Mitch Kupchak and Phil Jackson will be addressing the media tommorrow around noon. They’ll hopefully give some insights into the teams plans this offseason, but I’m curious to hear what you guys are thinking.
A lot of the guys today said that this was a really young team and given time to develop, the Lakers could be a lot better. The big question is, how much better? Let’s say everyone stayed healthy, Bynum and Farmar had more room to develop at a slower pace and Smuch Parker didn’t implode, how much better do you think the Lakers could’ve been? A 3 seed, 4, 5?
That’s the question Mitch and the braintrust will need to answer this summer.
Kobe is under contract through 2011, but can opt out after 2009. Phil’s got one more year at $10 million a season. He’s stated that the organization needs to decide if its worth it to pay him that much to coach what’s been a rebuilding project the last few years. He’s also got to decide if he’s got the energy to coach beyond next season.
So basically, the options break into three categories:
1. Big and Bold: Tear it all up and start anew. Trade Bynum and/or Lamar –the Lakers best tradng chips — for a big, impact name like KG, Jason Kidd, Jermaine O’Neal or Pau Gasol. Or, dump salary, do a sign-and-trade and sign a premier free agent like Gerald Wallace or Mo Williams.
2. Medium Risk: Make a medium impact trade (salary-cap liabilities/casualties like Marcus Camby or Mike Bibby) or sign a medium-impact free agent like Steve Blake.
3. Hold Em: Re-sign Luke Walton, bring in a decent veteran via the midlevel exception, hope everyone stays healthy and push the restart button on the 2006-07 season to see if it comes out differently.
There are two wild-cards here.
1. There’s been some buzz, hard to say if its just speculation, that Jerry West could be brought back as a consultant. Jerry West would never put a power play on Mitch Kupchak, his protege, so don’t even think about going down that road. But West would still be an intriguing wild card in a consultant role.
2. Kwame Brown is going into his contract year. If ever there was a year for him to suddenly find his game every night, this is it. He said as much on Thursday in his exit interview.
“It’s definitely a critical summer for me with all the injuries I have, it being a contract year next year, I’ve definitely got to be really focused on the summer,” he said.
Needless to say, if Kwame’s healthy and motivated, it’s almost like bringing in a new player.
Anyway, I’m curious what you guys think. Feel free to vent.