Blogtable: What’s Next For Lakers?

Each week, we’ll ask our stable of scribes across the globe to weigh in on the three most important NBA topics of the day — and then give you a chance to step on the scale, too, in the comments below.


Kobe’s fate | Lakers’ plans | The blame game



VIDEO: The GameTime crew discuss effect of Kobe’s left knee injury

Given this news, what direction should the Lakers’ front office think about taking?

Steve Aschburner, NBA.com: Forget the short term. This season is all about plucky overachievement now, not unlike Chicago’s a year ago. Plenty of moral victories, unexpected contributions from unlikely sources and a rare stretch of underdog ball for one of the NBA’s Big Kahuna franchises. Longer term – as in starting next season – the Lakers need to transition to a player who is Bryant’s equal or better and assume that, at most, Kobe will be 1A to whoever makes up that tandem. There’s no belly or time for a methodical rebuilding in L.A. but there doesn’t have to be, given its pull as a free-agent destination. This just has an Oscar Robertson-needing-young-Kareem feel to it for me.

Fran Blinebury, NBA.com: The short-term plan should just be going back to work, sharing the ball and returning to the scrapping style that had the Lakers with a .500 record at the time of Kobe’s return.  It’s all they can do.  The long-term plan has to re-visit the decision not to move Pau Gasol before he becomes a free agent.  He is the only serious trade chip the Lakers currently have and they need to start thinking ahead to acquire young talent rather than continuing to hitch their prayers onto an old body.

Jeff Caplan, NBA.com: As for the franchise’s thinking both short-term and long-term, I don’t think it changes anything. Obviously they’ll need a fill-in point guard with Steve Nash, Steve Blake and Jordan Farmar all out. Farmar is getting closer, but isn’t ready to play. A D-League guard such as former Suns first-round pick Kendall Marshall could be a short-term fill-in. Otherwise, this is their team, for better or worse, for the short-term. And that’s fine. This was not a title contender with or without Kobe, so let Mike D’Antoni coach these guys up, hope they can scrape their way to another 10-9 record or so without Kobe and see where they are when he’s ready to go. The reality is, and this has nothing to do with tanking, but if ever there was a year to have a season from hell, this is it thanks to the Draft we’ve all obsessed over for months already. The long-term goal was always to pursue free agents this summer and that will remain the plan. With any luck, Kobe is able to get fully healthy, the Lakers add a quality player in the Draft and then acquire more ammunition in July to give Kobe a two-year window to chase a sixth title.

Scott Howard-Cooper, NBA.com: Same as it was thinking before: Get the most out of this team as possible, hope the roster can keep the long-shot playoff hopes alive by staying close to .500 without Bryant just like last time, hope for a second-half push with Kobe back, and then have a championship summer. Consider trades, especially Pau Gasol, but don’t take on bad contracts just to get a deal and don’t cut into the war chest for July. All the things the front office knew before.

John Schuhmann, NBA.com: Same as they were before Wednesday. This team wasn’t going to be very good whether Kobe was healthy or not. They should certainly be exploring trades, looking to add assets (draft picks and/or young players), though they’re not likely to get much for anyone on that roster.

Sekou Smith, NBA.com: Kendall Marshall is obviously their short-term solution to a point guard problem Kobe was supposed to solve with his return. You shouldn’t make any long-term decision when you are dealing with any sort of traumatic incident, and make no mistake, after they hit him with that $48 million extension the Lakers are surely feeling a bit emotional about the future. What makes the process tougher is that now they don’t have a healthy Kobe to showcase to free agents they needed to impress in the league up to this summer’s frenzy. Anyone they try to lure to Los Angeles will have to show up and face the prospect of an ailing and fading Kobe as opposed to the league’s most feared performer. Someone send Mitch Kupchak and the Buss family a jumbo supply of Maalox for Christmas, because it’s going to be a rough winter and beyond.

Lang Whitaker, NBA.com: That Parker kid at Duke is pretty good! Seriously, there were those heading into the season advocating holding Kobe out as long as possible and, ahem, perhaps focusing more on future draft position and roster flexibility than on trying to be a marginal playoff team in a stacked Western Conference. If anything this latest injury should make that choice much easier.

41 Comments

  1. sophie1150 says:

    Best action the Lakers could take is find a way to get rid of Bryant. He has always been a very selfish player. A very talented players doesn’t want to be a Laker if Bryant is still around. Buss should step down and just collect his paycheck. Lakers need management like the Spurs.

