Now that the Dwight Howard nightmare is past them, the Los Angeles Lakers have to start looking toward the future. Many people have written the upcoming 2013-14 season off for the franchise with 16 championships. However, they still have enough pieces to make a run deep into the NBA Playoffs.
Does seven rings, three MVPs, 14 All-NBA first teams and 27 All Star appearances sell you on three players? It should. With a core of Steve Nash, Pau Gasol and Kobe Bryant the Lakers are far from a “rebuilding” team. Recently added veteran center Chris Kaman will likely start alongside Gasol on the front-line. Also, there are still solid free-agents on the market including a pair of Milwaukee Bucks guards in Brandon Jennings and Monta Ellis that the Lakers could go after.
Mitch Kupchak has shown his expertise many times before in building a championship caliber squad. In his 13 seasons as the General Manager of the Lakers, he has succeeded in making it to 12 playoffs and seven NBA Finals with five of those resulting in rings. In order to get a sixth, he will need to make a couple of moves.
Sometimes called the New York Yankees of the NBA for buying wins, the Lakers will have plenty of money to play with. The $3 billion TV deal with Time Warner Cable over the next 20 years allows the Lakers to spend money on players that other franchises couldn’t imagine spending.
If you want to know if the Lakers make it past the first round of the playoffs this year, why don’t you ask your Magic 8-Ball. But Laker fans should not worry because it’s just a short 12 months away from free-agency 2014 when they have an opportunity to sign LeBron James and/or Carmelo Anthony and reload once again.