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As bad as things were for the Lakers this past season, not everything requires immediate attention. There are a few problems that the team can stand to put off for now as it deals with more pressing issues. However, these problems will become more and more prevalent.
While the organization may not have to deal with these immediately, it should begin preparations now for the inevitable point in time when these issues must be addressed, and the franchise can avoid unnecessary setbacks.
Who should be running the show?
Since the passing of Jerry Buss last year, there has been a question of just who is calling the shots in Laker Land. Officially, Jim Buss serves as executive vice president of basketball operations and is in charge of making basketball decisions, but questions remain about his ability to lead the organization, especially given the team's generally disappointing play in recent years.
Jeanie Buss, the team's president, is focused on the business aspect of the organization, and she remains a favorite for the job among many, including Magic Johnson.
Jim still has time to prove his critics wrong, but even he knows the clock is ticking. Although this won't require attention this offseason, the team needs to drastically improve fast. If it doesn't, the demand for Jeanie to take over will increase, eventually becoming too much for the players to ignore.
Which of their own free agents do the Lakers need to keep?
The Lakers struggled mightily this past season, but there were some bright spots. Of the departing players, the ones the Lakers should be most concerned with keeping are Pau Gasol, Nick Young, Jodie Meeks and Jordan Hill.
The question the Lakers need to answer is which (if any) of these players are worth the financial investment moving forward. Whether any of them stay or go is not going to make or break the Lakers next season, so it isn't crucial to re-sign them. If they decide to walk, they could all be replaced.
Still, it would be nice for the team to retain some known quantities that it can depend on. The Lakers would prefer to not have to start remaking the roster completely from scratch.
The only exception is Gasol. His drop in effectiveness has as much to do with Mike D'Antoni's system as Gasol's perceived loss of ability. If the Lakers bring in a coach who can more effectively utilize Gasol's unique skill set, he is capable of returning to his former productivity for the Lakers and being part of a championship team. Given his relationship with Kobe Bryant, he might be willing to do so at a friendlier price.