Lakers News: Players And Coaches Trending Up, Down During Offseason

NBA: San Antonio Spurs at Los Angeles LakersWith the offseason in full swing, Lakers fans are getting to the point where it’s time to sort through various rumors and trade scenarios to improve the team. Not many Lakers are in the news as they’re taking their time in recovering after the season and trying to lay low.

As the calendar continues to turn, decisions will be made as general manager Mitch Kupchak continues to improve the team. Let’s take a look at the players and coaches trending up and down for the past week.

Trending Up:

Mike D’Antoni

First he lands the biggest job in the NBA and then feels like he has all the job security in the world and buys a house in Manhattan Beach. It looks like Mike D believes he’ll be here next season and that won’t make many people happy. Coming in midseason, D’Antoni decided to keep the coaching staff in-tact and earlier this week, D’Antoni made two coaching changes.

He let  Chuck Person and Bernie Bickerstaff go while retaining Steve Clifford and Darvin Ham. There are rumors that he could look at Nate McMillan or Alvin Gentry to be his lead assistant, but there haven’t been any disclosed meetings with either of those two.

D’Antoni seems like he’s going to be here for the long haul as he hopes to build off the Lakers strong finish to the season.

Kobe Bryant

Whenever you post pictures on instagram of your foot being able to be on the ground and an Italian chef you flew in from Italy for your wife’s birthday, things are good for Kobe Bryant.

The 15-time All-Star seems to be making significant progress in his recovery from Achilles surgery. Kobe and all Laker fans believe that he will be ready for Opening Night as the Lakers look to recover from another disappointing season.

Kobe’s affinity with social media has helped all of us stay connected to what’s going on in his life and it’s always great to see that he’s in such good spirits after his nasty injury.

Pau Gasol

For one, his brother is still in the playoffs as Gasol is probably the only Laker left with a rooting interest in the playoffs. Also, his strong play has many saying the Lakers shouldn’t trade the two-time champion, but rather build off what he did at the end of the season.

Gasol is beloved in Los Angeles and if he’s traded like many believe he will be, many will be distraught and upset at his departure. If Dwight Howard were to leave, Gasol would once again become one of the main focal points of the Laker offense under D’Antoni.

With many questions marks surrounding the team, Gasol’s name is sure to be in the rumor mill for most of the summer.

Trending Down:

Bernie Bickerstaff

What does the man have to do to keep his job after being the winningest coach in Lakers history? After Mike Brown was fired, Bickerstaff coached the Lakers to a 4-1 record, the best winning percentage in Lakers history.

However, Bickerstaff was let go earlier this week and the veteran assistant and head coach should be able to catch on somewhere else. Supplanted to the second row of coaches after D’Antoni brought in his brother Dan, Bickerstaff was one Kobe’s favorites as he just let the team do their own thing.

So long weekend at Bernie’s, you will always be one of our favorite head coaches and you didn’t get the proper credit for your achievements.

Dwight Howard

D12 had a great opportunity in his exit interview to put all Lakers fans worries away and to commit to signing with the Lakers. While everyone knew that wouldn’t happen (and it didn’t), Howard said that he will lay low until he makes his decision. No tweeting, no instagraming as Howard hasn’t been seen or heard from in over a week.

Also, with Brook Lopez and Marc Gasol in the playoffs last week, if Howard watched Inside the NBA, he got to listen to Shaq and Charles Barkley talk about how those two are arguably the best centers in the NBA.

Howard has a lot to prove to the NBA community, but more importantly to Laker fans as his first season was up-and-down and failed to reach expectations.

Devin Ebanks

It’s hard to put Ebanks anywhere else as the bench warmer will not be back with the team after the Lakers most certainly won’t extend a qualifying offer to him.

It’ll be interesting if a team takes a chance on the former West Virginia star since there isn’t much tape to look over when wanting to know if he can play. Ebanks had a rough year and it’s hard to feel sorry for an NBA player, but you feel for him since he couldn’t get off the bench.

Hopefully he doesn’t become a Laker killer as most former Lakers players do once they leave the organization.

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