The Los Angeles Lakers finished the 2013-14 NBA season with their worst record in franchise history. A 27-55 record put last season’s team in the history books for all the wrong reasons after injuries tore the team apart with Kobe Bryant, Steve Nash and Pau Gasol all dealing with injury issues keeping the future Hall of Famers sidelined for most of the year.
With the team only having three players under contract heading into the offseason (Kobe, Nash and Robert Sacre), the future remains uncertain for the storied franchise with most people believing it may be more of the same for the Lakers next season. It has been rumored that the team will attempt to make a trade for superstar Kevin Love, but with no real trade assets outside of a lottery pick, it seems unlikely the three-time All-Star will be headed to Los Angeles this summer.
As a result of the Lakers in the midst of a massive rebuild, the 16-time NBA champions don’t have favorable odds to win it all next season. According to Chris Case of USA Today, the Lakers have 50 to 1 odds to win it all in the 2014-15 NBA season:
"Each of the 13 teams with the best odds participated in the 2014 playoffs. The most highly-regarded non-playoff teams are the Lakers, Knicks and Pelicans (50/1). The 2014 playoff teams with the worst odds are the Hawks and Hornets (both 70/1)."
As of right now, there’s no telling what direction the Lakers franchise is heading. So much has changed over the last two years that many have questioned whether this team can rebound quickly like the franchise has become accustomed to doing in the past after disappointing seasons.
After Dr. Jerry Buss passed away and Dwight Howard left town, the Lakers brass was left with almost nothing to work with. Making matters worse, Kobe went down with a torn Achilles that may ultimately end his career sooner than he anticipated. Kobe was able to get back on the floor last season for six games, but it didn’t take long before a knee injury sent him back to the sidelines and ultimately ended his season.
Last season’s result was a disaster to say the least. Seemingly endless injuries and uncertainty surrounding the future loomed over the franchise as they tried to put the pieces back together after the Dwight experiment failed miserably.
Fortunately, Mitch Kupchak and company will have a lottery pick for the first time since 2005 when the team selected Andrew Bynum. The Lakers have done well with high picks in the past landing Magic Johnson (1979), James Worthy (1982) and Kobe (1996) all in the NBA draft. Although talks of the team trading their pick have circulated, this draft class is talented enough for a promising young player to fall in their laps with the seventh pick come June 26.