Los Angeles Lakers: Should the Team Rebuild or Stay the Course?

Joshua SextonSenior Analyst IIJuly 6, 2011

LOS ANGELES, CA - MAY 12:  (L-R) Kobe Bryant #24, Lamar Odom #7 and Andrew Bynum #17 of the Los Angeles Lakers sit on the bench late in the fourth quarter against the Houston Rockets in Game Five of the Western Conference Semifinals during the 2009 NBA Playoffs at Staples Center on May 12, 2009 in Los Angeles, California. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and or using this photograph, User is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement.  (Photo by Stephen Dunn/Getty Images)
Stephen Dunn/Getty Images

It seems as though fans of the Los Angeles Lakers find themselves in one of two parties this summer: fans who think the Lakers need to make drastic personnel changes or fans who think the team should try and make another run with its current core of players.

After what the Miami Heat accomplished last summer by bringing together two of the game’s top five players, it seems as though fans of big-market NBA teams are wanting their squads to play copycat.

This was evident when Lakers fans—even Magic Johnson—suggested the team should make a run at Dwight Howard in the midst of the team's playoff meltdown.

Maybe I am old fashioned, but I am in favor of giving the current Lakers the benefit of the doubt. After all, they won back-to-back championships in 2009 and 2010 and were the favorites going into last season's playoffs.

Therefore, It may be a little too early to be yearning for the best available free agent.

It’s not as though I am asking for all of us fans to give an untalented, unproven team a second chance. Although Kobe Bryant is getting up there in age, he still has a couple of seasons being considered one of the game’s elite ahead of him. In addition, the Lakers frontcourt is still very much a force to be reckoned with.

Lamar Odom just had the best season of his career, winning the Sixth Man of the Year award, and despite his poor performance in the postseason, Pau Gasol was named to his third straight All-Star team and was named to the All-NBA second team.

Also, Andrew Bynum played arguably the best basketball of his career during the second half of last season, primarily on the defensive end. In the second half of last season, Bynum averaged 12 rebounds and over two blocks per game.

As the Miami Heat proved, putting all your eggs in one basket with free-agent superstars does not guarantee a championship.

I am not naive enough to think the team does not need to make any changes going forward, but I would still take the Lakers' current starting five over most in the league.

My best advice to fans would be to lay back and relax, enjoy the upcoming season (whenever it starts) and see how the Lakers play when they have something to prove.