
4. Languages Horton-Tucker
Horton-Tucker makes about $1.5 million, but he’s having an outstanding season. The 46. The 2019 pick is averaging 9.0 points, 2.6 rebounds, 2.8 steals and 1.0 steal and is only 20 years old. Kyle Lowry was expected to become a Lakers player at the trade deadline, but the Lakers didn’t want to sell their prospect.
Since Horton-Tucker is a restricted free agent, the Lakers can accept any offer made to him. The Toronto Raptors and Chicago Bulls reportedly have interest in him. If the Lakers don’t trade him for an All-Star caliber veteran, shouldn’t they keep him? True, but at what price?
3. Montrezl Harrell
(via Orange County Register)
Harell will likely exercise the option, which would net him about $9.7 million. Harrell isn’t producing the same stats he did in his sixth year in 2020, but he’s playing with a different group of players. It was reported that Harrell was unhappy with his role. So if the Lakers don’t win a championship, he can look elsewhere for a long-term contract.
The San Antonio Spurs, Charlotte Hornets and Dallas Mavericks are all contenders for Harrell and the most viable candidates for his services. If Harrell declines the option, he’s asking for more than $9.7 million, and frankly, the Lakers can’t afford it.
2. Dennis Schroder
Schroder finished second to Harrell in the 2020 Sixth Man of the Year voting and is another player who would be unhappy with his role in Los Angeles. Schroder thinks he is one of the best point guards in the league, which could earn him a high salary. Schroder currently earns $15.5 million, but should be worth at least $20 million per season.
The Lakers aren’t going to pay Schroder that much. For starters, his shooting percentages are among the lowest of his career, especially his three-point percentage. He also missed time due to injuries, and his points per game were the lowest since 2015. When you consider what Schroder wants and what he’s worth to the Lakers, there’s a huge gap between the two sides.
1. Andre Drummond
Credit: NBAE via Getty Images
When Drummond played for the Cavaliers, he was a future starting center on the All-Star team. Drummond averaged 17.5 points and 13.5 rebounds in 25 games. The Cavaliers then suspended Drummond in favor of Jarrett Allen, preventing Drummond from playing in the NBA for over a month. Since coming to the Lakers, Drummond is averaging 11.9 points and 10.2 rebounds in 21 games.
Even if those numbers don’t match what he did in Cleveland, he’s a 27-year-old former rebounding champion with at least three or four of his best years left in him. Drummond earns one of the highest salaries among centerbacks, if not in the entire league. The Charlotte Hornets are already heavy favorites for his services, and Lakers fans shouldn’t expect him back.
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