The Los Angeles Lakers headed into the off-season this summer with high hopes of landing another superstar to play alongside Kobe Bryant. LeBron James and Carmelo Anthony were available, but both players decided to head elsewhere rather than making the move to Los Angeles.
As a result of no major moves being made this summer, outside of adding Jeremy Lin and Carlos Boozer, the Lakers were given an overall D grade for their efforts by Scott Howard-Cooper of NBA.com.
Howard-Cooper said the following about his grading of the Lakers’ off-season:
The farewell tour of the once-great Lakers hoping to cling to the past is long gone, replaced by trying to start something new without really having anything new. While power forward Randle has star potential, most of the recent arrivals are veterans needing to prove they can still contribute in a big way, specifically Boozer, projected as the opening-night starter ahead of Randle, and Jeremy Lin, the starter if Nash struggles with his health. OK. When Nash struggles with his health.
Bryant will marshal every piece of energy within California and five other states to drive the Lakers back into playoff consideration. Scott will offer more than local cred and Showtime memories. And Young may continue to score. But this could still get very ugly.
All 30 teams were evaluated for their off-season moves with the Lakers being one of three teams to get a D. The Philadelphia 76ers and Indiana Pacers received the same grade with no other teams in the league going lower and only the Sacramento Kings getting a slightly higher grade with a D+.
Only four teams in the league received an A or higher. San Antonio Spurs were the only team to receive an A+ followed by the Cleveland Cavaliers (A), Chicago Bulls (A-) and Los Angeles Clippers (A-).
It will be difficult to have an optimistic approach as a Lakers fan heading into the 2014-15 NBA season after a summer filled with questionable moves. Kobe Bryant is coming off consecutive season-ending injuries and Pau Gasol decided to pursue a third title alongside Derrick Rose in Chicago while the Lakers had to settle with re-signing the majority of the players from last year’s roster.
Along with uncertainty surrounding Kobe’s future, the team will usher in yet another coaching staff in the post-Phil Jackson era with Byron Scott now running the show. Although Scott has received high praise from the team and its superstar, it remains to be seen if he’ll be able to turn things around in Los Angeles.[divide]
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