3 Consequences If the Lakers Fail to Make the NBA Playoffs
When you think of the Los Angeles Lakers, you typically think of them as a perennial playoff team.
Boasting 16 NBA championships and countless postseason plays deemed worthy of the highlight reel, the Lakers are known to be a playoff gem.
However, with the team's current performance in the 2012-13 season, the possibility of a playoff berth is up in the air, to say the least.
So let's say the Lakers don't make the playoffs in 2013; what's the worst that can happen?
Here are three scenarios that could play out in such an event.
3. Gasol on the Trading Block
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The Pau Gasol trade rumors have been circulating since his performance began to deteriorate, showing a lack of defensive strength in the key and an inability to stay healthy
If the Lakers fail to make the playoffs, these rumors could very well become a reality. When a marquee team doesn't make the postseason, one word comes to the minds of the front office: rebuild. Gasol is in his 12th season, spending five of those years with L.A.
With Jim Buss making moves, he could essentially attempt to bring some youth into his team at the expense of the four-time All-Star.
2. One and Done for D12
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When Dwight Howard was traded from the Orlando Magic this past offseason, fans were begging to have a welcoming ceremony similar to when Chris Bosh and LeBron James joined the Miami Heat, complete with fanfare and promises of a 17th championship.
Expectations were set so high for D12 that when he failed to produce due to injuries and dysfunctional team strategies, reality set in.
We were immediately reminded that the Lakers picked up Howard on the tail end of his five-year contract, making him a free agent at the end of this season.
With the way the Lakers have been playing and a playoff berth being anything but certain at this point, there is a severe possibility that the former Defensive Player of the Year could be shopping around to a title contender, or at least a team that can successfully rebuild in time to show some progress.
1. Wishing D'Antoni the Best in His Future Endeavors
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As is common with any other team throughout the history of sport, when a team fails to reach the postseason due to poor performance, the finger is always pointed at the coaching staff. Heads start rolling with the hopes that maybe new leadership can right the proverbial ship.
Mike Brown got the axe after a 1-4 start to the 2012-13 campaign, and with rebuilding playing a recurring role, current coach Mike D'Antoni could easily be next, especially if his squad doesn't make the playoffs.
Although the Lake Show is displaying some signs of life as of late, D'Antoni's job will not be secure until his team reaches above the .500 mark.
If he can accomplish this, then there may be no need to hit the panic button just yet.