The Los Angeles Lakers find themselves in a strange situation after 34 games in this nascent NBA season. They stand at 14-20 overall, ranked 13th in the Western Conference standings, and injuries have left the ranks depleted at a juncture where many other teams are starting to get into a rhythm. No doubt, the uncertainty swirling around Kobe Bryant, Steve Nash and Pau Gasol have thrown the season into turmoil.
Any preseason hopes have been dashed on the rocks, although there has still been something enjoyable about watching this ragtag assortment of players work hard every night. There have been plenty of interesting developments to keep an eye on with the Lakers' crop of younger players.
If everything broke the Lakers' way, then yes, the Lakers would have a great shot at a low seed in the playoffs. That's what a team with Bryant, Nash and Gasol on the roster should expect.
Clearly this has not been the case for the Lakers this season; one obvious reason is having those three players on the roster has meant a lot of checks signed to guys wearing suits on game day. Several other trends and incidents have damaged the Lakers' ambitions this season.
Now that this season is looking increasingly like a gap year for the Lakers, it's time to see how what has transpired this season affects the team for the near future. It's too early to write the team off, especially if there is good health in certain player's futures, but it's not too early to consider just how this team will change in the next couple years based off what's transpired so far.
Let's take a look at the top 10 developments that have derailed the season for the Lakers, and which one's will also have the greatest impact moving beyond this season. The stronger the impact on future outlook, the higher it goes on the list.