Ranking Players Most Likely to Be Traded by the LA Lakers This Season

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Ranking Players Most Likely to Be Traded by the LA Lakers This Season
Noah Graham/Getty Images

The Los Angeles Lakers are a lunch-bucket group of hungry players, many of whom are auditioning for job security.

And, with the exception of Kobe Bryant, none of them have it yet, just three games into a new season.  Some may stick around past this season, but there certainly is a group more likely to get traded before the year is up.  

Grabbing an opportunity to remain relevant and possibly thrive in the NBA, a host of young (and not so young) talent signed one- and two-year deals for little money and lots of expectations. Now it will be up to them to make the most of that opportunity.

A host of players, including Nick Young, Jordan Farmar, Elias Harris, Xavier Henry, Wesley Johnson, Jodie Meeks and Shawne Williams all could be trade bait come midseason; especially if their respective games blossom in the Mike D'Antoni "seven-seconds-or-less", shoot-at-all-costs system. 

D'Antoni has a reputation for bringing in unknowns with talent and helping them inflate their previously unimpressive numbers. Earl Clark is a prime example, and look what his up-tempo, high-energy play brought him: a nice two-year, $9 million free agent contract with the Cleveland Cavaliers.

There is no doubt it will happen again in L.A. for a few of these players, and the end result may be an extension contract or a trade to another team in need of instant energy and scoring. In return, the Lakers would like to stockpile a few more draft picks in what is expected to be a decent draft in 2014.

If the Lakers are intent on keeping Bryant on the roster for another 2-3 years, then the thought of trading away Pau Gasol is probably a pipe dream. 

A strong season in which he averages 18 or more points and 10-plus rebounds will certainly increase his trade value, and a contender might be willing to pick up his current $19 million contract if he's shipped midseason.

But I wouldn't expect it to happen, not with Kobe saying the team needs to keep the guy he still feels is the best power forward in the game.

With Bryant's return uncertain, there will be a lot of minutes to pass around to the lunch-bucket bench.  Trade values will increase along with point totals. Expect management to listen to all possibilities, though they probably won't pull the trigger on more than one or two deals before the season ends in the spring.

What follows is a list of those most likely to get moved by L.A. if the pieces fall into place. 

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