Injuries left the Lakers depleted, unorganized and on the precipice of implosion all season. Once Kobe Bryant went down with a ruptured Achilles, they finally reached a breaking point.
Clad with the knowledge that Dwight Howard's future is up in the air, their roster compromised by the health and age of their players and that they have absolutely no cap space, Mitch Kupchak and the Lakers must devise a plan. Just like they did last summer. Only this time, they need to put themselves in a position to stick to it.
Hollywood's finest—whoever they may be—will enter next season shrouded in ambivalence. Will the Lakers be title contenders? Can they rebound from last year? How is Kobe's Achilles, Metta World Peace's knee, Pau Gasol's foot and Steve Nash's entire body?
Those are just a few of the questions that will be posed. And the Lakers can't avoid them. What they can evade is a personnel flux.
By settling any roster issues over the offseason and establishing a clear direction that won't be susceptible to public corruption before next year, the Lakers will put themselves in a position to win.
Thereby distancing themselves from the disaster that was the 2012-13 season.
*All stats used in this article were compiled from Basketball-Reference, Synergy Sports, 82games.com and NBA.com unless otherwise noted.