How Lakers Can Rebuild Roster Without Mortgaging Future

Fans of the Los Angeles Lakers know the score—after the worst loss record in the history of the franchise, an offseason of rebuilding awaits. And, it will probably look more like baby steps than a championship roster for now.

Without a strong free-agency market this summer, Lakers management will likely spend its money judiciously, saving cap space for 2015 when Kevin Love, LaMarcus Aldridge, Rajon Rondo and Marc Gasol will be available.

That means more short-term minimum-salary deals, perhaps some mid-range contracts and luckily a choice pick for the 2014 NBA draft which will be held June 26.

And until we hear differently, it has to be assumed that Mike D’Antoni will be back for another season to coach his determined and sometimes myopic brand of small ball.


The draft 

The Lakers are hoping the ping-pong balls bounce their way at the annual draft lottery on May 20. It’s more likely, however, that the pick will reflect their sixth-worst record in the league.

According to Eric Pincus of the Los Angeles Times, the Purple and Gold have 43.9 percent chance of staying at the No. 6 pick and a 30.5 percent chance of dropping to No. 7. 

Among likely choices at the sixth position are point guard Marcus Smart and power forwards Julius Randle, Aaron Gordon and Noah Vonleh.

They also have a 6.3 percent chance to land the top overall pick for those who dare to dream.


Existing contracts

The Lakers have just a handful of players locked up for next season, two of whom are aging legends. Kobe Bryant and Steve Nash will account for approximately $33,200,000 in payroll—over half of the projected salary cap of $63.2 million for 2014-15, per Larry Coon’s CBA FAQ Blog.

Robert Sacre, a 7-foot utility center, was the Lakers’ dead-last pick in the 2012 draft an...

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