The Lakers have big decisions to make this off-season with point guard Steve Nash, left, and swingman Jodie Meeks.

Lakers can spend up to $28.2 million in new salary-cap projections

The NBA has raised its salary-cap projection for the 2014-15 season from $62.9 million to $63.2 million.

The current salary cap for the 2013-14 season is $58.7 million. The new cap number, which won't officially be set until the NBA completes its annual audit in early July, would represent a climb of $4.5 million.

The Lakers could have a maximum of $28.2 million in cap space to spend this off-season, provided they renounce the rights to all their free agents, which allows the club to stretch out the final $9.7 million of Steve Nash's contract over three years (at just over $3.2 million a season).

The league limits how much a team can spend on players through the salary cap. The Lakers would be able to spend up to $63.2 million on free agency this summer -- although there are ways around that since the NBA primarily has a "soft cap."

Waiving and stretching Nash's salary would spread his salary over the next three seasons, reducing the Lakers' spending power for 2015-16, when players...

More...
Lakers general manager Mitch Kupchak talks to the media.

GM Mitch Kupchak preaches patience for Lakers fans

More...
Lakers Coach Mike D'Antoni reacts to a call during the second half of the team's 119-104 win over the Utah Jazz on Monday. Are the Lakers planning to keep D'Antoni for the 2014-15 season?

Mike D'Antoni says basketball has changed; analysts need to adapt

Coach Mike D'Antoni, along with General Manager Mitch Kupchak, met with the team's players over the past 48 hours for exit interviews at the Lakers' practice facility.

The job status of D'Antoni, who is under contract for next season, wasn't discussed.

"We haven't had a meeting yet," said D'Antoni.  "We're off for Easter vacation, and then we'll probably get together sometime [after]."

The Lakers finished with a 27-55 record after an NBA-high 319 player games missed due to injury, including Kobe Bryant, who made just six appearances, dealing with Achilles and knee issues.

"No one's happy about the way the season went," said D'Antoni.  "I think every coach should be under scrutiny; they're under it even if it goes well.  That's part of the job."

The Lakers have yet to announce any coaching change.  D'Antoni could be back, despite a general lack of fan support.

How does he win over a very skeptical fan base?

"By winning, that's the only way you can do it.  They're right to feel the way...

More...
Duke forward Jabari Parker talks to reporters after the Blue Devils' upset loss to Mercer, 78-71, in the NCAA tournament.

Duke's Jabari Parker declares for NBA draft

Duke forward Jabari Parker on Thursday declared for the 2014 NBA draft.

"The time has come for me to join the best basketball league in the world," wrote Parker in an essay for SI.com. "Today I sent my letter of intent to the NBA. That makes it official -- my days as a Duke basketball player are over."

The 6-foot-8 Parker joins a talented group of prospects projected to fill many of the top-10 selections in June's draft, including Kansas' Andrew Wiggins and Joel Embiid, Arizona's Aaron Gordon, Indiana's Noah Vonleh, Oklahoma State's Marcus Smart, Syracuse's Tyler Ennis, Creighton's Doug McDermott and Michigan State's Gary Harris as well as international talents Dante Exum of Australia and Dario Saric of Croatia.

Kentucky forward Julius Randle, a potential top-five pick, has yet to declare.

In 35 games as a freshman with Duke, Parker averaged 19.1 points and 8.7 rebounds a game while shooting 50.3% from the field.

Parker, a member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, also...

More...
Pau Gasol will be an unrestricted free agent this summer.

Pau Gasol: 'This could be my last day, maybe' with the Lakers

Pau Gasol spent his final day ever at the Lakers' training facility on Thursday, yet again.

Trade rumors never managed to whisk him off to seemingly every NBA team the last few years.

So now Gasol has all the leverage, becoming a free agent in July.

"I'll be in charge of my future and my destiny," he said, later adding, "This could be my last day [with the Lakers], maybe."

Gasol never meshed with Lakers Coach Mike D'Antoni's small-ball offense. No secret there. He even said Thursday he preferred a controlled pace where players tried to "out-think your opponent."

If the Lakers kept D'Antoni for the final guaranteed year of his contract, it would affect Gasol, even if he didn't fully say it.

