Breaking Down the Los Angeles Lakers Likely Offseason Moves

It wouldn't be an early postseason exit for the Los Angeles Lakers without immediate and incessant speculation about this team's future.

Whereas other franchises expect to cycle through various stages of success, the Lakers are expected to be good every year without exception. They'll go down in flames before they even utter the word "rebuilding."

For his part, Kobe Bryant was in no mood to ride off into the sunset and concede that the best of his career (or the Lakers' dynasty) was behind him. After the Oklahoma City Thunder authoritatively dismissed the Lakers in five games, Bryant told us something we already knew all too well (via the Washington Post's Michael Lee):

“It’s kind of unfamiliar territory,” Bryant said. “I’m really not used to it. It’s pretty odd for me. I’m not the most patient of people and the organization’s not extremely patient either. We want to win and win now. I’m sure we’ll figure it out. We always have and I’m sure we will again.”

The Lakers impatient? Impossible.

While GM Mitch Kupchak's best play might be keeping the core of this team together, it's hard to imagine fans and ownership alike accepting such an outcome–and you can imagine what Bryant would think.

The irony, of course, is that Los Angeles would have a much better chance of surrounding Bryant with a deep roster were it not for the fact that it's Bryant who makes an astronomical amount of money, even by superstar standards.

It should go without saying that Bryant won't be taking any pay cuts.

That leaves the Lakers to improve the team with smaller moves (like the mid-season addition of Ramon Sessions) and perhaps a big move or two that we all saw coming.

Odds are that either Andrew Bynum or Pau Gasol won't remain with Los Angeles for the duration of next season. One of them may even be gone before tha...

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