Key Additions: Chris Kaman, Nick Young, Jordan Farmar, Ryan Kelly, Shawne Williams and Elias Harris
Key Departures: Dwight Howard, Metta World Peace
Last season the Los Angeles Lakers went essentially all in on the hopes of rebuilding the franchise around Dwight Howard and an aging Kobe Bryant and Steve Nash combination. Some how this whole elaborate and incredibly ill conceived plan went astray. Maybe it was firing the head coach immediately at the beginning of the season. Maybe it was the rash of injuries that plagued the Lakers and especially Steve Nash. It could have been that D'Antoni was completely the wrong person to bring in to coach a team where a big center was supposed to be the center piece. Or could it be that Kobe was mean and hurt Dwight's feelings? In the long run none of that even matters because the plan didn't work and the Lakers are looking at a dismal upcoming season. They have an ancient ghost of Steve Nash, post Achilles surgery Kobe and the consistently undazzling Pau Gasol. The news gets no better when it comes time to discuss the coaching staff and ownership. Jim Buss spurned Phil Jackson, possibly the best coach of all time, for what could not have been more than petty personal reasons. D'Antoni is a score first and pay attention to defense probably never style coach and that type never makes it far in this day and age. This is a season which looks to be totally lost for the Los Angeles Lakers no matter how soon Kobe is ready to suit up and start hogging the ball again.
There is however some good news for the Lakers. The unfortunate part is that it will not come into effect until next season. L.A. looks like it should be in line for a pretty decent draft pick in what should be one of the more loaded drafts in recent years. More importantly next off season the Lakers will have tons of cap room and the location and history of success necessary to lure a big name free agent or two into the fold. That is assuming anyone wants to play on the same team as an aging Kobe Bryant.
The summary on the Lakers outlook for next season is this, they are an old team which is supposed to be running a fast paced system. This is neither conducive to winning or health or good defense. The only way they will be able to even sniff the playoffs is if Steve Nash returns to his MVP form ol olden days, Pau Gasol becomes much more like his brother Marc, and Kobe comes back and plays like the man possessed we saw last year. All in all it would probably be advisable for Kobe to sit this season out and see what next season will bring.