Can 2013-14 LA Lakers Pull off Spurs-Style Return to Glory?

As the San Antonio Spurs have put the Miami Heat on their heels in the NBA Finals, it's making a lot of people rethink how to build a basketball team, and perhaps the Los Angeles Lakers should take note.

Two years ago, the general consensus was that the Spurs were too old and that they were looking at a slow degradation into a team in dire need of a rebuild.

They lost to the Memphis Grizzlies in the first round of the playoffs, and injuries plagued their late-season run. Cries following their loss to the eighth seed were that the Spurs were in flux, and they were too old at the top to compete with younger groups of players.

The following season seemed to do nothing but hammer that point home. A two-game lead over the Oklahoma City Thunder in the Western Conference Finals turned into a six-game loss when the Thunder started making shots and outrunning them

But the Spurs never panicked. They made risky moves, sure, but nothing they did ever symbolized the front office gasping for air.

Here they sit two years later, two wins away from winning their fifth NBA championship since 1999.

Along the way they made interesting moves, none of which really knocked around the makeup of their team.

Most important was trading George Hill for Kawhi Leonard on draft day following their ouster in the 2011 playoffs. But smaller, less expensive moves were made along the way.

Gary Neal was an addition following the 2010 NBA Summer League and remained a minor player throughout the 2011 season and beyond.

Danny Green was signed, waived and signed again during the 2010-11 season, playing just four games during the regular season and seven whole minutes in the playoffs.

Boris Diaw and Patty Mills were free-agent additions during the 2012 season after they were cut or didn't have their contracts renewed by other teams.

The point here is that the Spurs w...

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