The Los Angeles Lakers fans had to suffer through a 27-55 season last year. The loss of All-Star center Dwight Howard went to the Houston Rockets in free agency and an injury crisis decimated the squad, the main unfortunates of that being Kobe Bryant and Steve Nash who both missed nearly the whole season.
But despite Kobe being back at full fitness, it looks like things still won't be getting any better this year for Lakers supporters.
The Lakers had high hopes going in to the offseason and landed a meeting with both New York Knicks’ forward Carmelo Anthony and Miami Heat forward LeBron James’ agent, Rich Paul. LA were rejected by both with Anthony deciding to re-sign with the Knicks and James moving back to Ohio with the Cleveland Cavaliers.
Instead of those Star names, they re-signed swingman Nick Young, big man Jordan Hill and added point guard Jeremy Lin through a trade with the Houston Rockets, won the amnesty claim for Chicago Bulls’ power forward Carlos Boozer and signed Memphis Grizzlies’ big man Ed Davis.
Those signings will give no hope whatsoever to the fans, who will have to perform miracles to get anywhere close to that 8th seed in the western conference.
Steve Kyler of Basketball Insiders identified what the problem really is at Staples Center, pointing out that the Lakers can’t over pay players like they use to.
"The problem for the Lakers is they can’t over pay someone anymore. They used to be able to attract players because they could spend more. Now that they are under the cap its going to be harder to do that. They are going to have to grow some assets. Prospect a little more and get the cupboard restocked.
The one thing about LA is its a huge opportunity for someone. The established guys don’t need the Lakers spotlight like it used to be, but there will be young guys that are lost somewhere that need what LA can offer them — think about Nick Young. Those are the kinds of guys the Lakers can get to leave other situations."
The Lakers are likely going to suffer through another lottery season, but adding young talent to power forward Julius Randle certainly isn’t a bad idea. Randle will hopefully be a bright spark next season and maybe Kobe will be back to somewhere near his best, but it still won't be enough unfortunately.