Great news, Los Angeles Lakers fans. Help is on the way.
At least, that's what one general manager thinks. The only problem is even if the executive is right, that help won't be coming until 2015.
The general manager, speaking anonymously, told ESPN insider Chris Broussard (subscription required) All-Star forward Kevin Love coming to the Lakers as a free agent in 2015 is "a 100 percent certainty."
It really doesn't get any clearer than that, does it?
Well, it's not quite that simple.
Projecting anything this far in advance is far from an exact science.
What if the Minnesota Timberwolves make a prolonged playoff run between now and then? Or Minnesota becomes convinced Love is leaving and ships him out to a team that has a championship ceiling? What happens if Kobe Bryant clearly isn't the same player (assuming, of course, he's still playing at that point) and the Lakers don't have any other attractive pieces to sell?
Clearly, there are questions that need to be answered. But is there a potential outcome that brings Love, a former UCLA star, back to Hollywood?
It seems as if L.A. will at least have cap space to build something of substance in 2015. Bryant is the only player holding a guaranteed contract for the 2015-16 season, via ShamSports.com, and L.A. might have another financially flexible offseason this summer.
Which free-agent target makes the most sense for the Lakers?
General manager Mitch Kupchak told Lakers.com's Mike Trudell recently his team could preserve its cap space this year to make a major move (or two) next summer. That would coincide with reports saying the Lakers aren't as interested as people think in Carmelo Anthony, who might be the prized piece of this free-agent class depending on what the Miami Heat's Big Three do with their early termination options.
Putting on a purple-and-gold thinking cap for a moment, a core led by a veteran superstar (Bryant), another in his prime (Love) and a potentially rising star from the stacked 2014 draft class sounds very intriguing.
ESPN Los Angeles' Arash Markazi said it could get even better:
If Love is a target for the Lakers in 2015, they would probably pass on signing a max player to a long-term deal this offseason with the hopes of getting Love and making a push for one other marquee free agent with the cap room they will have. Players like Rajon Rondo, Arron Afflalo, LaMarcus Aldridge, Tony Parker, Roy Hibbert and Tyson Chandler are all eligible to be free agents in 2015.
The Lakers know as well as anyone that superteam rosters carry no guarantees. Still, with the names being mentioned here, it's hard to completely stifle excitement.
So, take a minute and enjoy this, Lakers fans. Daydreaming about the future is a more-than-acceptable action at a time like this.
Anything to escape this putrid present is worth a try.