Full Roster Predictions for LA Lakers Next Season

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Full Roster Predictions for LA Lakers Next Season
Harry How/Getty Images
The big three will all be back in 2013-14: What can they do if all are healthy?

Well, gee whiz...Dwight Howard is doing it again.

By saying he won't be rushed into making a decision on where he'll play next season, Howard is essentially holding the Los Angeles Lakers hostage, much like he did a year ago with the Orlando Magic.

Thanks, Dwight.

Howard is also holding the prognosticators hostage—I'd like to turn this assignment over to him but, then, it might be hard to find D12 now that the season has ended and he promised to "get away from basketball for awhile".(via Time Warner Cable Sports Net)

In truth, the Lakers roster for 2013-14 will start falling into place once Dwight Howard tells us all what he plans to do.  If he leaves Los Angeles for Houston, Dallas or Atlanta, then players like Pau Gasol are all but assured of remaining with the team.

If Howard signs a new, five-year, $118 million max contract with the Lakers, the team will probably make very few moves to improve the current roster.  They could seek to trade Gasol and his expiring $19.3 million contract, with the hope that someone will send back a missing piece (active outside shooter in the mold of Atlanta's Kyle Korver or New Orleans' Ryan Anderson), and/or a first-round draft pick.

A third scenario has Howard signing and Gasol remaining with the Lakers, while management decides to take a big financial hit for one more year before most of their payroll disappears and opens up new possibilities to retool in 2014. 

This third scenario is how I see it playing out this summer in Lakers Nation.  And because of that, much of the nucleus from this past season will be in uniform when camp opens this October. 

The Lakers will likely say goodbye to Antawn Jameson, Chris Duhon, Devin Ebanks and possibly Robert Sacre.

Who will go and who will stay?  We'll start to know more after July 1, when Howard will probably make yet another one of his big decisions.  Let's see just how close we might be to getting the Lakers' new roster right.

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