When the Clippers take on the Lakers tomorrow afternoon, the purple-and-gold will be missing a few familiar faces.
Pau, Kaman and Nash are out vs the Clippers on Sunday. Nick Young will play
— Dave McMenamin (@mcten) April 5, 2014
The lauded franchise in the Lakers are experiencing their worst season in decades, and with a few weeks left in the season, things don’t look like they’ll be looking up. Interestingly enough, all four players receiving a status update for tomorrow’s game, Nash, Kaman, Young and Gasol could be all playing their last games as Los Angeles Lakers.
Steve Nash has dealt with injuries the entire season and while he’s currently under contract for the Lakers going into next season, the team could decide to use the stretch-provision on the guard to free up cap space going into the summer as he’s owed $9.3 million for the 2014-15 season. The remainder of his season is up in the air as injuries continue to mount up for the 40-year-old guard. If there’s any incentive for him to see the floor, it’s the all-time assist milestone. Nash is five assists away from surpassing Mark Jackson for third most assists in NBA history, behind only John Stockton and Jason Kidd.
For Pau Gasol, it’s unclear if the franchise has any indications of re-signing him as he enters the season as an unrestricted free agent. With that said, Gasol won’t be crying if the Lakers aren’t stressing for his services come the summer as there has been a reported interested in the big man from several teams, Chicago and Memphis included:
Gasol, though, will have options. A poll of NBA executives on Gasol’s future returned many of the same answers: Chicago. Cleveland. Charlotte, if the Bobcats believe a Gasol-Al Jefferson front line can stop anybody. Memphis, if Zach Randolphopts out. Even after a disappointing season — and with the understanding that Gasol has never been a strap-a-team-on-his-back kind of player — Gasol will be among the most sought after free agents on the market.
via Pau Gasol facing unceremonious exit from Lakers | Sports Illustrated
Chris Kaman is the least likely of the four to return as he’ll enter the summer as an unrestricted free agency. Even when healthy, he and Mike D’Antoni haven’t been on the same page as he’s been a DNP-coaches decision unless needed due to injury depletion. If the Lakers choose to relieve D’Antoni of his coaching duties, Kaman’s chances of returning to Los Angeles increase a tad bit.
Then there is Nick Young, a player who looks to be enjoying his time in LA as his fame has increased substantially over the course of the season, a combination of on- and off-the-court instances being the reason why. But according to reports, Young will test the market this summer, opting out of his $1.2 million player option.
While Swaggy P bathes in the attention of the uncertainty, Nick Young has made up his mind to opt out of his contract with the Lakers and become a free agent this summer, he strongly indicated to NBA.com.
Holding off on a definitive statement, Young made it clear Wednesday after the Lakers lost to the Kings at Sleep Train Arena that he is going to void the 2014-15 contract at $1.2 million, aiming for a much larger salary after boosting his stock this season with 17.3 points a game.
via Nick Young Expected to Test Free Agency | NBA.com
In 58 games played, Swaggy P is averaging a career-high in points (17.8), rebounds (2.6), assists (1.4), true-shooting percentage (.554), and usage rate (26.4). Surely someone will offer the shooting guard more money going into the offseason, even if he the West Coast version of J.R. Smith.
The Clippers will likely enter the game the favorite as they take on the Lakers at 3:30 PM tomorrow on ABC. If the Lakers win the season series will be tied at 2-2 versus 3-1 if the Clippers take the victory. Hopefully for the Lakers, the outcome won’t be as devastating as it was last time.