The Lakers: A Team In Transition

What does a franchise that is rich in history that has had one of the best players in NBA history do when things don't go there way?  The Lakers had a terrible season last year that added insult to injury when Kobe Bryant went down in the last week of the season.  Everyone wants to move on and get better right away, because that is what the Lakers do.  They reload, they don't gut a team and start over.  Well, at least not until next season.

With about as much money to spend this offseason as I have in my pocket right now the Lakers have upgraded their roster while still keeping in tact a shot at some big time moves next off-season.

Chris Kaman was once an All-Star in LA.  It was for the Clippers, but when healthy he can be a formidable center to play next to Pau.  He can hit the face up jumper and has solid moves with his back to the basket.  I do think that staying healthy will be difficult for him, but really he has nothing to fear being in LA once again.  He knows why he is here and should have no pressure on him to perform.  At the very least he will serve his time on the Lakers and barring something drastic, move on after the year is up.

Wesley Johnson was once a top 10 pick.  He has yet to pan out in the NBA, but I think that has more to do with the teams he has played for than his actual talent.   He is still super young and able to improve.  I think this signing could really help the Lakers bench.  Johnson doesn't have to be a top option and therefore can just play his game.  He has great size and when he puts his mind to it I am sure he could be a solid defender in the NBA.  He has the tools to be an All-Star down the road if only he can figure out his role in the NBA.

Nick Young is exactly who Kobe was 15 years ago.  He is an excellent, albeit volume, scorer.  He can fill it up in a hurry and make a 10 point run by himself in just a minute or two.  His defense is absolutely horrendous, but what else can you expect from a USC grad.  Alright, maybe that was out line, but do they even teach that side of the court there? Anyways, Young is going to help the Lakers until Kobe gets back and then he will probably come off the bench and become their 6th man.

Then there is Jordan Farmar, who all Laker fans know quite well.  He was on the last 2 Laker title teams.  He is nothing if not a good backup guard.  He will probably be struggling to see time once Kobe returns, but until then I wouldn't be surprised to see D'Antoni give him a look to see if he can produce at all.

The only thing the Lakers really should look into before this season starts is to find out if Lamar Odom would be a good investment.  Like Farmar, Odom was on the last two Laker title teams and knows this team very well.  If Odom can drop about 50 pounds, that's a tad excessive but he has blown up, the Lakers could use his services some.  It wouldn't hurt to sign him to a one year deal and then kick him to the curb when things inevitably go south.

The Lakers are going to struggle to be a playoff team in a deep Western Conference, but they do still have enough talent on the team to make the playoffs.  Honestly though, it probably doesn't matter.  All Laker fans have already turned their attention to the 2014 free agent market.

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