Predicting Who Stays and Goes Next Season from Current Los Angeles Lakers Roster

All bets are off when it comes to the Los Angeles Lakers and their precarious, unpredictable future.

At this point in a miserable season that will likely surpass last year’s 27-55 record of futility, the Lakers roster is likely to turn over dramatically heading into next fall.

No one is safe at this point, and that includes the injured Kobe Bryant, who appears to be done for the season after suffering a torn rotator cuff last Wednesday against the New Orleans Pelicans. 

Whether or not Bryant returns for the final year of his contract remains to be seen, though you’d have to assume he wouldn’t want his last game to have been one in which he was injured and shooting with his left hand. NBA writer Brian Windhorst was emphatic this week in telling anchor Linda Cohn and a national audience that the Lakers need to think about their future and look to unload assets now that Bryant is out and the season has unraveled.

The Lakers' needs are many. They need to get younger and more athletic. They need depth at every position, especially point guard, small forward and perimeter shooter. Sounds a lot like last year.

The best outcome for the Lakers heading into the offseason would be for them to keep their top draft pick acquired in the Steve Nash deal with the Phoenix Suns in 2012. That means finishing among the bottom five, a much more likely outcome now that Bryant appears to be sidelined for the remainder of the year.

Only the Philadelphia 76ers, New York Knicks and Minnesota Timberwolves have worse records than the Lakers' mark of 12-32. And it doesn't get any easier, as L.A.'s next three games are against the Houston Rockets, Washington Wizards and Chicago Bulls.

As Windhorst and Magic Johnson have both said, the Lakers really would be better to just lose games from here on in so that they have an opportunity to get a high draft pick i...

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