Lakers Rumors: Kobe Bryant Will Be Key in Acquiring Trade and Free-Agent Targets

The Los Angeles Lakers are an absolute mess, though there is actually a small glimmer of hope on the horizon. The horizon is a bit far away for fans of the team, but it's a vision worth being patient about.

Kobe Bryant is done for the season. He will no longer have an impact on the current Lakers roster, a roster in desperate need of improvement for 2016—presumably a season that will be Bryant's last.

The Black Mamba still has quality basketball left in the tank. Sure, the 36-year-old shot only shot 37.3 percent from the floor in 35 games, but he still averaged 22.3 points per night. If you take enough shots you'll make enough shots, yet it's obvious that the Black Mamba can still be effective.

Bryant's confidence has been so apparent that others were able to tell the Los Angeles Times' Mike Bresnahan of his intentions for the future:

New York Knicks star Carmelo Anthony echoed that sentiment, via Bresnahan: "Oh, he'll be back. He's going to prove to everybody that he's coming back. He'll be back for sure."

He's coming back to prove something to both himself and his doubters—that's a given. But a competitor as fierce as Bryant obviously has other intentions. The five-time NBA champion wants to win. Unfortunately, this current roster lacks talent, depth and a capable running mate to play alongside one of the game's best ever.

Having been around the league for 19 seasons, Bryant knows a championship-caliber team when he sees one. He can probably even determine whether an individual player will mesh well enough with the rest of the team to boost the potential of his Lakers.

General manager Mitch Kupchak has the final say in most discussions when they pertain to roster construction, but rest assured that Bryant's words will be heard during the offseason:

Recruiting is now a common occurrence when big-ticket players ...

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