Biggest Early Season Storylines for Los Angeles Lakers

Like the New York Yankees, Montreal Canadiens or Green Bay Packers, the Los Angeles Lakers conjure up the very essence of a mythical, iconic franchise—even when they’re not very good.

Despite their cellar-dwelling mediocrity, the Lakers remain a dramatic, enigmatic and wildly erratic assemblage of a team. What’s similar to last year's club but different from most in its history is that the storylines tend to revolve around its failure to inspire and win.

Youth, injuries and a general lack of playoff-worthy talent have left the Lakers searching for any signs that they might be on the right path to redemption. So far, those paths have led to dead ends.

The Lakers limped into Boston Friday with the hope of at least knocking off their longtime rivals, the Celtics. Needless to say, Kobe Bryant’s Thursday morning breakfast with Celtics point guard Rajon Rondo ended up being a bigger storyline than the game, which was a 113-96 blowout by the home team. 

With another game Sunday against the New Orleans Pelicans at Staples Center, the 5-15 Lakers are going nowhere fast. The sad irony is that their few wins have put them in danger of not finishing in the bottom five, which would cost L.A. a top draft pick next June.

From Eric Pincus of the Los Angeles Times:

Struggling through one of the heaviest schedules in the league, the Lakers have survived a variety of absences, including those of Steve Nash (back), Nick Young (thumb), Ryan Kelly (hamstring), Julius Randle (leg), Xavier Henry (Achilles) and Wayne Ellington (personal matter), and they're still not quite bad enough to protect their 2015 NBA first-round pick.

If L.A. finishes outside the bottom five teams, they lose a first-round pick that was part of the Steve Nash trade with the Phoenix Suns. No one would ever suspect the Lakers of wanting to tank in order to get that pick. But should they end up winning to...

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