Steve Blake (Signed thru 2014): Another “get healthy” here. Steve Blake began to play extremely well towards the end of the regular season and into the playoffs, but a hamstring injury ended his season. Blake’s defensive tenacity and basketball IQ proved to be an asset for the Lakers, and we saw him play his best basketball as a Laker and how Mike D’Antoni envisioned him playing. Although Blake isn’t the quickest guard or the best defender out there, he definitely puts his heart into the game and is a capable backup for Nash. However, the Lakers may look to get younger and/or more athletic in the back court, which could mean the departure of Blake or Nash or even both.
Earl Clark (Free Agent): Continue to grow. Earl Clark broke into the lineup after multiple injuries to the Lakers’ frontcourt and emerged as a rotation player. His versatility provided the Lakers a much needed added dynamic. However, Clark seemingly hit a wall after the All-Star break and couldn’t seem to get it going consistently. For Clark, he now knows he’ll be a rotation player wherever he may end up, so he simply has to work on his conditioning and continue to improve his versatile game.
Jordan Hill (Signed thru 2014): Continue to get healthy and continue to grow. Hill played for the Lakers briefly in the 2011-2012 season n and then briefly in the 2012-2013 season due to injury. However, he showed the Lakers that he can be a spark for the Lakers on the boards and provides a boost of energy.
Antawn Jamison (Free Agent): Jamison, like most players on the team, went through it all season. From taking less money in order to sign a one-year deal with the Lakers, to not playing much, to then being asked to score more to playing with injury, Jamison certainly had one wild season at age 36. He had stretches where he didn’t get many minutes, and others where he did and flourished. Nonetheless, it was an up-and-down season for Jamison, but I feel as though he was generally a positive for the team. It’s unclear whether the Lakers will look to retain him, but for now, Jamison should just focus on getting his wrist healthy and having a productive offseason.
Jodie Meeks (Team Option): Work on everything. Meeks was supposed to be Kobe Bryant’s backup and a dead-eye shooter, but he looked like neither. For a shooter, he wasn’t very good at just 35.7 percent from behind the three-point line, and his drives to the basket were often horrendous. He did show signs of being a high-energy defender, though. If he wants to stay with the Lakers or be a productive member of any team, he’s got to work on his overall game both offensively and defensively.
Darius Morris (Free Agent): Continue to grow. Morris showed improvements this season when he got the opportunity to play. His decision-making as well as defense certainly improved. He’ll have to continue to make strides this offseason as a free agent.
Andrew Goudelock (Free Agent): Andrew Goudelock played with the Lakers in 2011-2012, was sent to the D-League at the start of the 2012-2013 season, became the D-League MVP and got called up to the NBA by the Lakers after Kobe Bryant’s injury. Goudelock transitioned into a point guard with the D-League, but came out scoring in the Lakers’ two playoff games in which he received significant time on the floor. He can certainly score and create his shot to an extent, which is something the Lakers need in the backcourt. However, at just 6’2″, his defense of point guards will really be the deal breaker or maker when it comes to whether the Lakers pick him up for next season.
Chris Duhon (Signed thru 2014): Not much advice for Duhon here. He played quite a bit early on and had some decent games, but it’s likely the Lakers will try to move him this summer, perhaps in a package deal. They certainly want to avoid paying $4 million to someone who probably won’t get much playing time, but the problem lies in trying to move him somewhere that’s willing to do so.
Robert Sacre & Devin Ebanks (Free Agents): Just continue to work hard. Devin Ebanks barely got off the bench this season, so it’s likely that he’ll sign elsewhere. As for Robert Sacre, he came off as a hard worker with a good attitude–someone positive to the team. If he can continue to polish his game, he may find himself some minutes.
Next Page: Mitch Kupchak and Mike D’Antoni