With the season winding down, the futures of a number of Lakers players will begin to come into question. Only Kobe Bryant, Steve Nash, Robert Sacre, and Kendall Marshall are under contract for next season.
The Lakers are sure to focus on a couple of players to bring back, and others will certainly be let go. That makes these last games an audition for both the Lakers, and the rest of the league.
Mike D’Antoni spoke about the effort he expects from those players, and according to ESPN’s Dave McMenamin, threw in a joke about where some of these guys may end up next year:
D’Antoni says there should be note urgency amongst the guys on the Lakers on expiring contracts because: “Next stop, Europe”
— Dave McMenamin (@mcten) March 22, 2014
It’s no secret that this season proved to be a redeeming one for a number of Lakers players. Wesley Johnson and Xavier Henry are both former lottery picks, while Nick Young had not done much to prove he was a big-time NBA player before this season.
Guys like Kent Bazemore and MarShon Brooks were bench warmers while Jordan Farmar and Chris Kaman just wanted to prove they could still offer a team quality minutes.
It’s definitely an exaggeration to suggest that some of these players will be in Europe next year, but these last games will be huge in regards to where they go from here. D’Antoni is right to expect urgency, and all of these Lakers better have it.