Updated 10:40 AM EST, Mon, Mar 01, 2021

Lakers News and Rumors: Los Angeles Should Dump These Players to Contend for NBA Championship

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For L.A. Lakers fans, this has been a season to remember...to forget about remembering.

Just block it out of the mind like some terrible dream, or Ben Affleck's rendition of "Daredevil." Or that "#Selfie" song.

When it's all said and done, the Lakers, who will close the book on the worst season in franchise history this week, will not only have failed to have made the NBA playoffs, but will also fall short of even cracking the 30-win barrier. Injuries to Kobe Bryant, Steve Nash and others have hampered the franchise even worse than they did last year, and with no Dwight Howard to fall back on this time, Los Angeles hit rock bottom like they've never hit it before. Defensively, as typical of most Mike D'Antoni teams, the Lakers were the second-worst team in the NBA, allowing opponents to score 109.2 points per night on them (only the woeful Philadelphia 76ers were worse.)

Now, just four seasons removed from Kobe Bryant and co. hoisting the James Naismith trophy high above their heads at the Staples Center at the conclusion of the 2010 NBA Finals, the Lakers are left out in the cold while they limp into the offseason with a roster that needs retooling, and a frustrated superstar (Kobe) and angry fan base clamoring for change.

The one thing that the Lakers have going for them-if anything-is that Kobe is still able to play at an elite level and will stick around for the final curtain call of what has been an immaculate career. Aside from that, the Lakers still have a shaky situation with D'Antoni at head coach-which could reportedly change, given how he's reportedly fallen out of favor with management-while Pau Gasol and Nash continue to fight Father Time and a roster that is chalk full of holes awaits its inevitable demolishing to pave the way for the new, NBA-title ready purple-and-gold squad.

The Lakers have a rather large wish list and the ability to splurge being one of the richest teams in all of sports, but before they can set the table for another free agency splash, they'd better start with cleaning house of a few current players on the roster first:

Steve Nash

He's a legend. He's an icon. He's a future first-ballot Hall of Famer; he's also almost 40 years old. As great as Nash was, he's clearly been a shell of his former self since coming over in free agency during the 2012 offseason. His back is aching, his legs are aging and his once-unrivaled skills are starting to diminish. Still, he could make for an attractive piece of trade bait on the market because of his veteran leadership and savvy. If the Lakers are to rebuild somewhere, it is definitely their aging and stagnant backcourt.

Nick Young

Granted, this one's a bit of a risk. Young showed himself to be quite a scorer this season, and the player known as "Swaggy P" has started to win over his share of fans. But given that he's at the power forward position, if the Lakers are truly gung-ho about getting Carmelo Anthony, then chances are that Young will have to go; he's too big to go on the bench, and his stock has risen at the right time. It might be time for L.A. to cash in.

Pau Gasol

In the past, Gasol has been the lynch pin for the Lakers' last title teams in 2009 and 2010. But injuries and difficulty adjusting to D'Antoni's system have resulted in the talented four-time All-Star reportedly getting quite frustrated with his situation in Los Angeles. Gasol was averaging 17.4 points before a vase of vertigo ended his season in March; he probably would have gotten more if he was in a system that optimized his skills to their fullest. Though he's 34, Gasol is still quite dangerous. While it might be tempting for the Lakers to offer Gasol a contract, the smarter move may be to let him walk, take that $19.2 million space that he's taking up this year and free it up for someone else, perhaps a few young pieces.

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