Los Angeles Lakers: Win Now or Win Later?

The Los Angeles Lakers are on top at the moment; however, the signs of aging are starting to show.

Derek Fisher is 36, Kobe Bryant is 32, Ron Artest and Lamar Odom are both 31 and Pau Gasol and Matt Barnes are 30. Age has not become a real problem yet, but in the next couple years, it will.

Being such a strong team, the Lakers are unable to use the draft to    reload on potential youngsters who would facilitate the continued success of the team when the starters leave or retire. Instead, they are forced to acquire these prospects via trade or free agency, and unless they accomplish this over the off-season or throughout the next couple seasons, they may take a dive down the standings.

The average player age on the Lakers is currently 29.5 years. Andrew Bynum (23), Shannon Brown (25), Derrick Caracter (22) and Devin Ebanks (21) are the only players on the current roster under 30 years of age.

Andrew Bynum and Shannon Brown certainly have bright futures. However, once the starting core finally sputters out, are these really the two guys that the Lakers want to build their team around? The duo of Bynum and Brown is not even tops in Los Angeles, let alone the NBA.

Also, with Andrew Bynum’s history of injuries, and Shannon Brown possibly entering free agency this off-season with the chance to be a starter somewhere else, I am convinced that there is much that Lakers management needs to accomplish in order to ensure a brighter future for the team.

On the flip side, even when Phil Jackson is gone, the Lakers will remain contenders for another two to three seasons if they try to keep consistency on the roster, and continue to make minor tweaks as they did last off-season. Then, once Kobe and company retire, they need only dip into the free agent pool and pull out a star caliber free agent; say Chris Paul or Dwight Howard next year…right?

I feel that we frequently ...

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