The Lakers don’t have any hope of making the playoffs in the highly competitive Western Conference, so the final stretch of the regular season is all about building momentum for next season.
For much of the young roster, that means continuing to develop and proving your worth as a quality NBA contributor for when the Lakers land a bigger star in free agency (at least that’s their hope). Julius Randle and others are auditioning for a new contract in free agency, with the potential that they stick around with the Lakers.
The highest profile free agent to be in L.A. is Isaiah Thomas, whose future is very much in question. Thomas once wanted to see the Celtics “back up the Brinks truck” for him, but now he’s now hoping to land a starting role and, at the least, a solid contract this summer. Thomas’ hip injury and subsequent drop-off in play since returning has significantly damaged his value on the market, but he’s hoping to use the stretch run to prove he is still a quality point guard in the league.