Lakers Rumors: L.A. Expected To Go Into Season With 14 Players To Maintain Flexibility
Rob Pelinka, Lakers
(Photo by Jevone Moore/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images)

While the Los Angeles Lakers have done a majority of their work this summer, they still have three open roster spots so are not done yet.

The Lakers’ roster will be much different in 2021-22 after their blockbuster trade for Russell Westbrook began a complete remodeling with only four players from last season still with L.A.

That could still change, of course, as they have those three open roster spots that they need to fill and have already begun doing their due diligence to do so.

According to Chris Haynes of Yahoo though, it appears they may only fill two of those roster spots to maintain flexibility at the beginning of the season:

The Lakers, who have 12 players under guaranteed contracts, will go into the 2021-22 season carrying 14 players in order to maintain flexibility, sources said. Each team can carry a maximum of 15 players and two two-way players.

Haynes also added that with those two roster spots, the Lakers are hoping to add a point guard and a wing:

A third point guard is a priority, sources said, along with potentially adding another wing.

This doesn’t come as much of a surprise considering the Lakers have begun each of the last four seasons with 14 players on the roster. That has allowed them to make moves on the trade and buyout markets in the middle of the season, most notably bringing in Markieff Morris and Andre Drummond the last two seasons.

Money could also be a bit of a motivation here as signing a 15th minimum player would cost the organization around $8 million in luxury taxes, whereas waiting until later in the season wouldn’t be nearly as expensive.

Who the Lakers will sign remains to be seen, but Haynes also reported that it likely won’t be Jared Dudley, which was a bit surprising given his status in the organization.

Lakers worked out Thomas, Collison and James

With the Lakers looking to add one more point guard, they recently reportedly worked out a trio of veterans in Isaiah Thomas, Darren Collison and Mike James.

It will be interesting to see which direction the Lakers go with their final roster spots, but one thing that is for sure is Rob Pelinka will put in the necessary work before coming to a decision.

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