Let’s face facts kids: this season is going nowhere. The Lakers are ten games out of playoff contention with their best player Kobe Bryant weeks–not days–away from rejoining the team. Nothing I’m writing is a surprise, of course, but it’s a strange, stark reality to grab a hold of the fact that the Los Angeles Lakers are sellers at the deadline rather than buyers.
Whether or not you believe the Lakers should actively “tank” the season, there’s no doubt that GM Mitch Kupchak and VP of Player Personnel Jim Buss will see their phones ringing off the hook. The Lakers have just three players under contract for next season, making any other talented man with an expiring contract on the roster a very palatable potential acquisition.
Just like in a winning season or even a mediocre one, there are reasons for the Lakers to keep some of their players, as well as reasons why other teams wouldn’t want them. It’s easy to yell out “Fire sale Mitch, fire sale!”, but a much more difficult action to execute. Even if you believe the Lakers should clear house to make way for future assets–whether they be young players or draft selections–there are so many inherent difficulties to doing so.
Thus, let’s take a look at just what type of market value each current Los Angeles Laker has, and what type of return, if any, that player could potentially fetch: