Time for Future Considerations
12:20 AM PDT on Wednesday, May 2, 2007
By BRODERICK TURNER
EL SEGUNDO - They gathered for practice Tuesday, the Lakers knowing it could have been their last time together on their practice court this season.
Some decisions have to be made about where the Lakers will be headed.
Lakers coach Phil Jackson's representatives and LA general manager Mitch Kupchak agreed to continue contract extension talks after the season.
Jackson has one year left after this season on a three-year, $30 million deal that pays him $10 million per season.
Jackson has said his health is fine, so he has to decide if he wants to keep coaching a team that has been mediocre the past two seasons and may continue to be that way if the Lakers don't make substantial upgrades.
Five Lakers will become free agents at season's end.
Luke Walton wants to come back and probably will be asked to return.
He'll look to get a contract that pays about $5 million per season.
Chris Mihm missed the entire season after having two surgeries on his right ankle. Mihm said he wants to return but knows he won't get the $4.2 million he is earning this season.
Smush Parker probably won't be asked back. Shammond Williams has shown some promise, but he may go back to Europe and Aaron McKie probably will retire.
The Lakers also may be looking for assistant coaches.
Assistants Kurt Rambis, Brian Shaw and Jim Cleamons all have been mentioned as candidates for other job openings around the NBA. All three have come up as possible candidates for the opening with the Sacramento Kings.
New Point Man?
Jordan Farmar has started the past six games, including all four playoff games.
Farmar, a rookie, has struggled. He has averaged 5.3 points, is shooting just 36.4 percent from the field and hasn't done much to stop Steve Nash.
"I'm thinking about making a change," Jackson said.
Jackson said he might start Parker, Sasha Vujacic, Williams or Maurice Evans.
Kobe Bryant, who is averaging 32.5 points per game in the series, needs four points to pass former Laker James Worthy for 17th on the NBA's career playoff scoring list.
Bryant, who is 8 for 20 from three-point range in the series, needs two three-pointers to surpass former Laker Derek Fisher for the most playoff three-pointers in franchise history.
Reach Broderick Turner at bturner@PE.com