Once the Lakers were bounced from the playoffs in the 2nd round by the Oklahoma City Thunder, most people believed that it was given that major changes were on the horizon. Pau Gasol has routinely been rumored to be on the trade block and just yesterday, Ramon Sessions decided to opt-out of his contract and become a free agent. So it seemed that the wheels were already in motion for the overhaul of the Lakers.
But while we all believe that changes are and should be coming, Jim Buss doesn’t believe that. In fact, despite everyone around him, including Magic Johnson, Buss maintains that there won’t be major changes during the offseason. And Lakers fans should expect to largely see the same team from last season, just with some coaching tweaks.
“Bring it on,” says Buss, “where do you want to start?”
What are the chances of the Lakers starting the season with Bryant, Andrew Bynum and Pau Gasol all in Lakers uniforms?
“Very good,” says Buss.
So you don’t agree with those who say the Lakers must turn Gasol into two or three players via a trade?
“No,” he says. “I think changes are going to be made moving Pau lower to the basket. We can improve that way with a change in coaching strategy rather than a change in personnel.”
“We will try to sign Sessions when the rules allow beginning in July,” he says. “And improve the bench.”
No major free-agent signings, no blockbuster trades?
“No,” he says.
This is definitely not the news that most Lakers fans want to hear. Especially with Dwight Howard and Deron Williams possibly on the market.
Maybe the Lakers can be fixed with a few coaching tweaks. We really don’t know. But it seems a little outlandish to not explore shaking things up with some of the names that may be available.