Lakers Rumors: Analyzing Buzz on Kobe Bryant’s Return and Jordan Hill’s Future

Following a 113-105 overtime loss to the Milwaukee Bucks, the Los Angeles Lakers fell to 13-36 on the season and remain fifth in the Pacific Division while holding the NBA's fourth-worst record. Just how bad is that? Well, some sportsbooks have already removed the team's championship odds from the board.

It's time to look to the future.

Of course, whenever the future of the organization is mentioned, the first name that comes to mind is Kobe Bryant. The All-Star guard was lost for the season after suffering a torn rotator cuff in his right shoulder, and at the age of 36, many are questioning his ability to return.

Although, let's take one thing into consideration here: Bryant is one tough competitor. He's battled back from a bevy of past injuries, depicted in this incredible graphic from Shahan Ahmed of

With that in mind, a return doesn't quite seem so unlikely.

According to Mike Bresnahan of the Los Angeles Times, people close to Bryant already think he's bound to come back for another season, "He hasn't officially said it yet, but people familiar with his thinking are confident he will return for the final season of his contract. He will turn 37 in August and stand to collect $25 million next season."

Even New York Knicks star Carmelo Anthony is extremely positive he'll see Bryant in a Lakers uniform once again. Here's what the forward had to say during an interview with Bresnahan: "Oh, he'll be back. He's going to prove to everybody that he's coming back. He'll be back for sure."

That's great news for Los Angeles, as Bryant's presence will not only boost the team on the court but off it as well. One of the NBA's all-time greats, he can be instrumental in bringing talent out west. If he's back for another season, he'll play a crucial role in the recruiting process over the summer, according to Bresnahan:

While that will ...

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