Are the L.A. Lakers and Boston Celtics Paying the Price for Dynasty Building?
I believe the Los Angeles Lakers are doing it correctly, although it's come with some risks. Kobe is still on the team, yes, but the Lakers pulled off a trade that brought them another superstar in Dwight Howard.
Granted, Howard is a free agent after this season, but he is the franchise player in waiting should he re-sign with the team. It'll make the transition a little easier for the Lakers they'll still always be in contention for a title.
The Lakers are simply reloading and the dynasty-building hasn't exactly cost them. Yes, they are scratching for a playoff spot this year, but I don't think it's because of the mindset of the front office.
We're still all surprised they're out of the playoffs at the moment and we didn't foresee the team having a multitude of injuries. Steve Nash, Pau Gasol, Jordan Hill, Steve Blake and Metta World Peace have all missed significant time while Kobe and Howard have been banged up as well. It's ridiculous.
As for the Celtics, they've defied the odds in the postseason. Every year Boston had been rumored to break the team up but, because of what they had done the season before, for whatever reason they end up keeping the team as-is.
This feels like a repeat of the late 80s Celtics when they held on to Larry Bird, Kevin McHale and Robert Parish too long (though Len Bias, the No. 2 overall pick in the 1986 NBA Draft, died two days after the event and was supposed to be their next franchise player).
Not many expected the Celtics to go to the Finals in 2010 (when they faced the Lakers). So when they kept the team in 2011, it was tough to blame the Celtics.
But they kept the team for the 2011-12 season when they probably should've broken it up. However, luck played a huge part in the Celtics' deep playoff run when Derrick Rose got hurt, which was key to the first-seeded Chicago Bulls being eliminated in the first round.
Boston decided to make another run this season even though they lost Ray Allen. When Rajon Rondo was knocked out for the year, they decided to keep going with this team instead of blowing it up.
It's probably not as easy to blow the team up, but there's really nowhere for Boston to go. They're going to become the classic middle-of-the-road team if they keep going: not good enough to make the Finals and not bad enough to get a good draft pick.
What are their plans next? Do they build around Rondo? The bottom line is that holding on to this team for too long may have prolonged the Celtics' effort to rebuild the team.
As for the Lakers, they still have Dwight Howard. A few moves here and there (like trading Pau Gasol) and they'll still be in the game should Howard stay. But should Howard leave, this dynasty-building of theirs would be a failure and they would have to start all over.
The good news for both teams is that Los Angeles and Boston are prime spots for free agents. So there is a chance very good players would go to either squad.
All in all, did the dynasty-building cost these teams? For Los Angeles, it will if Howard leaves. At least they can reload very quickly with Dwight.
For Boston, yes. Unless they grab a franchise player out of nowhere this summer, they are not going to be a Finals contender for the next few years to come. They have nowhere to go but down.
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