It has not been a good year for the Los Angeles Lakers. During the 2013 offseason, the Lakers lost star center Dwight Howard to the Houston Rockets in free agency just a year after dealing for him. The Lakers then were decimated by injuries including ailments that caused guard Kobe Bryant and Steve Nash most of their seasons.
The Lakers entered this summer hoping to score Carmelo Anthony or LeBron James but instead settled for signing Ed Davis and winning the amnesty claim on Carlos Boozer. They also re-signed a couple of their own players, Jordan Hill and Nick Young. That’s led many to speculate the Lakers are going to spend the year rebuilding and show throw their younger players, like the seventh-overall pick of June’s draft, Julius Randle, right into the fire.
Joel Brigham of Basketball Insiders believes the Lakers should “play their vets and see what happens.”
Play the vets and see what happens, as long as Kobe is in the postseason. The Lakers are a team people expect to see in the postseason, and you don’t want to waste Kobe’s last couple of years in the league, otherwise what are you spending all that money for? It’s not a great lineup on paper, but you never know how all the new guys will mesh. If Kobe gets hurts again, it’s a different story, but if he’s going to play, I don’t think you stifle his competitive nature.
Bryant has already stated the Lakers’ goal is to win a title so he’s made his stance on rebuilding very well-known.
Bryant averaged 13.1 points, 6.3 assists, 4.3 rebounds and 1.2 steals per game while shooting 42.5% from the field, 18.8% from beyond the arc and 85.7% from the free throw line. In his storied career, he has averaged 25.5 points, 5.3 rebounds, 4.8 assists and 1.5 steals per game while shooting 45.4% from the field, 33.5% from three and 83.8% from the charity stripe.