Ranking the Biggest Offseason Needs for Los Angeles Lakers

The NBA playoffs are drudging on, but the Los Angeles Lakers are absent for good reason. The San Antonio Spurs sent LA on its way with four surgical victories over the Purple and Gold in the Western Conference Quarterfinals.  

The instant offseason hit like a smack in the face, but it was the all-important first step to begin a new chapter rife with important decisions.

I have two plans for a fast-paced Lakers rebuild. Follow my road map and determine for yourself which course you’d rather have the Lakers pursue.


Priority No. 1: The Future of Dwight Howard

Lakers owner Jim Buss is at a legacy-defining juncture in his career as patriarch of the Lakers franchise. His front-office teammate GM Mitch Kupchak will have a strong voice in selecting the path for the Lakers’ immediate future.

The first and most crucial item on their itinerary is to get a concrete answer from Dwight Howard about his future plans. If you smirked at the idea of the 27-year-old Howard rushing to decision day, I don’t blame you for a second.

Still, the Lakers do not even need a positive response from D12 at this point in order to fulfill their future needs. All Buss and Kupchak need is any type of response so that they can continue to the next phase of their offseason execution.

Here’s how it shakes down:


Path A: Sign Dwight Howard to a contract extension

If the Lakers can convince the hesitant big man to stay in Los Angeles, it will set into action a reactionary course of personnel decisions with Dwight as the centerpiece.

Despite a slow season (worsened by completely unmet expectations), Lakers management should still be confident that signing Howard is the best course of action. The big man averaged 17.1 points and 12.4 rebounds per game throughout 2012-13 without ever appearing fully healthy.


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