  2. sophie1150 says:

    Lakers should have gotten rid of Bryant last year as his glory selfish days are over. Now they are stuck with a 48 million payout. A lot of players do not want Bryant as a teammate. Lakers need to start all over and will be great again in 3-4 years. They also need a shakeup in the front office and take lessons from the Spurs. Happy Holidays

  3. ivan the truth says:

    trade paul gasol and chris karman and henry and dfraft picks for kevin love or josh smith
    then move hill to center

  4. bataar says:

    TO JIMM BUZZ!!!! please change D’Antoni. I have seen LAKERS’ Games. But there is no game combination. just seeing each other and standing. no movements, no defense, not active, not fast. I am a Laker Fan. I love Lakers players. Xavier Henry, Meeks, Blake, Williams, Sacre, Hill,.. They can play better. Only problem is D’Antoni cannot control them. Also Please sign ONE BIG MAN who can move faster, defend same as Pekovich(MIN). Thank you.

    • 36yrfan says:

      ….good luck with that last bit of begging…..big men with great fundamentals are hard to find……they All are jump shootin’ wannabees these days…..All wanna be on ‘top ten highlights…….

  5. JR Williams says:

    Kobe will return but there are only a few scenarios that will play out.

    1. Kobe will finish out his two years in LA and join another Championship contending team
    2. The Lakers will trade Gasol and others and attempt to bring in another big time scorer, – (an effort that will fail)
    3. Kobe will end his career in LA after his contract ends

    http://sportsunbiased.com/nba/22021/kobe-bryant-will-return-but-the-lakers-have-deeper-issues/

  6. mario says:

    Trade everyone not named Kobe for draft picks. Only player i d trade for is Antetokunbo, this guy is the next big thing, just give him 2-3 years. I dont think Bucks would trade him though.

  7. okc2014 says:

    I think the Lakers should do…nothing right now. They will start winning, now that Kobe is off the floor no longer creating confusion, ballhogging, not enhancing camaraderie or team spirit. I remember once a co-worker left on extended medical leave. We seemed to surprisingly function better until the medical leave was up. Then it got tense again, and work productivity went straight down the tubes. Sometimes people have to accept their part in creating a positive atmosphere. It’s not about “you” when it coms to a team. Do you think the Mamba will do some reflection while he is out? Not.

  8. han says:

    Laker junk coach made good player hurt and damage the lakers

  9. han says:

    Fire that piece of junk coach

  10. ROBERT says:

    Kobe’s mind say yes body say no. True father time has not lost.

  11. Hoopla In Chicago says:

    THE LEAGUE NEEDS KOBE !!!!! I dunno who will uphold the JORDAN like LEGACY when and if he leaves….. Where is D ROSE when WE BBALLers need him…..

    #miamiisWACK

    #GOINDIANA!!!

    • Gerald Carney says:

      Yeah LBJ LBJ…healthy D WADE D WADE….rings rings rings…D wade has taught Labron to a MJ/Kobe/D Wade type of killa!! Game time….MIA HEATERS

    • 36yrfan says:

      ….legacy??? You mean who is gonna get all the babbying from the refs in the playoffs……I think we know who that is right now ….. don’t we ????

  12. Ivan says:

    The lakers need to trade Paul gasol and Chris kaman for Kevin love or josh smith

  13. Me says:

    I’m feeling what Sekou said ” Kendall Marshall is obviously their short-term solution to a point guard problem “

  14. Alex says:

    What should they do without Kobe? Learn to play without him and sack D’Antoni. They have talented players and need a coach that knows how to use them.

  15. KB24 says:

    So what? If kobe is a ball hogger?! Wo cares man… Love or idolized your own NBA player…thats who he is and thats how he play his game..we still like him and idolized him coz hes one of the greats…just accept the fact that hes a ballhogger and scorer..we don’t care if he is throwing bricks right now in the game coz we know he just came back from injury..let lebron,melo,wade,kd and whoever dominating now in the game do what they can do..they can’t be anyone else..they can only be by themselves…just like us! Thank you! AllTheLovePhilippines…

    • Gerald Carney says:

      Like those comments…Kb shouldn’t have played back to backs…Pop philosophy works sit down…it work for his counterparts…D wade…TD…Manu…KG…Russ…PP…and LBJ…not a Kobe fan but respect bra bra…we need him in the game…until he is one hundred percent I will not root against KB

  16. Joshua Greenfarb says:

    If there is not a no-trade clause in Bryant’s contract, TRADE KOBE BRYANT as soon as possible.

    Why is that hasbeen “untouchable?” The NBA has a business side. Keeping the most expensive player in the NBA (that will play very little in the future because he’s injury-prone and has little work ethic) on your salary cap is ridiculous.

    What will it take for the Laker organization to accept it? Bryant’s career is over. He is mediocre, at best! He is now overpaid and overrated. He makes your team worse.

    However, it’s funny. You know the Lakers will never let Bryant go. It’s pathetic. Their franchise is going down in flames. They keep thinking Bryant will return to All Star form. Not gonna happen. Funny.

