Reeves to Hachimura or keep all of them…Lakers aim to keep young players

After an eventful 2022-23 season, the Los Angeles Lakers are in the midst of off-season preparations.

“Our goal is to retain our young players,” head coach Rob Pelinka said after the team was eliminated from the Western Conference Finals by the Denver Nuggets on 23 January.

“Austin Reeves has shown incredible growth and performance. We have a lot of great young players like Vanderbilt and Russell, and we want to do our best to put the pieces together.”

“We’re going to do everything we can to keep the Lakers intact and grow and get better every year,” he said of the upcoming offseason.안전놀이터

True to his word, Pelinka will make a big push to add depth to the Lakers’ roster, but he will have to play within the confines of the second luxury tax line enacted in this year’s Collective Bargaining Agreement (CBA). Pelinka will have a busy offseason, especially with LeBron James looking healthy with 40 points, 10 rebounds and nine assists in Game 4 against Denver.

■ Reeves and Hachimura set to hit restricted free agency.

Reeves and Rui Hachimura are two of the Lakers’ biggest hot potatoes.

Reeves raised his stock from the end of the regular season to the playoffs, and Hachimura has been an efficient offensive force in the playoffs with the exception of Game 4 against Denver. So while the Lakers will make a big push to get them, they also have a lot of interest from other teams.

The Lakers could offer Reeves a contract worth at least four years and $50.8 million, but they would have to pay him four years and $1 million if they were to receive a max offer from an undercap team like the Houston Rockets. Hachimura had previously entered negotiations with the Washington Wizards, who offered him $12-13M per year, with a final offer of $13-14M. However, Hachimura’s camp wants a four-year, $60 million deal. With the New York Knicks currently offering Josh Hart an $18M/year deal, it might not be a bad idea to give Hachimura $15M/year.

Beasley, who is tied up with a team option, and Bamba and Vanderbilt, who are non-guaranteed contracts.

There are players who are under contract with the Lakers but whose futures are uncertain.

The Lakers have until 30 June to decide whether to exercise Malik Beasley’s $16.5 million team option, so the NBA 2023 Draft, which takes place a week earlier, will provide a glimpse into the full picture of offseason moves. Beasley’s salary is attractive enough that the Lakers could use it as a card to trade for the 17th, 47th and 48th picks in the 2023 draft.

The salaries of Mo Bamba and Jared Vanderbilt, who have $10.3 million and $4.6 million in non-guaranteed contracts, could be combined with Beasley to form a nice package. However, Vanderbilt was good from the regular season to the second round of the playoffs, and Bamba and Beasley are both lottery tickets that haven’t been fully scratched, so it’s possible they’ll stay with the team for one more scratch.

Russell, Walker and Schroeder set to hit free agency.

For every player whose stock has risen during the playoffs, there are others whose stock has fallen. D’Angelo Russell is one of them.

Russell joined the Lakers at the trade deadline in February and looked to be on his way to getting the deal he wanted, a four-year, $10 million deal, right up until the playoffs. However, the playoffs exposed some of his worst performances and set his value at a low point. As a result, the Lakers and Russell are likely to work out a one-year deal. The local talk is that the Lakers will offer Russell a two-year (1+1), $40M deal. If Russell accepts, he will be eligible to hit free agency again in a year.

Last season’s mid-level exception (MLE) signing, Lonnie Walker IV, could see his efforts in Game 4 against the Golden State Warriors lead to a lucrative contract. Dennis Schroder has also been at his best as a backup point guard, so it’s entirely up to them to decide if they want to stay with the Lakers.

Schroder, in particular, is promised an MLE that more than doubles the veteran minimum ($1.8M), and with early signing rights the following year, Schroder could get a four-year, $58M deal. That’s the same deal the LA Clippers offered to Nicolas Batum and the Milwaukee Bucks offered to Bobby Portis.

On top of that, Schroder is beloved by head coach Darvin Hamm, and he himself is in favour of staying in LA. Furthermore, he has shown his tenacious defence and blazing speed on multiple occasions this playoffs as a guard bouncing between starting and backup. As such, a contract comparable to the two-year, $29M deal of the league’s best backup point guard, Tyreese Jones of the Memphis Grizzlies, seems like a reasonable price for Schroder.

Meanwhile, Lakers fans are expecting a miracle from Pelinka. All eyes will be on Pelinka to see if he is up to the task.

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