Lakers’ Offseason: Why the Team Will Stay Put for Now

"What I think about is shutting up those [expletives] talking about I'm done."

This is what a seething Kobe Bryant said during his exit interview.

The second after the Lakers were eliminated from the playoffs, Kobe already began thinking about next year. He will have an extra month-and-a-half to rest, get stronger and recuperate for next season's grind. A looming lockout will also give Kobe time to rest even more. The lockout will only benefit the Lakers.

A lockout also means that there won't be an active free agency market this summer. Without a collective bargaining agreement, it will be hard for teams to lock certain players, even with the extended negotiation period, which runs through July 22, 2011.

This means that all of this talk about the Lakers blowing up their team, when they already do have a championship caliber team, is hogwash. Was Magic Johnson thinking when he made those comments? Why would teams make drastic offseason moves without knowing what the salary cap will be? Without knowing other important aspects of the CBA that will make signing a player affordable or not.

It's not that the Lakers don't need to make a move, it's that they won't be able to.

The lockout is imminent. Teams are losing money and the players are not happy with the concessions they will have to give to owners.

"The NBA sent their recent proposal about a week or so ago, and we were able to take a pretty good look at it. Frankly, we're disappointed in the context of it and we're still full steam ahead in trying to get this thing figured out and getting a deal done. In terms of a timeline, how things will unfold, it's hard to say right now."

These were words from another Laker, Derek Fisher, who is the president of the players' association.

It's going to be very difficult for any team to make drastic moves before the lockout ends, and by the time it ends it might be too late to m...

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