Los Angeles Lakers: Providing Worry and Mystery This Holiday Season

Joshua SextonSenior Analyst IIDecember 15, 2011

EL SEGUNDO, CA - DECEMBER 11:  Kobe Bryant #24 talks with the media during Los Angeles Lakers Media Day at Toyota Sports Center on December 11, 2011 in El Segundo, California.  (Photo by Jeff Gross/Getty Images)
Jeff Gross/Getty Images

‘Tis the season to be jolly, right?

But if you are a Los Angeles Lakers fan, it may be the season to be worried.

It all started last week when Commissioner David Stern vetoed a trade sending Chris Paul to the Lakers. And after additional tries throughout last weekend attempting to make the trade acceptable to the league’s standards, talks died between the Lakers and Paul.

It was reported late Wednesday night Paul was traded to the Los Angeles Clippers.

It was right about the time these trade talks died that the team announced they had traded reigning Sixth Man of the Year Lamar Odom to the Dallas Mavericks for the Mavs' first-round pick in the 2012 draft. Yes, the same Dallas Mavericks that squashed the Lakers six months ago in the playoffs.

Here is Kobe Bryant’s recent disagreement with the transaction.

Maybe the team didn’t request much in return for Odom in order to save room on the payroll to bring a  superstar to town (more specifically Dwight Howard) after the CP3 deal fell through the cracks?

It’s a possibility. But if that’s the case, it appears as though the Lakers are now 0-2 on trying to sign a marquee superstar, after it was announced on Wednesday the Orlando Magic were pulling Howard off the trade market, which means he will likely start the season in a Magic uniform.

The only thing the fans can lean on right now is the signing of Josh McRoberts to replace Odom (I don’t know whether to cry or pinch myself and hope the Odom trade was a dream), and Kupchak reportedly announcing “big moves” are on the horizon.

And in case anyone forgot, the team is coming off a putrid showing in last spring’s playoffs and has Mike Brown as their new coach, who is a suspect hire in the eyes of most fans.

All of the questionable transactions, lack of transactions, a possibly disgruntled Bryant, a possibly shaken Gasol (who was supposed to be dealt in the Paul trade) and a new coach few believe in adds up to a whole bunch of mystery and worry surrounding the Lakers this season.

Will failing to land Paul and/or Howard (for the time being) hurt the team in the long term?

Is the Buss family trying to put their fingerprints on things a little too much in the absence of Phil Jackson?

Can Kobe, Gasol and Bynum lead the team deep into the playoffs without any more major roster changes?

Will the team eventually land a marquee superstar?

The Lakers usually give their fans a big, expensive gift for Christmas. One where you know what it is without unwrapping it, like a new 10-speed bike with a giant bow on it.

But this year, the package seems to be much smaller and much more ambiguous.  But that’s OK. Sometimes those small packages under the tree can totally surprise us with their contents.

On the other hand, they are sometimes filled with new socks.