Sixteen is Nice, Seventeen is Better

Now that Phil Jackson has announced his intent to return to Los Angeles for one more season, the pieces are beginning to fall into place for the Lakers. There is no doubt that Jackson’s return is vital to the success of the Lakers, and Lakers Nation can breathe a little easier today knowing that Phil will be back in his orthopedic chair next season. However, a coach isn’t going to be the deciding factor on whether a team wins or loses, so Los Angeles still has to do a good job of filling in the roster slots that are currently vacant.

The next few weeks will be intriguing because the Lakers, with the league’s highest payroll at 91.4 million dollars, might have to fill up a number of roster spaces without the financial cushion that many other teams have. With the cap for the next season set at 56.1 million and owner Jerry Buss expressing his dwindling desire to continue paying the dollar-for-dollar tax, it is clear that Kupchak has a lot of magic to work to help the Lakers tie the Celtics for most franchise NBA titles.

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