L.A. Lakers: 10 Ways the Post-Phil Jackson Lakers Will Look Different

Nathan TannerContributor IIIMay 18, 2011

L.A. Lakers: 10 Ways the Post-Phil Jackson Lakers Will Look Different

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    LOS ANGELES, CA - MAY 02:  Head coach Phil Jackson of the Los Angeles Lakers looks on during the national anthem before the Lakers take on the Dallas Mavericks in Game One of the Western Conference Semifinals in the 2011 NBA Playoffs at Staples Center on
    Kevork Djansezian/Getty Images

    The L.A. Lakers’ 2010-2011 season started with high hopes. The team was coming off back-to-back NBA championships and needed one more title to secure Phil Jackson’s fourth three-peat.

    The season ended in bitter disappointment. The Lakers were swept by the Mavericks and looked more like chumps than champs.

    Phil's Last Stand looked a lot like Custer's Last Stand—a valiant effort, but total annihilation in the end.

    Phil Jackson, the greatest NBA coach of all time, has ridden off into the sunset never to coach again.

    With Phil gone, the team will certainly see some changes. Here are the 10 ways the post-Phil Jackson Lakers will look different.

10. Jim Buss Will Be Much More Visible

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    With Phil Jackson no longer in town, someone must step up and fill the Lakers’ leadership void.

    That someone is Jim Buss.

    Jim is the son of owner Jerry Buss and, according to ESPN’s Ramona Shelburne, he is the most influential person leading the Laker franchise.

    Here is a quote from Shelburne’s article:

    “Over the past seven or eight years, Buss has become one of the most influential voices inside one of the NBA's most influential organizations. Yet most Lakers fans have barely heard of him…

    But now, with legendary coach Phil Jackson retiring and his father, Lakers owner Dr. Jerry Buss, retreating a bit further from the day-to-day operations of the team each year, Jim Buss' influence on the future of the franchise will be hard to miss.”

    For better or worse, it looks like Lakers fans will be hearing more from Jim.

9. Dwight Howard and Chris Paul Will Not Come to LA

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    PHOENIX - FEBRUARY 15:  (L-R) Chris Paul, Dwight Howard and Dwyane Wade, members of the men's gold medal winning USA Olympic basketball teams, wave to the crowd during half time of the 58th NBA All-Star Game, part of 2009 NBA All-Star Weekend at US Airway
    Ronald Martinez/Getty Images

    To get Dwight Howard or Chris Paul, the Lakers will have to give up Andrew Bynum or Kobe Bryant.

    Kobe is the face of the franchise, so there is no way he gets traded. Plain and simple.

    Bynum’s situation is a bit more complex. The Lakers have had many opportunities to deal Bynum over the last few years, but Jim Buss has fought to keep him in LA.

    Now that Buss will play a much more active role with the team, there is no way Bynum gets traded. He has a lot invested in the young center and wants to see him develop.

    If the Lakers aren’t willing to part with Bynum or Kobe, how can they land a superstar?

    Howard and Paul are two of the best players in the NBA and will not be traded for peanuts. Several teams can offer more than the Lakers can.

    As much as Lakers fans would love to see them in yellow and purple, it probably won’t happen.

8. Ron Artest Will Be Traded

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    LOS ANGELES, CA - APRIL 26:  Ron Artest #15 of the Los Angeles Lakers reacts in the second half while taking on the New Orleans Hornets in Game Five of the Western Conference Quarterfinals in the 2011 NBA Playoffs on April 26, 2011 at Staples Center in Lo
    Harry How/Getty Images

    How do the Lakers get rid of Ron Artest, the hero of last year’s NBA Finals?

    Easy. Watch his game tape from this year.

    Artest is still owed $22 million over the next three years. While he helped the Lakers beat the Celtics in 2010, he’s been dead weight since. His skills on offense and defense continue to deteriorate.

    If the Lakers can trade Ron Artest by himself, they’d do it in a heartbeat.

    To get rid of Artest, they’ll have to package him with a good player who has a reasonable contract.

7. Lamar Odom Will Also Be Traded

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    LOS ANGELES, CA - OCTOBER 21:  Lamar Odom of the Los Angeles Lakers and wife Khole Kardashian  arrive at the Lamar Odom Launches Rich Soil At Kitson LA event on October 21, 2009 in Los Angeles, California.  (Photo by Frazer Harrison/Getty Images)
    Frazer Harrison/Getty Images

    Lamar Odom is one of the most talented and versatile players in the NBA. Throughout his career he has tantalized fans with flashes of brilliance, but he continues to underachieve his full potential.

    This past season, Odom seemed to care more about his reality show than basketball. The Lakers need players who are hungry and dedicated to winning. Odom appears to be neither.

    Odom is owed only $17 million over the next two years with a team option of $8 million in year three—a great value for someone of his talent.

    The Lakers don’t want to trade him alone, but would probably look to package him in a deal with Artest.

6. Ty Lawson and Wilson Chandler Will Come to LA

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    DENVER, CO - APRIL 23:  J.R. Smith #5, Raymond Felton #20, Chris Andersen #11, Wilson Chandler #21 and Ty Lawson #3 of the Denver Nuggets head to the bench during a time out against the Oklahoma City Thunder in Game Three of the Western Conference Quarter
    Doug Pensinger/Getty Images

    Derek Fisher is great, but he no longer has the speed or athleticism to be a starting point guard in the NBA. The Lakers need a quick point guard who can penetrate the lane and open up the floor.

