3 Players the LA Lakers Should Keep Around Next Year

Barring a miracle of epic proportions, the Los Angeles Lakers will not suddenly become championship contenders next season even if they have a lot more salary-cap space to work with. Already strapped with over $35 million in contracts next season, the Lakers are going to have to be smart in terms of bringing in big names and retaining steady hands. 

Whether it's a big free agent like Carmelo Anthony or lucking their way into a high draft pick, the Lakers are going to want to consider bringing back at least some of the following three players in order to stay competitive in an increasingly difficult Western Conference.


Nick Young

The perfect sixth man, Nick Young is the type of player who can come in and score in bunches. A streaky shooter, Young can light it up from the perimeter or take it to the hole and score in bunches. While he isn't the most consistent producer, he is relentless in his approach and fills a Nate Robinson type of role for the Lakers.

With a player option on his contract, it would be great if Young chooses to stay for an additional year. However, if he does choose to test the waters of free agency, it would be in the best interest of the Lakers to lock him down for the foreseeable future. 

Kobe Bryant isn't the player he once was. Even if he is able to get back to his MVP levels of play, the Lakers won't want to lean on the veteran as heavily as they used to. They would want to preserve him for a playoff run. Young is the perfect type of player to give Bryant some rest and to ensure that the offense never goes stagnant. 

As one of the few players on the roster who can create off the dribble, Young's performance is invaluable. If he can learn to get his teammates involved with his penetrating skills, he'll be the perfect substitute for Bryant off the bench. 

Perhaps his one drawback is his tunnel visi...

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