Mike D'Antoni's future to be a big part of Lakers off-season suspense

SAN ANTONIO — Mike D'Antoni might have coached his last game with the Lakers on Wednesday. Or he might return for the final guaranteed year of his contract.

It'll be the biggest subplot of a Lakers off-season sure to feature twists and turns.

"We'll sit down with Mitch and Jim at the end of the year and reassess everything and see where we are and see what their thoughts are," D'Antoni said Wednesday, referring to Lakers executives Mitch Kupchak and Jim Buss. "I don't have any thoughts yet. The biggest thing was trying to get to the end of the year and we got that done. Now you go to the next step. Nothing has been talked about or said or looked at."

The Lakers (27-55) never lost this many games in a season and were eliminated from playoff contention a month ago. They beat the San Antonio Spurs, 113-100, in their season finale.

Twelve of the Lakers' 15 players are expected to be free agents in July after Nick Young declines a player option for $1.2 million next season.

"Decisions will be made going forward on about a million things," D'Antoni said.

After Young opts out, only three Lakers have guaranteed contracts next season: Kobe Bryant, Steve Nash and Robert Sacre.

It means there's a long list of free agents: Young, Pau Gasol, Jodie Meeks, Jordan Hill, Chris Kaman, Kent Bazemore, Jordan Farmar, Xavier Henry, Ryan Kelly, Wesley Johnson and MarShon Brooks. Kendall Marshall has a non-guaranteed contract next season.

Said Young: "Hopefully I'll be a part of their plans. If not, I had a great time here and just move on and go somewhere else."

Young, 28, led the Lakers with 17.9 points a game.

About the 'P'

Young has been coy the whole season about the meaning of his "Swaggy P" nickname, specifically the "P" part.

Everybody will have to wait awhile longer, apparently.

"I've got a book coming out in July," he said. "I'll let you all know."

The book title?

"The Mystery of the 'P,'" Young said, adding quickly, "Made that up just now."

Bazemore procedure

Bazemore had surgery Wednesday to repair a torn tendon in his right foot and was expected to make a full recovery before the start of next season.

He averaged 13.1 points in 23 games after being acquired from Golden State. Bazemore, 24, made a relatively low $762,195.


Twitter: @Mike_Bresnahan

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