3 Goals the LA Lakers Must Accomplish Before Season’s End

The playoffs won’t be happening for the Los Angeles Lakers this year, but there’s still lots to do before Game 82 ends.

L.A. has shown surprising signs of life lately, especially for a team that has languished in last place in the Western Conference for most of the season. Case in point is the stunning defeat of the Golden State Warriors on March 6, followed by another strong win two nights later against the Orlando Magic.

Regardless, the Lakers are still in possession of the second-worst record in the league at 14-53 and heading toward the NBA draft with a top-three protected pick in hand.

Juggling a collective of old and young players, this team in transition has its work cut out for it before returning to any iconic place of prominence. 


Evaluate Free Agents

L.A. will have seven players headed into free agency this summer. That’s either a whole lot of holes to fill or some deals to negotiate, depending on how you look at it.

When it comes to Roy Hibbert, the decision seems easy—let the big fella walk. While his numbers have improved incrementally during the month of March, the season on whole has been highly disappointing: a career-low scoring average of 6.3 points and the most anemic rebounding since his rookie season at 4.9. It’s difficult to know exactly where his NBA future lies, but it’s not L.A.

Ditto Ryan Kelly, who hasn’t turned out to be the potent stretch 4 the Lakers had hoped for, and seldom-used utility center Robert Sacre.

On the other hand, Marcelo Huertas has come on like gangbusters recently—the league’s oldest rookie (and Spanish League star) has benefited from Lou Williams’ hamstring injury. Huertas knows how to organize an offense and is a sublime delivery system of dimes. It would not be a stunner to see L.A. re-sign the point guard to a modest deal.

Article Source: Bleacher Report - Los Angeles Lakers