The Los Angeles Lakers appear to have a tumultuous offseason ahead of them.
Not only does the franchise need to find a new coach, but there are several other personnel questions that need to be addressed. After an extremely disappointing season, the Lakers are going to do their best to bring in name-brand talent to fill the seats and rack up wins.
But what will the team look like next year? I'll bet my money on "much different," but just how different will depend on the draft and how successful the team is in executing trades.
Here are the latest rumors surrounding all of the team's biggest questions at this point in the offseason.
Kevin Love a Possibility?
Pau Gasol was the team's power forward this past season, but with him scheduled to hit free agency, there is now a large vacancy at the position. Sure, Gasol could be re-signed, but why not get younger by acquiring Kevin Love?
Mitch Lawrence of the New York Daily News points out that Love to the Lakers is a possibility:
Kevin Love’s people reiterated to the Timberwolves this past week that they had better trade him or else he’ll leave via free agency when his contract is up after next season. With Love looking to exit, there’s your No. 1 reason the T-wolves have not been able to find a head coach to take over for Rick Adelman. Love wants to play for the Lakers but he’s also open to coming to the Knicks.
Pairing Love with Kobe Bryant would be a deadly duo, and the only questions surrounding L.A. at that point would have to do with depth. The roster is pretty depleted as it is, but the team would have to deal even more talent just to bring Love aboard.
Love is going to be the talk of the offseason, and the Lakers can make headlines by bringing him in.
Steve Nash Likely to be Retained
Steve Nash hasn't made that much of an impact on the Lakers since he came aboard, but the team appears poised to pick up his option for next year, reports Mark Medina of the Los Angeles Daily News:
Though they plan to keep Steve Nash for the final year of his $9.8 million contract, the Lakers plan to bolster that position amid uncertainty surrounding Nash’s back injury that kept the 40-year-old out last season for all but 15 games.
Nash has suited up for just 65 games the past two years. The Lakers will definitely need insurance, and they will likely look to the draft to sure up the second unit behind him.
Assuming they got a high lottery selection, guys like Marcus Smart or Dante Exum would make a ton of sense. Both guards have also shown the ability to play shooting guard, so their versatility will help them to get valuable minutes.
Nash will be most useful next season as a mentor to the young point guard they bring in. Kendall Marshall is nothing special, so looking for a floor general in the draft is the best idea.
Who Will be the Coach?
Kevin Ollie is off the market, reports Adrian Wojnarowski of Yahoo! Sports, so the Lakers will have to look elsewhere for a new head coach. Just who will it be? Well, Eric Pincus of the Los Angeles Times makes it seem like the team will leave no stone unturned:
Some possible candidates could include Mark Jackson, Jeff Van Gundy, Kurt Rambis, Byron Scott, Roy Williams, John Calipari, Mike Krzyzewski, Mike Dunleavy Sr., Billy Donovan, Lionel Hollins, Ettore Messina and even former Laker Derek Fisher.
There's a lot of coaching experience in that group, but there are some names that we might be able to axe off the list.
Mark Jackson is back with ESPN. While he could potentially take the job with the Lakers and cancel his new contract with the network, the Lakers might not want to waste their time on a guy that might not take the job.
The college coaches listed—Roy Williams, John Calipari and Mike Krzyzewski—are, in my opinion, also longshots. All three run successful college basketball programs and are legends at their respective schools. Teams have tried to lure them into the pros before, and there's nothing that makes this Lakers team particularly special.
Bryant and Nash are on the downside of their storied careers, there isn't much young talent, and no one really knows what upgrades will be made.
There are plenty of candidates for a new head coach, but it's anybody's guess as to who it'll ultimately be.
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