Purple and Gold Dilemma: How Will The LA Lakers Replace Kobe Bryant?

One of the reasons the Los Angeles Lakers are the NBA's most consistent franchise is the ability to renew their talent base by attracting top tier players to Hollywood.

The Lakers have only missed the playoffs twice in the history of the franchise, and that sterling record is due to a succession of Hall of Fame players such as Jerry West, Wilt Chamberlain, Magic Johnson, and Kareem Abdul-Jabbar.

But how do the Lakers replace what may be arguably the top player in the history of the franchise?

Kobe Bryant will likely retire in the next few seasons, and when he does Bryant will be the most decorated and accomplished player to ever wear a Lakers uniform.

General manager Mitch Kupchak will be facing a dilemma which is entirely different from 2004 when he basically re-built the entire team from scratch with Bryant as the focal point.

That team wasn't expected to compete with players such as Smush Parker and Kwame Brown on the roster, but the Lakers of the near future will be a strong team seeking to replace Bryant's leadership and charisma.

And scoring.

If Andrew Bynum can continue his development and avoid injury the Lakers should be set in the post, and newcomers Derrick Caracter and Devin Ebanks look like good bets to play pivotal roles in the future.

But the only guards who will conceivably be around in the next four seasons will be Shannon Brown and an aged Steve Blake, and neither player is a viable replacement for Bryant.

If Los Angeles does want to make a move now the team's best shot may be at the NBA trade deadline when players such as Chris Paul and Carmelo Anthony may be available.

Anthony has made it clear that he is unhappy in Denver, and even though recent attempts to trade the disgruntled star have failed, that doesn't mean the bidding for his services are over.

Unless Anthony signs a contract extension the Nugge...

About the Author