List of players expected to leave and stay at Lakers for the 2023-24 NBA season making huge change in the lineup
The Lakers face important decisions in the summer of 2023. With salary cap flexibility and rumors of LeBron James’ retirement, they must maximize their chances before he potentially retires. Anthony Davis’ injury concerns make it crucial to build a supporting cast. The team needs to evaluate which players to keep and let go for their future. The Western Conference is highly competitive, with teams like the Nuggets, Suns, Clippers, Warriors, and Grizzlies, so the Lakers must construct a roster to contend.
The Lakers will have significant roster changes for the 2023-24 NBA season. Only a few players will remain, as the team prioritizes paying only the best. The iconic Purple and Gold jerseys demand excellence, and most players will not be part of the team next year.
Players that will leave the Lakers
During the 2022-23 NBA season, Cole Swider, a 24-year-old rookie, had limited playing time and struggled to showcase his abilities. He played in just seven games, averaging 1.3 PPG in 5.9 MPG. Despite his size as a 6’9″ small forward, it is unlikely that he will be retained by the Lakers, who need to carefully select their roster this summer.
Shaquille Harrison, a 6’4″ guard with five years of NBA experience, was signed by the Los Angeles Lakers for roster depth but did not play a single minute. This lack of playing time suggests that he is unlikely to receive an opportunity next season as well. Harrison’s best season was with the Portland Trail Blazers, where he averaged 8.8 PPG and 6.0 APG, but at nearly 30 years old, it is unlikely he will replicate those numbers.
Davon Reed, acquired by the Los Angeles Lakers in a trade with the Denver Nuggets, has spent three seasons in the league. Known for his high-energy and hustle, Reed is likely to join a new team next year. The Lakers won’t have the space to retain Reed, so he will rely on his agent to secure him a new opportunity for the upcoming season.
Sterling Brown, a shooting guard, is known for his above-average shooting ability, particularly from beyond the arc. He has a career three-point shooting average of 36.3%, with three seasons shooting over 40%. However, Brown had minimal impact during his four-game stint with the Lakers, failing to score a single point. At 28 years old, his career is far from over, but it appears that his time with the Lakers has come to an end.
Tristan Thompson, despite diminished athleticism and scoring ability, remains a strong defensive presence. He played in the Western Conference Finals to contain Nikola Jokic but is unlikely to return next season. At 32 years old and past his prime, Thompson may consider retiring, especially considering non-basketball news surrounding him.
Scotty Pippen Jr.
Scotty Pippen Jr, a 22-year-old forward with great potential, carries a basketball legacy as the son of Scottie Pippen. Possessing his father’s basketball IQ as a 6’3″ point guard, Pippen Jr may seek more playing time elsewhere. The Lakers, aiming to contend, cannot rely on a second-year player, indicating that Pippen Jr is unlikely to return to the team.
Troy Brown Jr
Troy Brown Jr is a valuable role player in the NBA, known for his three-point shooting accuracy of 35.4%. His quick release and ability to shoot in tight spaces make him an attractive prospect in terms of earning potential. While he may not command a mid-level player salary, Brown Jr could seek a longer-term contract elsewhere, indicating his likely departure from the Los Angeles Lakers.
Mo Bamba, a 25-year-old center with untapped potential, possesses impressive size and shooting ability. With teams expressing interest in him, the Lakers might consider including Bamba in trade discussions to acquire players like Kyrie Irving and potentially improve their roster.
Malik Beasley, a sharpshooter, will attract interest from teams seeking perimeter scoring. With a $16.5 million team option, Beasley could be a valuable trade asset in a potential deal involving stars like Kyrie Irving. His career three-point shooting average of 37.8% makes him an appealing target for teams in need of shooting. The Lakers could leverage Beasley’s accuracy from deep to engage in trade talks for an All-Star caliber player.
Dennis Schroder, a talented point guard, has performed well enough to deserve a higher salary than the minimum next season. With his ability to drive to the rim, create for teammates, and provide some floor-spacing, Schroder’s averages of 12.6 PPG and 4.5 APG make him an attractive option for teams seeking point guard depth and experience. At 29 years old, Schroder still has plenty to offer, but the Lakers may be unable to retain him due to financial constraints.
