Los Angeles Lakers 2015 Free Agents: Should the Lakers Re-Sign Jeremy Lin, Jordan Hill, Carlos Boozer?
The Los Angeles Lakers are experiencing one of their worst NBA seasons ever.
At 20-55, the Lakers have to start looking at the future. Fortunately for the purple and gold, their team has a lot of salary cap space opening up over the next two seasons.
Before the Lakers look at the draft and who to add, they must first look at which players they should re-sign and bring back next year. Below is a list of Lakers players who are set to become NBA free agents.
Latin Post breaks down and analyzes each player and play a little "keep or dump" :
Still just 26 years old, Jeremy Lin will be playing for his fifth NBA team if the Lakers choose to let him walk this offseason. Lin didn't live up to his contract this season with the Lakers, but they could re-sign him to a much lower deal if they want to keep him around for another two to three years. Lin led the Lakers in total assists and steals this season. He won't get a huge mega contract from the Lakers, but keeping him on the roster could be beneficial because he knows the system and he is very young.
If Lin wants big money, let him walk because this Lakers team is reorganizing. If Lin is willing to sign for short-term and significantly less than his last contract, then re-sign him for depth. The Lakers will also make a run at Rajon Rondo.
All eyes are on the Memphis Grizzlies, and just how much they're willing to pay Marc Gasol. The Lakers have always had the best big men in the league from Wilt Chamberlain to Kareem Abdul-Jabbar to Shaquille O'Neal. Replacing Jordan Hill won't be extremely difficult, especially considering the talented college centers and power forwards who are set to enter the 2015 NBA Draft. If the Lakers exercise the team option on Hill, they must pay him $9 million next season
Not even close. While Hill is a tall and talented player, $9 million is far too much to give towards an average at best player for next season. Time to move on.
Just like Hill, the Lakers have to make a choice with Carlos Boozer, who also has a team option next season in his contract. If the Lakers decide to use that team option it will cost them $9 million. Boozer is an average player who can grab rebounds and hit free throws, but his one-on-one post game isn't what it used to be. Hopefully Julius Randle will stay healthy next season.
Not much to debate here. Even with Boozer and Hill the Lakers still have the 28th ranked defense in the NBA. It would be best to just let Boozer walk in free agency and rebuild your front court in the draft. Keep an eye on Karl-Anthony Towns and Frank Kaminsky.
After making just over $981,000 in base salary this season, Wesley Johnson is set to become a free agent this offseason. Johnson has been an average player for the Lakers over the last two years averaging 4.3 rebounds and 9.4 points per game. Similar to Hill and Boozer, the Lakers know they have to rebuild their front court.
The Lakers have given Johnson plenty of chances to thrive letting him start 116 games the last two years. Unfortunately, he just hasn't impressed. If he's willing to continue making about $1 million per season, than it could be advantageous to bring him back and get valuable bench minutes. But, if Johnson wants to be a starter or make more money, the Lakers should just show him the door.
He may not be Stephen Curry or Kyle Korver, but Wayne Ellington did lead the Lakers in three point shooting this season. Ellington is still just 27 years old, and he won't get a huge contract anywhere else. Kobe Bryant has just one more year remaining on his contract, and the Lakers don't have a great outside shooting game.
It would be nice to keep Ellington to provide some sort of perimeter threat. Locking him into a three or four year deal with no more than $10 million to $12 million would seem ideal. If he wants more, it would be wise to let him walk.
Ronnie Price missed almost half this season because of elbow surgery. He's not the next Magic Johnson, but he has shown improvements in his passing game. With Steven Nash now retired and Lin possibly on his way out, the Lakers may want to re-sign price to keep a point guard on the roster who knows the system.
Re-sign him. Price has expressed his desire to return to the Lakers for next season, and he won't get a lot on the open market considering he missed almost 40 games this year.
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