    But, you almost can’t blame the LA Lakers. What NBA team would want an injury-prone hasbeen like Bryant on their team? No NBA team in their right mind would sign Bryant to a 20 million+ contract. Not even the Nets would. Bryant is a team chemistry killer. Thus, the Lakers are now stuck with Bryant until he retires. For the next decade, the Lakers are doomed. No superstar in their right mind would want to play for the Lakers, given they won’t be a playoff team for a LONG time. It’s over. Give it up.

  17. Bruce says:

    Ridiculous

  18. 1. Finish the season with all current players, just let it go!

    2. Fire D’Antoni after the season and get Lionel Hollins

    3. Do not resign Pau Gasol, Steve Blake, Jodie Meeks, Chris Kaman

    4. Try to get involved in the 2014 free agent battle and get: Isiaih Thomas, Chris Bosh & Eric Bledsoe

    And uhm…Lakers you don’t need Lebron or Melo if you still have Kobe around for 2 years. It’s not going to work out, you know how the chemistry is going to be…..no chemistry at all!

  19. kobeballhog says:

    Everyone always blames d’antoni, gasol, dwight, management, while the ballhog sits on top in his throne throwing bricks after bricks and piling up turnovers after turnovers, talk about these fanboys.

  20. KDfan says:

    1. Steve, do you think any player equal or better than Kobe in this league would play second fiddle to Kobe, now? Really??
    2. Scott, what are you on man?
    3. John, you are right on, again.
    4. Sekou, keep the Maalox away from Mitch and the Buss family. This is self inflicted.

  21. Kobe'sAlwaysBeenABallHogger says:

    WOW 1 COMMENT FOR KOBE THE BALLHOGGER. HEY REMEMBER THAT LAKERS 3-PEAT THAT WAS SUPPOSE TO HAPPEN IN 2011-2012.

  22. Kobe'sAlwaysBeenABallHogger says:

    …THAT’S WHY LEBRON’S BEEN SAID BY CHARLES BARKLEY AND COMPANY THAT THERE’S NEVER BEEN A PLAYER LIKE LEBRON. EVEN COMPARED TO JORDAN, LEBRON IS STRONGER, MORE ATHLETIC, QUICKER. NEVER SAW JORDAN OR KOBE DEFEND A 5 BEFORE. THAT’S A CENTER FOR YOU NON BASKETBALL FANS.

  23. bon calaunan says:

    I agree With Jack Nicholson.. Fire D’Antoni… He is not fit for the Lakers.. See what happen to New York Knicks the way he handle…

  24. Gian Carlo says:

    Absorb Jeremy Lin and Omer Asik, send Paul Gasol to Rockets. Then let the games begin for D’Antoni’ s system with Jeremy Lin leading the pack. As soon as Kobe healed, in times of postseason you will see the relevance of signing him a 48 million two year extension. Laker nation, we believe.

  25. J4CK Nicholson says:

    1) Trade Pau Gasol – but not to absorb a bad contract from the other team/s involved.
    2) Amnesty Steve Nash.
    3) Retain Hill, Johnson, Meeks, Young and Henry
    4) Fire D’Antoni

    • emmanuel says:

      cannot use amnesty again already did for metta they wont fire dantoni because then they would be paying for 2 coaches they dont use (mike brown) and still have to pay for another one.

    • michel says:

      U are clearly not Jack Nicholson, because a true fan like him would know that we already amnestied Metta, thus are not able to amnesty anyone else.

    • Wana'B'ossMan says:

      wow, you hit it right on the spot. couldn’t agree with you more. just to add, HIll is the most active guy out there and it makes no sense why D’Antoni is only playing him 21min pg. keep the 5 in the exact order u mentioned and fire D’Antoni. Pau/Nash is a soft spot but needs to go for the betterment of Lakers.

    • asd says:

      I actually couldn’t agree more on this one, except Johnson, he is not that good (he has a few good games, but not enough )

    • Montanski says:

      1)No one want future free agent
      2)We used the amnesty clause on Metta, so we can`t on Steve
      3)If we retain 2 of them it will be miracle
      4)Entire Lakers world of fans wants that, but…

    • Fryta says:

      They can’t amnesty Steve Nash because they already amnestied Artest….

    • Chunka says:

      1) agreed, though if it was easy they would have traded him already
      2) they cannot use the amnesty anymore, they used that for MWP
      3) Sure, all 3 of them are overachievers at the moment
      4) If 1)+3) is the plan, KEEP D’Antoni , for he is the reasoun Henry,Young and Meeks are clicking….

    • bob says:

      amnesty was used last year on MWP and its a 1 time deal