Odds are, Lakers’ roster will look pretty familiar next season
So much for Pau Gasol getting traded to Minnesota.
Anybody who believed that rumor should trade themselves to the Mojave Desert without water for a few days.
Draft day came and went without any Lakers deals, but there’s still time for change before the league disappears like a mirage next Thursday when its labor contract expires.
Who will be on the Lakers’ roster when next season begins? Here are one man’s estimates.
Players from 2010-11 roster (chances of returning next season):
Kobe Bryant (100%)
The franchise player isn’t going anywhere for too many reasons to list, starting with his attraction among Lakers fans (merchandise + tickets = $$$) and ending with a hefty contract that pays him $83.5 million over the next three seasons, way more than any other player in the league.
Pau Gasol (95%)
Despite his playoff swoon against Dallas, Gasol remains one of the top 20 players in the NBA. He won’t exactly be jettisoned for Silly Putty and two second-round picks in 2020.
Lamar Odom (60%)
If the Lakers trade somebody, it’s almost surely Odom, mainly because of an attractive contract that pays him a bargain-like $8.9 million next season and a partially guaranteed $8.2 million in 2012-13.
Andrew Bynum (85%)
He’s averaged only 51 regular-season games the last four seasons but remains firmly in the good graces of team exec Jim Buss. He won’t be dealt unless someone huge (Dwight) is (Howard) involved (Orlando). But, trust me, Orlando is well aware of Bynum’s injury history.
Derek Fisher (85%)
Now that Phil Jackson is gone, there’s no guarantee Fisher, who turns 37 in August, keeps his starting job. Not a lot of teams will clamor for his services, with two more years and $6.8 million left on his contract, so he can divert his full attention to representing the players’ union in negotiations with owners.
Ron Artest (99.9%)
Artest and his new name have three more years and a weighty $21.5 million remaining on his contract. He’ll be tough to move after his worst pro season, so Lakers fans will have to give Peace a chance.
Shannon Brown (40%)
Even if he accepts a player option of $2.4 million instead of testing free agency, Brown might leave the Lakers the same way he arrived — as a throw-in for a trade.
Steve Blake (75%)
He’s 5 1/2 years younger than Fisher but has a difficult contract to assess (three more seasons, $12 million). It’s not bad compared to the NBA’s average annual salary of $5.8 million, but not great for someone who averaged four points and shot 36% last season. He’s probably staying.
Luke Walton (50%)
Tough call. His contract isn’t palatable (two more years, $11.5 million) so he probably won’t be traded, but if the new collective-bargaining agreement lets teams waive one player to avoid extra luxury taxes, Walton probably will get the boot.
Matt Barnes (65%)
He’ll make a relatively cheap $1.9 million next season but was only so-so in his first season with the Lakers. If he leaves, it would be as part of a larger trade.
Devin Ebanks (80%)
He’s young, he’s cheap ($789,000 next season) and, doggone it, the Lakers like him.
Derrick Caracter (2%)
Didn’t do much his rookie season as the third-to-last player selected in last year’s draft. Didn’t help his cause by getting arrested during the playoffs after an alleged disturbance at an IHOP in New Orleans.
Trey Johnson (1%)
If the free agent returns, he’ll have a lot of competition from second-round picks Darius Morris and Andrew Goudelock. Good luck.
Theo Ratliff (0%) and Joe Smith (0%)
Thanks for the non-memories.
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