    Kobe Bryant is getting older and LA will need another wingman who can defend and drive to the hoop.

    Solution? The Lakers trade Odom and Artest for Ty Lawson (point guard) and Wilson Chandler (wingman).

    Lawson just finished his second year in the NBA and is oozing with talent. He shoots over 50 percent from the field, knocks down threes and penetrates the lane.

    Chandler is a great all-around player who gets better every season. He has the potential to be a defensive stopper and would bring a lot of athleticism to a Laker team that looks slow.

    Trading Odom and Artest may be tough, but it’s a necessary move to get younger and better.

5. They Will Sign a Veteran Big Man

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    CHICAGO, IL - APRIL 16: Kurt Thomas #40 of the Chicago Bulls dunks the ball against the Indiana Pacers in Game One of the Eastern Conference Quarterfinals in the 2011 NBA Playoffs at the United Center on April 16, 2011 in Chicago, Illinois. The Bulls defe
    Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images

    The Theo Ratliff and Joe Smith signings never quite materialized the way the Lakers would have liked. Ratliff was injured most of the season and Smith proved to have little left in the tank.

    Signing Kurt Thomas would be a wise move for the Lakers. At age 38, Thomas can still score and rebound adequately.

    Bynum’s recent playoff performance shows that he is immature and needs some mentorship on the court. Someone needs to tell him that he can't pull WWF moves in a game and then rip off his jersey (see Game 4 of Lakers-Mavs series).

    If Odom is traded, the Lakers will need a big guy who can come off the bench and deliver 20 solid minutes a game.

    Kurt Thomas is that guy.

4. They Will Sign a Three-Point Shooter

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    DENVER, CO - APRIL 25:  J.R. Smith #5 of the Denver Nuggets reacts after scoring against the Oklahoma City Thunder in Game Four of the Western Conference Quarterfinals in the 2011 NBA Playoffs on April 24, 2011 at the Pepsi Center in Denver, Colorado. NOT
    Doug Pensinger/Getty Images

    The Lakers have an unwritten rule—only one crazy man allowed on the team. If Artest is traded, the crazy man spot opens.

    Who better to fill it than JR Smith?

    All joking aside, Smith is a knock-down shooter who has incredible range. He is only 25 years old and there is still hope that he will mature a bit.

    The Lakers really need to add a three-point shooter who can provide instant offense off the bench. Smith will provide just that.

3. The Team Will Be Deeper and More Balanced

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    LOS ANGELES, CA - MAY 02:  Andrew Bynum #17 and Kobe Bryant #24 of the Los Angeles Lakers stand on the court before taking on the Dallas Mavericks in Game One of the Western Conference Semifinals in the 2011 NBA Playoffs at Staples Center on May 2, 2011 i
    Kevork Djansezian/Getty Images

    If the Lakers make the changes I prescribe, here is their 2011-2012 roster:

    PG: Ty Lawson

    SG: Kobe Bryant

    SF: Wilson Chandler

    PF: Pau Gasol

    C: Andrew Bynum

    Bench: JR Smith, Matt Barnes, Shannon Brown, Kurt Thomas, Derek Fisher, Derrick Caracter, Luke Walton

    Compared to last season, this lineup is younger, more athletic and can help the Lakers win another title.

2. The Triangle Offense Will Be Abandoned

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    LOS ANGELES, CA - JUNE 06:  (L-R) Assistant coach Brian Shaw, head coach Phil Jackson and assistant coach Frank Hamblen of the Los Angeles Lakers sit on the bench in the second half against the Boston Celtics Game Two of the 2010 NBA Finals at Staples Cen
    Christian Petersen/Getty Images

    While the triangle offense has worked great in the past, it is very difficult for new players, and even current player, to learn.

    The Lakers make several changes each season. Does it really make sense to run an offense that only half the team can execute?

    With Phil Jackson out, the Lakers will abandon the triangle offense and run a system that is easier for new players to pick up.

1. Rick Adelman Will Be Named Head Coach

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    BOSTON, MA - JANUARY 10:  Head coach Rick Adelman of the Houston Rockets signals a play in the first half against the Boston Celtics on January 10, 2011 at the TD Garden in Boston, Massachusetts.  NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that,
    Elsa/Getty Images

    Phil Jackson will not coach the Lakers next season and is retiring for good. He may have said this once before, but most are confident he’s not coming back this time.

    While Brian Shaw has been groomed to be the next head coach, he is not the best man for the job. He is a great guy and a Laker insider, but he’s completely unproven.

    The Lakers will make a lot of changes in the offseason. Can Shaw handle all that is to come? Maybe he can, but it’s tough to say because he hasn’t done it before.

    The next Lakers coach will most likely be Rick Adelman.

    He is a proven winner and a player’s coach. Adelman will earn the respect of his players and has had enough success in the league for Kobe and the gang to buy into his system.

    He has what it takes to get the Lakers back to the Finals and help Kobe get his sixth championship.

    Sorry Shaw, but Adelman’s the right man for the job.


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