Los Angeles Lakers: The odds of each Laker returning next season

(Photo by Kim Klement-Pool/Getty Images)
(Photo by Kim Klement-Pool/Getty Images) /
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(Photo by Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images) – Los Angeles Lakers
(Photo by Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images) – Los Angeles Lakers /

The Los Angeles Lakers’ player options: 

Let’s look next at the five Los Angeles Lakers who have player options for next season.

1. Anthony Davis: According to his agent, he plans to decline his $28.7 million option. But AD will absolutely, positively remain with the Lakers. He’ll likely sign a maximum extension once the new contract guidelines are determined. The odds that he returns are 99.9%.

2. Kentavious Caldwell-Pope: He will also reportedly decline his player option of $8.5 million and test free agency. He had a rather inconsistent year, but still led the team in three-point shooting percentage (38.5%) and was fourth in scoring (9.8 PPG) in the regular season.

KCP then had an excellent playoff run on both sides of the ball. On offense, he averaged 10.7 points (third on the team) and shot 38% from deep. On defense, he persistently fought through screens and denied open looks from his man.

There is undoubtedly a mutual interest in remaining with the Lakers. It depends on how much money KCP wants and how much the team believes it can afford to pay him. Chances he returns: 65%.

3. Rajon Rondo: The word is that he will also decline his player option of $2.7 million. He didn’t play especially well in the regular season.

Over 48 games he averaged 7.1 points and 5 assists (second on the team) but shot just 42% from the field and 33% from behind the line. His “matador defense” left much to be desired as he often waved his hand trying to strip the ball away from the opponent who just dribbled past him.

It isn’t accurate to say that he donned a cape and suddenly became the magical Playoff Rondo. But once he returned from a hand injury, he did raise the level of his game in the postseason, averaging 9 points and 6.6 assists while shooting 45.5% overall and making 20 of his 50 long-range shots (40%). His defense was still not first-rate, but it was a bit better.

Logically, you’d think that Rondo wants to stay put and continue to play with LeBron and AD to try to win another ring or two. The situation is much the same as it is with KCP: Rondo’s contractual demands vs. what the Lakers will offer. Odds that he will return: 65%.

4. Avery Bradley: He was a major regular-season contributor when he started 44 games. He averaged 8.6 points and shot 36.4% from the three-point line (even higher once he completely recovered from injury). But most importantly he set the defensive tone for the team with his tenacity and doggedness in pressuring the man he was guarding.

But Bradley opted to sit out all games after the suspended season resumed, citing the health of his son. No word has circulated regarding whether he plans to return to action this coming season, much less his intention about exercising his $5 million option. Because of those potential doubts, his chances of returning do not seem especially good: 30%.

5. JaVale McGee: He has become the forgotten man by many fans who fail to recall his regular-season contributions. He was the Lakers starting center for 68 games in which he averaged 6.6 points. 5.7 rebounds and 1.4 blocks while shooting 64% in just 16.6 minutes per game. Those may not be all-star statistics, but they also should not be trivialized.

Unfortunately, his numbers dramatically declined in the postseason, and he only played in 14 of the team’s 21 games, starting 11 of them. It is unclear if he plans to exercise his $4.2 million option for next season, although it seems likely that he will.

McGee was a great teammate who willingly accepted whatever role he was assigned. It is possible he’ll opt-out and sign elsewhere. Or, if he opts in, it’s also conceivable that the Lakers might trade him. But the odds seem better than not that he’ll be back: 60%.