3 Lakers on Thin Ice After the NBA Draft

The 2024 NBA Draft is in the rearview and the Los Angeles Lakers have two new prospects in their possession. As a result, these three players are now on thin ice.
Gabe Vincent is one of three Lakers who are on thin ice following the 2024 NBA Draft.
Gabe Vincent is one of three Lakers who are on thin ice following the 2024 NBA Draft. / Stephen Lew-USA TODAY Sports
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The Los Angeles Lakers entered the 2024 NBA Draft looking for high-upside prospects and that's exactly who they found. Tennessee's Dalton Knecht fell all the way to the Lakers at Pick No. 17 before they used the 55th-overall selection on USC's Bronny James on Thursday night.

Time will tell what the future holds for Knecht and James, however, their arrival could spell bad news for members of last year's roster. Several Los Angeles players came up short for one reason or another last season and could find themselves looking for a job elsewhere if the franchise's new rookie duo lives up to expectations.

Here's a look at three Lakers who are now on thin ice following the 2024 NBA Draft.

1. Gabe Vincent, PG/SG

With the Lakers adding two rookies who can play guard minutes, Gabe Vincent's future in Los Angeles is uncertain.

After signing a three-year, $33 million contract last summer, Vincent's first year in Hollywood was marred by injury. The former was limited to just 11 regular-season games due to knee issues and couldn't make the most of his few opportunities to suit up, averaging just 3.1 points, 1.9 assists, 0.8 rebounds, and .306/.107/.500 shooting splits.

A strong playoff performance could've eased a lot of Lakers fans, but that wasn't the case. Vincent barely made a mark during Los Angeles' first-round series against the Denver Nuggets. The ex-UC Santa Barbara guard's playing time dropped by six whole minutes as he averaged 1.4 PTS/1.6 REB/.0.6 AST while shooting 25.0% from the field and 14.3% from deep.

No matter how you slice it, Vincent's performance isn't worth the $11 million he's set to make next season. There's a good chance that the Lakers front office already knows that and could attempt to move the struggling playmaker this summer, whether that's just to get his salary off the books or a part of a bigger deal to land a third superstar.

With plenty of free-agent PGs available for the veteran minimum this offseason, the Lakers will likely have better (and cheaper) options to replace Vincent.