Free Agents the LA Lakers Should Let Walk This Offseason

The Los Angeles Lakers are in the final stages of their march toward the offseason, still locked in last place in the Western Conference.

It won’t be long before the team exits its dreadful 2015-16 campaign and says goodbye to the Kobe Bryant era. The offseason will usher in more changes, including a probable lottery pick in the NBA draft, plus welcoming and releasing free agents.

L.A. will be flush with money to spend and will have its eyes set on the best available players to help a rebuild that has, so far, been painfully slow. But there will also be Lakers whose contracts have run dry—a grand total of seven in all, most of whom are nonessential to any future success.

This brings about the necessary decision of whom to let walk. (Not that the worst players on a 15-58 team will have a lot of offers awaiting them.) Sometimes you just have to cut the cords and wish these players the best of luck in an uncertain basketball world.


Roy Hibbert

The first axe should fall quickly on the biggest tree in the Lakers’ losing forest. Roy Hibbert joined in a lopsided trade from the Indiana Pacers this summer, the only cost being a future second-round pick and the assumption of his $15.5 million salary. The hope was Big Roy would become a much-needed defensive stopper, leading to future employment in purple and gold.

Instead, the center’s production has mirrored the team’s own downward trajectory—his 6.1 points, 4.9 rebounds and 1.3 blocks per game are a shadow of his prime. And sadly, this is only the behemoth’s eighth season in the league.

The hulking 7’2” enforcer once specialized in the art of verticality—timing his straight-up jump at the basket to deter incoming rim attackers. But his game was quickly fading in Indiana, and they were right to shed his contract.

By all accounts, the two-time...

About the Author