Lonnie Walker IV
Lonnie Walker IV impressed with a breakout performance against the Golden State Warriors, scoring 15 points in the fourth quarter of Game 4. As a skilled shooter and defensive wing, he offers valuable two-way abilities. While averaging 11.7 PPG in the regular season on 36.5% shooting from three, Walker IV had limited postseason opportunities, except for his standout game. He is likely to seek a longer-term contract, potentially making it difficult for the Lakers to re-sign him at a favorable deal.
D’Angelo Russell, a talented offensive player, may not be the ideal fit for a potential Big Three in Los Angeles. While he had a solid regular season with 17.8 PPG and 6.2 APG, his numbers dipped to 13.3 PPG and 4.6 APG in the playoffs. At 27 years old, Russell still has years ahead of him, making him a potential trade asset in a deal for Kyrie Irving. Russell may not provide the same level of consistency as other All-Star guards, suggesting a possible move as early as this summer.
Players that will stay
Max Christie, a highly-rated 6’6″ shooting guard, shows great potential in defense, three-point shooting, and athleticism. While lacking confidence, experience, and consistency, these aspects can develop over time. Despite being drafted 35th overall in 2022, Christie has surprised with his effort and basketball IQ. The Lakers are likely to retain him for the long term, as he is under contract for the 2023-24 NBA season.
Wenyen Gabriel, a free agent, is likely to receive an offer from the Lakers for a one-year contract to compete for minutes in the regular season. With decent size and athleticism, the 26-year-old center can contribute with rim finishing. While not expected to be a major player as Anthony Davis’ backup, the Lakers appreciate Gabriel’s abilities and may consider re-signing him based on what he can bring to the team.
Jarred Vanderbilt, a key defensive player, is expected to be retained by the Lakers next season. Since joining the team via trade with the Minnesota Timberwolves, the 6’9″ forward has showcased his defensive skills and potential as a starter. With remarkable length, athleticism, and a strong defensive instinct, Vanderbilt’s contract of over $4 million for the next year demonstrates the team’s commitment to him. At just 24 years old, he holds significant potential for the franchise’s future success.
Austin Reaves is expected to command a long-term deal worth at least $50 million from the Lakers. With the potential to become a star player, Reaves excels in scoring, drawing fouls, and defensive efforts. As an undrafted rookie, he has proven his worth through consistent performances and earning significant minutes. The Lakers are determined to match any offer sheets Reaves receives and may even consider a deal exceeding $50 million, recognizing his growth potential at just 24 years old.
Rui Hachimura, a two-way forward, is set to be a key player for the Lakers in the future. The team intends to match any offers for the 25-year-old due to his solid performance, averaging 11.2 PPG and 4.5 RPG in the regular season, and 12.2 PPG and 3.6 RPG in the playoffs. Hachimura demonstrates scoring ability, touch near the rim, and defensive prowess. The Lakers aim to preserve their core and will likely match any offer sheet Hachimura receives.
Anthony Davis is highly likely to remain with the Lakers as a dominant All-Star player earning over $40 million per season. Despite his injury concerns, Davis excels in scoring, defense, and rebounding, consistently delivering double-double performances. Retaining Davis is crucial for the Lakers’ competitive aspirations, as his ability to average 25 PPG and 10 RPG is invaluable. With Davis and LeBron James, the team’s focus can shift towards adding another All-Star, making the Lakers favorites in the Western Conference.
LeBron James had a successful regular season, averaging 28.9 points per game (PPG) and breaking the all-time scoring record. However, despite his impressive numbers, it’s clear that James is no longer in his prime. He will require additional support to make a significant impact on his team. While James possesses exceptional basketball IQ and playmaking skills, he will be under contract for over $46 million next year and holds a player option for the 2024-25 season. There is a possibility that he may leave to join his son Bronny James Jr or retire altogether. Given this uncertain situation, the Lakers must capitalize on their opportunity to win next year as it could be their last chance. Acquiring a player like Kyrie Irving through a trade would bolster the Lakers’ chances of winning the championship by improving their roster and allowing them to carefully select returning players for the following season.