"I don't know how much it would affect my decision," he said. "I do believe that the coach ... has an important role in the performance of the team. It would be a factor, but I don't know how big it would be."

Gasol acknowledged having "misunderstandings" with D'Antoni the last two years but pledged...

More...
Steve Nash talks with Coach Mike D'Antoni during the Lakers' game against Utah on Feb. 11.

Steve Nash still hopes he can be a healthy contributor for Lakers

Steve Nash visited with General Manager Mitch Kupchak and Coach Mike D'Antoni at the Lakers' practice facility in El Segundo on Thursday for his exit meeting after a disappointing 2013-14 season.

The veteran point guard hopes to be back next season to finish out the final year on his contract.

"I think I proved that I can still play.  It's just a matter of sustaining it," said Nash.

Nash struggled with a chronic issues in his back, hamstring and knee -- a nerve root irritation that limited the 40-year old point guard to 15 games.

"It took me five months to sprint last summer," said Nash, who has been dealing with the same issues since breaking his knee in the second game of the 2012-13 season.  "It was late August or probably September before I could sprint full out.  I'm hoping we're talking about the next three or four weeks to get back to that place, instead of five months."

Despite how difficult it's been for Nash to stay on the court, at no time along the way has a doctor...

More...
Nick Young reacts after hitting a three-pointer Monday against Utah.

Lakers' Nick Young a showman to the end

The season ended, but Nick Young's one-man show kept rolling.

The always entertaining Lakers reserve excitedly told reporters about his new contract a few minutes after a season-ending meeting Thursday with Lakers General Manager Mitch Kupchak.

"He said he was going to sign me for $100 million or something like that. Hopefully, he wasn’t lying," Young said.

Young was joking, of course.

But after leading the Lakers in scoring, he will decline a player option for $1.2 million next season and become a free agent in July. He won't make $100 million but might get closer to the average NBA salary of $5.5 million.

The Lakers like him and his personality, other than the one that sometimes hoists bad shots from anywhere on the court.

Kupchak tried to persuade Young to not decline his player option.

"He threw that in. He said it would be better if you just opt in," Young said, smiling, adding a "have your people call my people" line for posterity.

Young got more serious when asked about...

More...
Lakers guard Jordan Farmar looks to pass in a game against the Indiana Pacers.

Jordan Farmar wants to return to Lakers after 'asterisk' season

Jordan Farmar met with General Manager Mitch Kupchak and Coach Mike D'Antoni on Thursday at the Lakers' practice facility for his exit interview.

"I kind of view it as an asterisk season. We didn't have a fair shot at it," Farmar said of the Lakers' 27-55 record. "I don't think we should feel like we were a less-than-adequate team."

The Lakers struggled with injuries all year, most notably to All-Star Kobe Bryant, who played just six games.

"We're spoiled in L.A. We have the good weather. We have great sports teams," Farmar said.  "If it rains a couple of days -- [everyone is] going crazy. I think these times will help you appreciate the good ones that much more."

The Lakers originally drafted Farmar with the 26th overall pick in the 2006 NBA draft. He won two NBA titles with the franchise in 2009 and 2010.

A free agent this summer, Farmar hopes to return to the Lakers.

"I want to be back. It's not a secret. I'm from here. I love the Lakers. I love this organization, the city [and] the...

More...
Lakers forward Jordan Hill battles Golden State forward Marreese Speights for a rebound Friday at Staples Center.

Jordan Hill is just one of the Lakers' many free agents

Several Lakers players each spent 20 to 30 minutes with Coach Mike D'Antoni and General Manager Mitch Kupchak on Thursday in individual "exit meetings."

It was a chance to reflect on the season and figure out how to improve their game during the off-season. And one last opportunity to sell themselves.

Only four Lakers have guaranteed contracts next season, and one of them, Nick Young, will decline a player option for $1.2 million.

No better time to start looking toward the next contract than now.

Jordan Hill quietly had a career year with the Lakers, averaging 9.7 points and 7.4 rebounds, his most ever in those categories.

But it is tough to envision him returning to the Lakers. He made $3.5 million this season and never really showed the consistency desired by D'Antoni, who said a few times that Hill was limited because he fatigued quickly.

