Don’t Bother Speculating on Lakers Roster Until Coaching Situation Is Resolved

As would be expected, the maelstrom of speculation about Los Angeles Lakers coach Mike D’Anotini is swirling—will he stay or will he be sent packing?

Meanwhile, on a parallel track are questions about next season’s roster. As in, will there be one? So far, there are only three fully guaranteed contracts in place—Kobe Bryant, Steve Nash and Robert Sacre.

Don’t bother yourself with fantasy rotations, however—team management needs to figure out who’s running the ship before they start stocking up on players.

The Lakers could of course, wait until after the upcoming draft and tailor a coach to the result. Executive vice president Jim Buss and general manager Mitch Kupchak could forestall the inevitable.

They could even tread water through another lousy season, weathering criticism and fulfilling the final guaranteed season of D’Antoni’s contract.

Given the complete nosedive of a team that is used to elite status, however, that’s not apt to happen.  Despite reasonable excuses of rampant injuries decimating this season’s hopes, D’Antoni has simply failed to deliver in Los Angeles.

It’s time to rip the bandage off.

According to Dave McMenamin of ESPN Los Angeles, the clock might be winding down on the beleaguered coach. Appearing on SportsCenter, McMenamin said:

Despite reports out there that the Lakers could be leading toward retaining Mike D’Antoni, my sources tell me that is not the case. If anything, they are leaning toward relieving him of his coaching duties at the end of this season and not picking up that final year of his contract that is $4 million guaranteed, and find someone else out there on the market.

D’Antoni, as pure a disciple of small-ball philosophy as there is, has been caught in nowhere land for two seasons now—armed w...

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