Written by Paul Banks of the Washington Times, David Kay and Peter Christian of the The Sports Bank. Send Paul an e-mail here: paulb05 AT hotmail DOT com.
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Los Angeles Lakers (Last Year: 17-65)
2016-17 Projected Depth Chart:
PF: Julius Randle/Larry Nance Jr.
SF: Nick Young/Anthony Brown
SG: Jordan Clarkson/Lou Williams
PG: D'Angelo Russell
NBA Free Agents:
C-Roy Hibbert (UFA)
PF-Brandon Bass (UFA)
SF-Metta World Peace (UFA)
C-Robert Sacre (UFA)
G-Jordan Clarkson (RFA)
PF-Ryan Kelly (RFA)
PF-Tarik Black (RFA)
PG-Marcelo Huertas (RFA)
2015-16 Team Salary: Approximately $23.1 million
NBA Offseason Team Needs:
This franchise has been built around big name superstars and with Kobe Bryant retiring, there is a massive void to fill. The Lakers should land a potential superstar when they pick second in the 2016 NBA Draft; most likely Duke's Brandon Ingram unless the Sixers pass on Ben Simmons.
Management won't be satisfied with just that though. The Lakers aren't the type of team to embrace rebuilding, so they should be extremely active in free agency and have the available cap space to make a major splash.
The Lakers enter the offseason with no true big man on their roster. A year of Roy Hibbert didn't get the job done, so it should be a priority for the Lakers to land a big man who they can immediately plug into the starting lineup.
3. True Point Guard:
If restricted free agent Jordan Clarkson is back with the Lake Show next year, the team will have three combo guards on its roster, but no true point guard. Marcelo Huertas led the team in assists last season at a measly 3.4 per game and is a free agent. I doubt the franchise is sold on D'Angelo Russell being the true point guard of the future, so expect the Lakers to chase one this summer.
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