LeBron James Decision: What Will It Mean For the Defending Champion Lakers?

I’ve never seen a championship team less than a month away from clinching its title become so forgotten by the media—particularly not when that championship is the team’s second straight.

But that’s just how crazy this offseason has become.

Every shift in the wind, every slight budge in momentum between the teams with the best shot at landing LeBron James (the Knicks, Heat, and Bulls) has been reported as the biggest news since Apple came up with the premise for the iPhone.

On one hand, the Lakers have been remarkably quiet in the offseason thus far. In terms of sheer excitement value, the Lakers’ signing of free agent point guard Steve Blake ranks right up there with bending paper clips or folding socks on a rainy Saturday afternoon.

It's highly debatable whether or not the Lakers have been too quiet, but in the end its' difficult to question the decision making of a front office that’s won five championships in the last decade.

But this all changes if James decides to join Chris Bosh and Dwyane Wade in Miami.

In that case, the Lakers will have no choice but to address the depth issues that plagued them throughout the last two seasons. One of the few weaknesses that Miami would have is that it would have little remaining cap room to fortify a supporting cast—and in the event of a 2011 Finals series, that’s a weakness the Lakers would have to take advantage of.

However, the Lakers need to improve drastically to make that happen. Outside of Lamar Odom, who is well known for his inconsistent play on both ends of the floor, the Lakers bench is devoid of any true game changers.

While Jordan Farmar and Shannon Brown had occasional breakout moments, that pair could just as easily go entire weeks without even making a peep. Sasha Vujacic and Josh Powell can’t escape the bench and Phil Jackson never learned to trust DJ Mbenga....

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