It’s May 1st and it’s a new day in Los Angeles. Mike D’Antoni has resigned as Head Coach of the Lakers and now it’s time for the purple and gold to begin the rebuilding process that every NBA team must undergo at some point in time. The Lakers have been through a lot, and things have certainly taken a turn for the worst over the last couple of years.
However, this doesn’t necessarily mean that they have to keep falling. No, this time the Lakers must do it right. Do it the way Dr. Jerry Buss would have done it, because if Jim’s word holds true, this will likely be a momentum changer for the organization as whole over the next couple of years.
The first major decision the Lakers have to deal with is probably also the most critical one considering how much weight the position holds in an organization – of course, we are talking about the team’s next Head Coach.
Choosing a Head Coach is no easy task and many variables come into play when picking one.
In my opinion, I believe the Lakers must deal with the interview process and take a good look at many coaches across the field. Interview, discuss internally, and WAIT until after the Draft Lottery to get a more clear vision of who is in your range. Get an idea of where you’ll be picking, make educated predictions of which players will be in your range, and decide whether or not the addition of that player is significant enough to keep the pick, or whether you could be in a better position by trading that pick for an established star player. Should the Lakers land within the top three, I don’t believe they should trade the selection. If the situation arises and they do end up with a top three pick, THEN that is when you get in contact with the shortened list of coaching candidates and ask them who they’d pick and why.
Once you get this in order, then you potentially set yourself up for a great situation with a drafted player that is fit for your coaches system, and a coach that meets your short and long term goals.
After the coaching search is settled with and you have your drafted player on board, this is when you must start looking towards your free agent list and decide who is going to thrive in the system of your coach and also compliment your drafted player.
The Lakers currently have just three players under guaranteed contract for next season: Kobe Bryant, Steve Nash, and Robert Sacre. The rest of the roster could become free agents and some are likely headed elsewhere. Ultimately, it’s up to the Lakers to decide who they feel is right for the coach and how much are they willing to pay that player. Players like Jodie Meeks and Jordan Hill are likely going to be in high demand, so it’ll probably be difficult to retain them.
Whether the Lakers flip the script and decide to go all in this offseason or stay calm and just ride it out for one more season is yet to be seen, though one thing is for sure: things are certainly going to look drastically different come the 2014-15 season. It’s all about taking the necessary baby steps now to establish a foundation for a better tomorrow. The Lakers need to set a solid identity for themselves once again so this’ll be the destination for marquee players, just like Dr. Buss envisioned it.
I have confidence in the Front Office to make the necessary steps to put this organization right where it needs to be, and look forward to the day that we’ll all be able to put these last couple of years behind us.