It seems like forever ago Kobe Bryant and the Los Angeles Lakers hoisted up the 2009-2010 NBA championship trophy and for Laker fans, it has been. With the regular season and Kobe’s farewell tour nearing its end, the Lakers must now come up with real solutions to their crashing dynasty. This is new territory for a team used to dominating the competition year after year but is now just an afterthought in today’s NBA. With the organization getting ready to close the curtain on Bryant’s amazing 20-year run in La-La land, where do the Lakers go next? Here are three major concerns the Lakers must address this offseason:
1.The development of Lakers’ young core
The Lakers are in the midst of one of the worst seasons in franchise history. The one bright spot on their season is the rise of Jordan Clarkson, Julius Randle and D’Angelo Russell. Clarkson emerged for the Lakers last season as a young guard that could play in the NBA and has continued to show his ability to score in a variety of ways this year. Last season as a rookie, Randle broke his leg in the Lakers’ home opener and was sidelined the entire year. Finally healthy this year the young power forward has been able to give fans a look into the future of their team’s frontcourt and it looks bright. Randle has the ability to rebound, put the ball on the floor score from around the rim and shows confidence needed to succeed as a big man. As for Russell, whether he learned from his time on the bench or the organization finally decided to cut his leash after seeing him play against his peers in the rising stars All-Star challenge, but since being named a starter Russell has begun to live up to some of the hype as a number two overall pick. This season has been thrown out of the window due to Kobe’s farewell tour, but next year will be the true test to how far the Lakers’ young talent can take this team.
2. The head coach
The Lakers have come out and said they are unsure if they will move on from Byron Scott as head coach of the team but they may want to reconsider and look elsewhere to rebuild their franchise. If Russell’s play of late isn’t proof enough Scott has questionable coaching skills, just examine his record. As the head coach of the Lakers, Scott is 36-117. Now to his credit he hasn’t had much of a roster to coach led by an ailing fading star player, but he also coached three years for the Cleveland Cavaliers and went 64-166 and before that he coached six years for the New Orleans Hornets finishing his tenure there under .500 with a record of 203-216. If the Lakers want to be competitive again and revitalize their organization, it may be best for them to part ways with Scott. Especially if there is too much disconnect between him and the young rising talent on the team.
3. The Draft
I take back an earlier point, there are two bright spots on the Lakers 2015-2016 season, the 2016 draft. The Lakers currently have the second-worst record in the league and as long as they finish in the bottom three they retain a protected lottery pick. If this scenario plays out this will be the third straight year the Lakers got a lottery pick in the draft. Most fans have their hearts set on the number one pick and grabbing LSU sensation Ben Simmons. Whichever pick the Lakers end up with it’s important they choose wisely in determining the next potential savior for this proud franchise. It’s likely this year’s draft pick along with the young core the Lakers have now will be the team of the future in La. Free agency isn’t the same game anymore and despite having money to spend, the Lakers can’t land top players who can build brands anywhere and want better chances of winning now. Even if the Lakers are headed in the right direction, they still have a couple more years of work and a lot of things that must go right to be in real contention again.
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