How Will Kobe Bryant’s Final Year Impact Lakers?


With Kobe Bryant very likely to retire after next season, how do things change when it comes to the Lakers’ operations? Will the team continue to bet on landing a marquee free agent this summer? Will they go into full-on tank mode? Will they become more active on the trade market and try to build a contender?

No one knows.

But what we do know is that Kobe hates losing. A lot.

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Despite this fact, it seems it will be rather unrealistic to expect a title run from Los Angeles next season, no matter how badly Kobe would relish at the opportunity to win another ring.

The franchise will almost certainly find it harder to land a premier free agent this summer as opposed to previous times. That being said, the franchise needs to stop relying on their brand to bring quality players flocking to L.A., and instead attempt to get some under-the-radar building pieces in free agency, as well as on the trade market, and build through the draft.

Yes, they’re the Lakers. No they’re not any good.

I know the Lakers cringe at the thought of those strategies, but maybe they’ll warm up to the idea when they realize the big names don’t really want to come there anymore — at least most of them. They may, however, have an opportunity in Kevin Love, who has seemed disgruntled at times in Cleveland, and has looked to be a shell of his former self when placed on the floor with so many scoring threats.

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  • Love won’t turn the Lakers into an immediate title threat, but he may be able to take just enough pressure off Kobe for him to shoot above 40%. The more realistic strategy for the Lakers will be to try to attract every big name they can, try to create a makeshift playoff team to give Kobe another crack at the title and completely ignore the draft.

    That’s the Laker way.

    Unfortunately, for Lakers fans everywhere, the Laker way just doesn’t work when your team is no good, and you don’t have an up-and-coming star that free agents might want to play with. That being said, it would be a classy move if the Lakers did get aggressive and try to build a playoff team to send Bryant out on a good note, though it may cost them future assets.

    Jan 21, 2015; New Orleans, LA, USA; Los Angeles Lakers guard Kobe Bryant (24) against the New Orleans Pelicans during a game at the Smoothie King Center. The Pelicans defeated the Lakers 96-80. Mandatory Credit: Derick E. Hingle-USA TODAY Sports

    As much as we’d all like to see Kobe Bryant’s team succeed next season, the Lakers should stick to their guns and continue to grab young, promising talent wherever they can. We all love you Kobe, but sentiment can’t get in the way of team-building.

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