Despite failing to enter the Western Conference Playoffs for the fifth consecutive season, the future looks bright for the young Los Angeles Lakers team. Joining Chris Mannix and Caron Butler on Fox Sports Radio, Lakers legend Kobe Bryant said he loves what he’s currently seeing with the young players and how they managed to compete against powerhouse teams in the league. Bryant also mentioned a “couple of great lanes” the Lakers could take in the upcoming offseason.
“It depends on what they want to do. It depends what options are available to them. But I’ve got to tell you, man, they have a couple great lanes to go down. Whether it’s free agency, or whether it’s developing the young talent that they currently have, they’re in a really, really great position.”
In the upcoming offseason, the Lakers will have the chance to add a legitimate superstar to replace Kobe Bryant. Since Magic Johnson and Rob Pelinka assumed front office roles, there is a growing optimism that the Lakers could return once again to title contention. The Lakers have already made multiple roster moves in preparation to chase big names in 2018 NBA free agency.
In the past months, multiple NBA rumors have pointed out that LeBron James and Paul George could both sign with the Lakers in free agency. Successfully acquiring both superstars will undeniably make the Lakers a team to fear in the Western Conference. Aside from targeting superstar free agents, the Lakers are also rumored to be interested in trading for San Antonio Spurs Kawhi Leonard, a Los Angeles native who reportedly wants to play for the purple and gold. However, trading for Leonard will require the Lakers to sacrifice the likes of Kyle Kuzma, Lonzo Ball, or Brandon Ingram.
If the Lakers refuse to part ways with their young core, Kobe Bryant entered the possibility that the team will continue developing the current talent they have. Lonzo Ball, Kyle Kuzma, and Josh Hart established a promising rookie season to prove that they deserve to be part of the Lakers’ long-term future. Meanwhile, Brandon Ingram, who’s believed to be the next face of the Lakers’ franchise, has shown a massive improvement in his sophomore season and is slowly turning into a legitimate superstar in the league.
Kobe Bryant believes the Lakers’ fate in the years to come will depend on the path they will choose to take in the upcoming offseason. Unlike in the previous offseasons, the Lakers need to be more careful in every decision they will make this summer. Lakers President of Basketball Operations Magic Johnson and General Manager Rob Pelinka already vowed not to make the same mistake the previous executives did in the past. The 2017-18 NBA season is still far from over, but it’s interesting to see what the Lakers will look like next season.