A task awaits us.
At the conclusion of the season, the Lakers roster goes "POOF" and virtually disappears. The talent assembled this season....even though wins have been few and far between....is actually quite remarkable, not to mention cheap. Even though everyone here seems to be having fun with this "tank" thing, you dont like losing like this.....at least you'd better not or you should turn in your Lakers card. What has to be done for next season is to surround a healthy Kobe Bryant with inexpensive enough talent so that the moves everyone is clamoring for....like Kevin Love....are actually feasible.
So...let us begin.
Lets assume that Mike D'Antoni returns as the coach. He's under contract anyway, and he's actually done an acceptable job given what he's had to work with and the conditions he's had to deal with. We also know Kobe will return, carrying his $23.5 million salary with him. Also under contract for next season are Robert Sacre @ $915,243 and Kendal Marshall also at $915,243. Steve Nash could return at $9.7 million, but I think we all agree that the Lakers would be much better off stretching him. So....we start with 3 players.
If I was Mitch, I would re-sign the following players...
Jordan Farmar (1,106,942), Jodie Meeks (1,550,000), Nick Young (1,106,942), Xavier Henry (916,099), Wesley Johnson (916,099), and Ryan Kelly (490,180). Nick Young has a player option at $1,227,985, but I think we need to consider signing him for Steve Blake-type numbers ($4 million....perhaps a bit more). Those players cost the Lakers $6,086,282 this season. we could conceivably bring them back for around $15 million...plus we'd have them in place for at least two more seasons with options for a third.
That gives us 9 players. We are going to draft a player this season which would be 10, and our payroll would be somewhere in the $40 million range. The depth chart would look something like this....
Yes, I move Kobe to small forward and start Meeks at the shooting guard. Johnson would/could also see time at the 3...depending on where Kobe rotates. Sacre is a backup at center, so we need one there....someone who plays defense first.
We need 4 free agents to fill this up.....who are they?