State of the Organization: Los Angeles Lakers (as of 8/10/2012):
* The Lakers were a huge player in the Dwight Howard mega-deal. So lets go back through the rankings and see where they are now.
The Lakers prior to losing Andrew Bynum, basically kept the team from last season in tact along with some new faces. They lost Ramon Sessions, but we know who they have now at point. So losing Bynum is substantial for the Lakers, obviously we know who will be the Center next season for the Lakers. Regardless, losing a 24 year old Center who averaged 18 and 11 with 2 blocks as the third option isn’t all too great. We’re knocking off a point here for the Lakers.
Players Lost Score: 7 out of 10
We gave the Lakers 10 out of 10 on players added a few weeks ago. And with the addition of Dwight Howard, we can’t justify going any higher. If we could, we would. The Lakers replaced one of the best centers in the league, with arguably the best center in the league. Not bad. As soon as the Howard deal was finalized, the Lakers finalized a two-year deal with Jodie Meeks to play a bench role behind Kobe. The rich get richer!
Players Obtained Score: 10 out of 10
The Lakers are now title favorites. No team has been able to say that for two seasons other than Miami. But this team is more well-rounded and imposing than the South Beach squad. Look for a Heat-Lakers finals match-up.
Short-Term Outlook Score: 10 out of 10
Kobe has shown no decline to his career yet. But he is certainly getting no younger. Nash is 39 and is looking for his first ring, but he too is getting no younger. Gasol is at the end of his prime and will be taking a smaller role on this Lakers team. The one sure thing the Lakers had was the youth of Andrew Bynum, he was guaranteed to resign and become a staple (no pun intended) of the Lakers organization for years to come. Dwight Howard might only be a Laker for one season. If that is the case, this is a bad trade for the Lakers. Although, no one who knows basketball would ever think that a player would opt out of playing for the Los Angeles Lakers. Not to mention it could be Howards team in the future. Definitely worth the gamble for the Lakers. Previously a 7 out of 10, we will give them an 8.
Long-term Outlook Score: 8 out of 10
State of the Organization Score: 35.5 out of 40
State of the Organization: Los Angeles Lakers (as of 7/25/2012):
Players Lost: Ramon Sessions (Bobcats)
Ramon Sessions was a great pickup for the Lakers last season. It was the first time the Lakers had a worthwhile PG alongside Kobe Bryant in ages. However, Sessions wasn’t able to step in and provide the Lakers the same type of performance people were used to seeing when Sessions was with other teams. It would have been nice if they could have kept Sessions to backup Nash, but they can’t have it all I suppose. When Sessions gets his shots, he can score, so the move to the Bobcats is great for him. The Lakers aren’t going to feel the loss of Sessions, they still have Kobe and a few other plays right? 1-10 Players Lost Score: 8
Players Obtained: Darius Johnson-Odom (No. 55) Robert Sacre (No. 60) Antawn Jamison (from Cavs) Darius Morris (re-sign) Steve Nash (from Suns)
We avoided mentioning in the players lost section why the loss of Sessions is meaningless for the Lakers. The reason is Steve Nash. If any point guard is going to be able to make a difference on the Lakers, it will be Steve Nash. The Lakers actually have a great team that fits into Nash’s style of play, except for Kobe’s 25 shots per game. If the two former MVP’s can find a way to share the ball, then this team is scary good. Nash is reaching the end of his career and an NBA Championship on top of his personal hardware would be the icing on a Hall of Fame career. He is in a perfect situation, lobbing passes down low to Bynum and Gasol and getting wide open shots when Kobe is being triple teamed. The Lakers also added a guy named Antawn Jamison, for extremely cheap. That was a stunning move and should really help the Lakers second unit. Los Angeles also picked up two of the last 5 draft picks in this years draft, Darius Johnson-Odom and Robert Sacre. DJO is a tremendous talent and could really benefit from playing with the Lakers. Robert Sacre probably wont get much burn this year unless injuries hit the Lakers front court. The big 7 foot Canadian could probably fill in nicely in an emergency situation. The Lakers have had an amazing offseason so far. 1-10 Players Obtained Score: 10
Short Term Outlook: The Lakers just reloaded for a run at the title this year. They want to win this year, and nothing beyond that matters. Adding veteran players in Nash and Jamison without giving up any talent is impressive. Those two should fit perfectly into Mike Brown’s style and Kobe will need to relish the idea of passing to some elite players. Expect the Lakers to make a few more moves before the start of the season and if need be, during the regular season. This may involve moving some of their younger talent to load up for a serious run in the playoffs. In terms of the Dwight Howard situation, don’t expect the Lakers to unload their entire team for him. However, don’t be surprised if somehow Mr. Buss gets Howard at the trade deadline straight-up for Andrew Bynum. 1-10 Short Term Outlook Score: 9
Long Term Outlook: This is very hard to determine with the Lakers. Kobe should be fine for a few more years as he has shown little to no decline thus far in his career. Nash should be solid for another year or two, and the same with Gasol. The big question is the starting center. Will it be Bynum or Howard? Three years from now, Kobe will be 36, Gasol will be 35, Nash will be 41 (retired), Bynum will only be 27 and MWP will be 35. So they will be old, their point guard won’t be Nash, Metta World Peace is already done in my book and they will be relying heavily on Bynum who has only missed less than 15 games once since becoming the starter for the Lakers. Of course the Lakers will make the necessary moves to ensure Kobe has the chance to win a championship every year until he retires, but at the moment it is a little unclear how they will consistently compete against younger teams like the Thunder and Heat. If this was any other team, their long term outlook would be pretty good, but we all know the Lakers are always held to a higher standard than your typical NBA team. So for that, we won’t give them the benefit of the doubt. 1-10 Long Term Outlook Score: 7
State of the Organization Index: 34 out of 40