As the dust settles in Los Angeles following Kobe Bryant's incredible farewell at the Staples Center on Wednesday night, the focus of the L.A. Lakers organisation immediately turns to plans for next season.
Bryant's final campaign in the NBA almost covered up the team going 17-65, the worst record in franchise history. But with the Black Mamba no longer around, the franchise has a big summer ahead and it's time for members of the team's front office to earn their money.
With the team's lottery pick heading to the Philadelphia 76ers, they'll have to rely on free agency to bring in a player capable of improving the team's chances of returning to the playoffs where they feel they belong.
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The most notable players in the market this offseason include Kevin Durant, Al Horford, DeMar DeRozan and Dwight Howard, though it is unlikely he will make a return to the purple and gold.
Former Lakers power forward Vladimir Radmanovic, who spent three years in the City of Angels and reached an NBA finals in 2008, doesn't know what's gone wrong for the league's most successful franchise but believes they must bring in a player who can replace Kobe to have any chance of competing again.
"I’m not sure what went wrong, I just believe every team has its ups and downs and that’s what’s happened with the Lakers as well," Radmanovic said speaking to GiveMeSport.
"Now they have a great opportunity to look for another player who can fill Kobe’s shoes and they can build a new team so we’re going to see what they do in free agency and what the new Lakers team is going to look like next season."
With D'Angelo Russell, Jordan Clarkson and Julius Randle, the Lakers have a talented core of young players to build around for the future.
As Byron Scott has lamented for much of the year, the team is short on veterans and that's been compounded by the loss of a real leader in Bryant.
Radmanovic, however, says there is one specific thing the Lakers need if they want to win immediately.
"They have to bring a superstar that’s for sure, they have to bring somebody who’s capable of winning games and making other players better," he said.
"There are only a few players in the league that can do that and we’ll see what the Lakers are going to do."
The only superstar available who can fill the huge Kobe Bryant-shaped hole is Kevin Durant and the Los Angeles outfit is certainly expected to make a run at the Oklahoma City Thunder star, but the glamour of the city isn't as attractive as it once was.
After setting a franchise record for the most losses in a season for the third straight year, big changes must be made and Lakers nation is expectant.