When the Kobe Window Closes

When the Kobe Window Closes

Postby cleverdevil on Fri Jan 11, 2013 1:49 pm

So I was wondering to myself the other night about the future path of the Lakers franchise. I understand, as the Lakers, we are always supposed to be vying for the title, but I always see posters on this and other forums repeatedly discussing everything as a "2 year window" or "its all about getting #6 and #7 for Kobe" (rather than #18 and #19 for the franchise). But that is merely semantics.

I understand (and agree) with the assertion that when you have a generational talent like Kobe Bryant, you squeeze everything out of every year that you are fortunate enough to have him suit up. I'm not really interested about rehashing the past with hindsight in this thread, nor engaging the discussion of "sacrifice the future for now"/vice versa, either.

The point of this thread is merely speculative and academic in its purposes to figure out what happens when #24 does hang them up? How will the franchise be run post Kobe?

We all know that the league is getting younger and more athletic. Guards and perimeter players are the new Centers in this day and age. Teams are fast breaking, wheeling and dealing, alley-ooping more so than ever before. Even defensive tendencies have changed from funneling into the paint to a more trap and rotate style, due to the emerging athleticism and waning number of great bigs. Whether or not that is the best way to win a championship, rather than controlling the paint and "slowing the game down" is purely up to the individual to decide.

My question is, if the "2014 plan" takes effect, and the Lakers are ostensibly left with D12, Steve Nash (should he choose to play the final year of his deal) as an expiring, and a big fat blank check, how do you think we WILL proceed and how do you think we SHOULD proceed?

Do you continue to burn cash and draft picks to acquire veteran players/established stars in this league?
or
Do you start to become a little more stringent in giving up picks/young assets as "throw ins" to get a deal done?

Do you front load your roster with 3 or 4 above average to great players and figure out the other 11 or 12 spots? (like Miami, who have won a title using such a tactic)
or
Do you only have 1 or 2 above average to great players and bolster a deep bench (like the current Clippers squad, who have only (to date) amassed a well above average REGULAR SEASON record, with playoff success yet to be determined)

Basically my question is a philosophical one, once the "Kobe Countdown Clock" stops ticking, do you become more patient with drafting and grooming young talent, possibly at the cost of not being a championship contender EVERY YEAR, or do you continue in the "win now" mode possibly at the risk of losing out on the next GREAT YOUNG player?

Hopefully this can remain a composed discussion. Thanks if you read all of this, Go Lakers!
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Re: When the Kobe Window Closes

Postby Lets Go Lakers on Fri Jan 11, 2013 1:59 pm

Good, solid post.

Start with locking up D12.

And all this mortgaging the future for the present has to stop. We have to start scouting and looking to draft some talent. We completely ignored this aspect for about 8 years becasue we were looking to cash in on Kobe's prime. That's why this team got old and slow. We didn't recycle the talent base with youth but kept adding older players. Kind of hard to do when you are picking 30th but with a down time probably coming up and better draft picks in the future, it's more important than ever.

I'd like to see us try to acquire a superstar PG though to compliment Dwight. History has shown that most championship winning teams have superstar 1A and 1B. It's tough for one superstar to carry a team (Wade 2006, Olajuwon twice, etc.). They have to play out of their minds to accomplish that.
Last edited by Lets Go Lakers on Fri Jan 11, 2013 2:01 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: When the Kobe Window Closes

Postby therealdeal on Fri Jan 11, 2013 1:59 pm

To me the recipe for success that the Lakers have followed is just about perfect: get the best big man in the game, then a wing that compliments him, then repeat.

West/Chamberlain was a taste, then we got Kareem/Magic, then we got Shaq/Kobe, and now we'll hopefully see Dwight/_____ follow the same mold.

The recipe for me is easy:
1. Re-sign Dwight to a max deal.
2a. If Nash stays, find a talented wing (Granger, Gay, etc.). Someone who can fill up the points column.
2b. If Nash retires, find a young, explosive, ball dominant guard that can score AND distribute (Irving, Wall, and of course LeBron if he's available).
2b1. Once you've got this young dynamo, you find a secondary wing to supplement that person (Monta, Harden, etc). Preferably someone in their "player prime".


3. No matter what the scenario is, you fill the rest of the team out with young athletes (Jordan Hills and Wilson Chandlers). We should be able to run with the best of them and we should be able to defend like the rest of the league does. We don't need to get away from the dominant big. The dominant big transcends trends.
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Re: When the Kobe Window Closes

Postby Chillbongo on Fri Jan 11, 2013 2:21 pm

The closing of the Kobe window will be sad. That being said, we'll have different expectations for the team.

I think the "WIN NOW" mentality changes. IMO, that mentality was adopted because we have one of the GOAT in Kobe, who come around so rarely it's in the franchise best interest to sacrifice everything in favor of winning now.

This is all for Kobe----the $100 mil payroll, the willingness to hand out draft pick after draft pick, acquiring big names (well, that's a Laker tendency), making drastic coaching changes, etc. When Kobe is gone, the brass will have a different philosophy. I like what was said about locking in one solid player (Dwight) and then filling out the roster to compliment.

Look at what we did between 1990-1996:

Fell out of contention, had mediocre seasons (in Laker standards), acquire a plethora of young talent via draft (Campbell, Jones, Van Exel, Bryant, Fisher), and then top it of with mega free agent landing in Shaq.

Fill out the team with veterans (Fox, Horry, Rice, Harper) add a top tier coach, and you get a title. It took about ten years, but in-between people enjoyed watching the talent in those 90's Laker teams.

I for one, hope we can build through the draft, a la the 1996 squad. I think doing it the organic way causes success--Look at the Thunder & Spurs. Even the Clippers.

Thing is, I don't see Dwight waiting for us to grow young talent to contend. He probably would want to add another star & veterans. Good plan but with new CBA it's harder to then fill out your roster with valuable role players. And depending on who the star is.......isn't there some rule that you can only offer one player a max deal or something?

It's hard not to make a case for Dwight deserving the max.....but what if Kyrie Irving wanted to be a Laker?
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