Heading into the 2013-14 NBA season, the Los Angeles Lakers will be going with the aging core of Kobe Bryant, Pau Gasol and Steve Nash. Although Kobe’s return date to the basketball floor and whether or not he’ll be the same player remains uncertain, the team expects him back in the first month or two of next season.
With these three aging stars in the twilight of their careers leading the way, the immediate future of this team is unclear to say the least. The Lakers could either prove to be much more of a force without Dwight Howard in the paint or become nothing more than another mediocre team in the Western Conference.
Despite a lot the doubt surrounding this team’s future moving forward, the Lakers’ front office may have been able to provide head coach Mike D’Antoni with the tools in order to compete in a highly competitive conference filled with talented young teams on the rise. GM Mitch Kupchak was able to bring in Nick Young, Wesley Johnson, Jordan Farmar and Chris Kaman at considerable discounts to play in a season that won’t be driven by high expectations.
A lot of things have to come together in order for the Lakers to truly be a force in the West next season, but if they do come together, this team may be able to be a middle of the pack playoff squad.
Obviously, a lot of attention and concern has been directed to the recovery process of Kobe’s surgery on Achilles injury. This is not an injury many players are able to simply bounce back from and be the same player, but it’s hard to argue that Kobe isn’t another beast entirely in terms of playing through or recovering quickly from injuries.
Other concerns are whether or not this aging team can stay healthy. Nash and Gasol struggled with injuries all season long last year, and that may be a sign of things to come for these two veterans. If able to stay healthy and play at a high level once again, Nash and Gasol could prove to be forces to be reckoned with once again and may excel without Dwight clogging the paint.
It’ll be interesting to see how things will develop in the months to come. Even though many have written off this team already and believe the franchise may be better off tanking for a prospect like Andrew Wiggins, the Lakers may surprise a lot of people next season with a result that far exceeds last season’s Dwightmare disaster.
Lakers Nation News
Metta World Peace Talks About Being Amnesited by the Los Angeles Lakers [Examiner]
Jordan Farmar Says he Felt he Belongs with Lakers [LA Times]
Expect Lakers to Provide Grins Rather than Glory [LA Times]
Undrafted Forward Elias Harris Dreaming of Chance with Lakers [LA Times]
Lakers’ Jim Buss Puts His Odds on Kobe Bryant Coming Back Early [LA Times]
Wesley Johnson Fulfills Dream Becoming a Laker [OC Register]
VIDEO: Are Free Agents Choosing Clippers Over Lakers? [OC Register]
CDR, Landry Discuss Their Summer League Experience [Silver Screen & Roll]
Jim Buss Can’t Repeat This Summer [Silver Screen & Roll]
CDR Likely to Receive Lakers Training Camp Invite [Silver Screen & Roll]
Lakers Lose In Summer League Quarterfinal Against Warriors [Forum Blue & Gold]
NBA Rumors: Oklahoma City Thunder Frontrunner to Land Mike Miller [Sports City]
NBA Rumors: Baron Davis Eyeing Return to NBA This Season [Sports City]
The Skateboard-Loving Cav With a Master’s Degree [SB Nation]
Pierre Jackson’s Wild Week [SB Nation]
Paul Pierce Happy as Nets’ ‘Glorified Role Player’ [SB Nation]
Clippers Could Re-Sign Odom, White Eyes Europe [SB Nation]
Celtics GM Ainge Eyes Opening Night Return for Rajon Rondo [Pro Basketball Talk]
Lots of Interest in Mike Miller, with Durant, Marc Gasol Recruiting Him [Pro Basketball Talk]
Kevin Martin Says He Considered Returning to the Thunder for Less Money [Pro Basketball Talk]