Given the circumstances, the Lakers had a relatively successful offseason. While they once again failed to lure any star free agents to Southern California, Kupchak and company were able to quickly pivot and bring in players who should help the team get back to respectability.
They also maintained a good deal of their future flexibility, with both Hibbert and Bryant on large expiring contracts and a cap explosion coming. The Lakers will have money to burn next summer, but unfortunately so will most of the league. Kupchak will have his work cut out for him but he has given himself plenty of room to maneuver.
Depending on how things break, this team has the potential to sneak into the eighth playoff spot in the West, but also the downside to end up at the bottom of the standings. However, the real factor that’s going to determine the Lakers success will be the progress made by the young players and the ability of the veterans to lift the team to respectability during what may (or may not) be Kobe Bryant’s swan song.
Rebuilding a team isn’t easy, but Lakers fans should take time to enjoy the process. It’s not going to happen overnight, and there will be more bumps along the way, but the team finally has young talent to really get excited about.
Overall Grade: B