"I think I'm a good fit for any team," Hill, 26, said Thursday. "Great rebounder, energy guy. I play hard 24-7. I definitely alter, block shots."

...
More...
It's doubtful Lakers center Chris Kaman will be wearing this uniform next season if Mike D'Antoni is still coach.

Chris Kaman acknowledges frustration with Lakers Coach Mike D'Antoni

Veteran center Chris Kaman opened the annual end-of-season Lakers' exit interview at the team's practice facility in El Segundo on Thursday.

Kaman met with General Manager Mitch Kupchak and Coach Mike D'Antoni, discussing the past season and briefly glossing over future possibilities.

"In the right situation, I could see myself anywhere," said Kaman on a possible return. "I enjoy L.A. It's my ninth year in the city of Los Angeles."

If D'Antoni stays on as coach of the Lakers, it's difficult to imagine Kaman back on the team's roster.

"This is a tough style of basketball here for me," the former Clipper said. "I came here thinking it was going to be two bigs, me and Pau [Gasol]. No one really said that, but I think I anticipated that — why else would they call me?"

Kaman didn't enjoy playing — or rather not playing sizable minutes — for D'Antoni.

"I just don't think it worked out how Coach had anticipated either," said Kaman.  "I don't think Coach did any of that on...

More...

Lakers finish the season with the sixth pick in the NBA draft lottery

The Lakers finished the 2013-14 regular season with two straight wins, finishing at 27-55.

The last two victories, over the Utah Jazz (25-57) and San Antonio Spurs (62-20) were costly, dipping the Lakers to sixth position in the NBA draft lottery.

The Boston Celtics (25-57), who the Lakers beat twice this season, finished tied with the Jazz at fourth -- both teams are directly ahead of the Lakers in the May 20 lottery.

The NBA will give out 1,000 combinations of four ping pong balls to the 14 lottery teams. In sixth position, the Lakers will get 63 combinations, giving 6.3% odds of landing the top pick, 7.1% the second and 8.1% the third.

In total, the Lakers have a 21.5% chance of moving up to the top three. After the first three selections, the remaining 11 teams slot in order of record, worst to best.

The Lakers can't move up to four or five. The odds of staying at six is 43.9%. The Lakers also have a 30.5% chance of dipping to seven, 4.0% of falling to eight but just 0.1% of...

More...
Jeff Ayres pulls down a rebound in front of the Lakers' Robert Sacre during the first half of a game Wednesday at AT&T Center.

Lakers close out losing season with win over San Antonio Spurs, 113-100

Lakers 113 - San Antonio Spurs 100 (end of regulation)

The Lakers ended a difficult 2013-14 regular season with an easy win over the NBA's best San Antonio Spurs.

With Kobe Bryant (knee), Pau Gasol (vertigo), Steve Nash (nerve root irritation), Chris Kaman (calf), Xavier Henry (knee, wrist) and Kent Bazemore (foot) all sidelined, the Lakers finished the season with a 27-55 record after 113-100 victory on the road.

The Spurs sat Tim Duncan and Marco Belinelli, along with Tony Parker in the second half, as they prepare for their first-round matchup against the Dallas Mavericks (49-32) or the Memphis Grizzlies (49-32).

Eight Lakers scored in double figures led by Jordan Hill with 18 points (and 14 rebounds). Nick Young scored 16, Kendall Marshall 15 (along with 11 assists), Ryan Kelly 12, Wesley Johnson with 11 (and 11 rebounds) and both Jordan Farmar and Robert Sacre contributed 10 apiece.

The Lakers shot 49.5% from the field and 40.7% from three-point range (11-27).

San Antonio was led...

More...
Advertisement
Connect
Your Host

Eric Pincus has covered the NBA for over a decade. His focus is on the minutia of teams trying to win a championship , as well as a deeper understanding of the game of basketball and the league itself. @EricPincus


Every show. Every game. Every ticket.
Be the first on your street to see the show.

Loading Events...

VIDEO


Bleacher Report | Lakers

Reader contributions from Times partner Bleacher Report

More Lakers on Bleacher Report »