The Los Angeles Lakers probably won’t be very good this year. Although that’s a pretty simple idea, based entirely on how old, injured and unstable the talent on the roster is, it’s still not an easy pill to swallow. This is the greatest franchise in sports history, and anything short of greatness is difficult for fans to accept.
Because of how grim things are looking, rumors have been floating around that L.A. will make a big move this season. Although they don’t really have any bargaining chips, and despite the fact that Mitch Kupchak has made it abundantly clear that the team is in cost-cutting mode at this point, folks still seem to be expecting the Lakers to pull a Lakers-esque move and bring in a superstar this year. Then the superstar and Kobe Bryant will team up to win a title. Or something.
That speculation got a boost a few weeks back when Sam Amico of Fox Sports published a report saying the Lakers are “on the lookout for a younger point guard who’s a more potent scorer” than Steve Nash. The same report said that the deal would be for someone ‘substantial’ and that “Pau Gasol remains far from untouchable.”
Shortly after Amico’s report, we began hearing about a Gasol-for-Rajon Rondo swap between the Lakers and Boston Celtics that absolutely, positively will not happen.
The bottom line on the Lakers is quite simple: this is going to be a bad year. The team may actually be surprisingly fun to watch, depending on how healthy Kobe Bryant can come back and be, but the odds of them winning a championship are slim to none. The odds of Kupchak making a ‘substantial’ trade are about the same.
L.A. can sign two max players and remain under the repeater tax threshold in 2014-15, there’s no way they’ll jeopardize that this season just to appease fans.