It was a topsy-turvy year for the Los Angeles Lakers, but that doesn’t mean there isn't anything to be optimistic about when the 2015-16 NBA regular season starts. Despite all of the negatives that have come out of LA this year, here are three reasons why Lakers fans should be looking forward to next season:
Los Angeles has the No. 2 pick in the draft (which will turn into Karl-Anthony Towns or Jahlil Okafor) and a lot of cap space, allowing them to upgrade their roster quickly. Only four players are under contract for next season (Kobe Bryant, Julius Randle, Nick Young, and Ryan Kelly), and head coach Byron Scott has said rookies Jordan Clarkson and Tarik Black will likely be back next season as well. That means the Lakers will have the opportunity to fill over half their roster with better players, and they have the means to do so.
Randle's season-ending injury in the first game of the regular season foreshadowed what turned out to be the worst season in franchise history, and he'll essentially be a rookie again in 2015. His return will give the Lakers two top-10 talents they didn't have this year, and he'll finally give Los Angeles a presence in the post.
The Lakers will obviously be better next season with the return of their best player, but Bryant will also give Los Angeles and the experience and leadership they so desperately lacked this year. Even if the Lakers land a big free agent or two, a good portion of their roster will still probably be filled with younger guys that will need someone to hold them accountable, and Kobe is that guy.
Los Angeles may not have made the playoffs even if Bryant was healthy this year, but the Lakers would've gotten more out of the roster with him on the court.Back to the Los Angeles Lakers Newsfeed