5 Lakers Playing Their Final Season in L.A.

There are a few key Lakers who will likely not make it back for next season.

Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports
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The Los Angeles Lakers chose to stand pat at the 2024 trade deadline, much to the chagrin of their fans. Their quiet deadline could signify a busier offseason since they will have more of their bullets to fire as they have more draft picks and expiring salaries to make a bigger trade.

Considering that the Lakers have a small championship window with LeBron James and Anthony Davis getting up there in age, they don't have more seasons to punt on. They will likely try to maximize their championship odds as much as they can for the next few seasons. That means they have to make some moves to upgrade the roster. Here are the five players who are the least likely to be a Laker for the 2024-25 season.

D'Angelo Russell

Russell staying in Los Angeles past the trade deadline was a major surprise. He was the likeliest candidate to be moved due to his salary and trade value around the league. However, he found a way to stay on with his improved performance over the last few weeks.

Yet, the circumstances that made him a prime trade candidate remain. He will have only one year left on his contract in the summer and he is not the cleanest fit on the roster.

His defensive and athletic limitations make him more of a regular-season player than a playoff one. He is superfluous next to Austin Reaves, who should be a larger part of the Lakers' plans going forward.

The Lakers will have the ability to trade three first-round picks in the offseason. Combine that with Russell's $18 million expiring contract and Los Angeles will almost certainly make an upgrade via a trade.