Few teams will have the salary cap space of the Lakers when free agency begins June 30, and you have to wonder who has seen their late little imprint on the 2015-16 season.
Have your top three young players each score 20 points in a follow-up victory over Orlando? Yes.
It's not a lot, especially when the overall record still shows 14-51, but it's something.
"I think most players that are free agents probably look at our roster and look at our young guys and see if those guys developed over the year and see what their type of potential is before they make a decision," Lakers Coach
Scott didn't name names, and couldn't because of
The Lakers will have about $55 million to spend on free agents this summer, thanks to the expiring contracts of
They'll have to save something for restricted free-agent guard
Durant is the class of the unrestricted free agents, though it's only a small chance he'll choose the Lakers, who, let's face it, do not have a championship roster despite their recent surge.
Whiteside might be the game's best rebounder/shot-blocker this side of DeAndre Jordan. Pat Riley will be reluctant to let him leave Miami and the Heat can offer more than any other team.
DeRozan is a big reason for Toronto's success this season, and he's from Los Angeles. The
The Lakers missed out on their last seven pitches to big-name free agents, a lengthy list that would include two of their own:
At this point, the Lakers can offer only youth, especially if they keep their top-three protected draft pick and end up with Louisiana State's Ben Simmons or Duke's Brandon Ingram. The lottery will take place in May and the draft in June, a week before free agency starts.
The improvement of the Lakers' youth is the start of something, perhaps, in attracting free agents.
"I feel like everybody watches everybody in the NBA, so hopefully they are watching and they see some good stuff," Clarkson said. "At the same time, we're trying to grow as our own with us young guys."
Maybe Clarkson will pick up the phone and start recruiting for the future.
"I don't really talk to nobody around the league, so I probably ain't the best recruiter," he said, laughing.
Bryant still 50-50
There's a 50% chance Bryant will play Thursday against Cleveland, Scott said, citing a nagging shoulder injury.
In reality, Bryant has skipped 40% of the games at
Despite being at Staples Center, Thursday's contest probably appeals to Bryant because it's his final game against James and also a
Bryant sat out Tuesday's nondescript home game against Orlando but played two days earlier against front-running Golden State in a nationally televised game.
LAKERS VS. CLEVELAND CAVALIERS
When: Thursday, 7:30 p.m. PST.
Where: Staples Center.
On the air: TV:
Records: Lakers 14-51;
Record vs. Cavaliers: 0-1.
Update: For all their troubles — injuries, alleged lack of chemistry — the Cavaliers are still in first place in the Eastern Conference, though it's not a huge lead over the surprising