In the aftermath of the Dwight Howard fiasco, the Lakers did manage to sign center Chris Kaman to replace Howard, and they also added another outside shooter in California native Nick Young, signing them both to one-year deals.
However, neither one of those signings is expected to have a championship impact, and even if Kobe Bryant makes a full recovery from his Achilles injury and is ready for the season opener, the Lakers will still struggle to qualify for the 2014 NBA Playoffs.
There are silver linings in every cloud, and for the Lakers, the forecast is expected to change dramatically once we arrive to the summer of 2014.
If the Lakers fail to make the postseason, they should have a lottery pick in one of the deepest NBA Drafts in recent memory—not to mention only one player under contract at the time.
At the conclusion of next season, Steve Nash will be the only Laker officially on the books, which means one of the greatest franchises in the history of the NBA will have enough money to immediately change the course of its future.
Preserving that financial flexibility is crucial for numerous reasons, and in the following slides, we will explore a few of the most important ones.