LA Lakers Areas That Must Be Upgraded Before Next Season

With Kobe Bryant trying to work his way back in time for opening night of the 2013-14 NBA season, the Los Angeles Lakers' short-term future may not be as perilous as initially thought.

However, there are several areas in the Lakers' organization that must be addressed before next season tips off in order for the Lakers to have any chance of success.


The Front Court

As the Lakers stand, they will only be employing Pau Gasol, Metta World Peace and Jordan Hill in their frontcourt. That means that the Lakers are in desperate need of a frontcourt upgrade before the start of the season.

The most obvious means to shoring up the frontcourt is to re-sign Dwight Howard, which won't be easy for a franchise that did not have the success expected of it last season.

With various teams vying for Howard's services next season, according to ESPN Insider Larry Coon, the Lakers may need to try and find front court help elsewhere. 

However, given the fact that the Lakers are set to be above the salary cap, regardless of whether or not Howard re-signs, they are going to have to utilize the exceptions they have among their non-qualifying veteran free agents—primarily Antawn Jamison and Earl Clark. 

While re-signing Jamison and Clark won't make the Lakers' frontcourt more potent, having interchangeable bodies and productive bench players are important for a Lakers' frontcourt that is very thin. 

From a salary standpoint, the Lakers wouldn't be able to make any huge upgrades unless they manage to re-sign Howard.


Perimeter Defense

With Steve Nash being a defensive liability regardless of the status of his health, the Lakers are going to need to find some help for Bryant, who is going to be hindered by his comeback from an Achilles tendon injury, in terms of perimeter defense.<...

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