I'll mirror what many others have said: it all depends on health, and especially Kobe's. If Kobe can come back successfully, and even down a few pegs realistically from where he was last year, we can do some things. Same with Pau. If he's not healthy this year are chances to be a playoff team are down.
If these guys can be fairly healthy I can see them peaking at probably a 7th spot in the West. If they aren't healthy all bets are off and we may very well end up down in the bottom.
Pretty sad affair that not only are we not at all in contention for a championship but probably, realistically are hoping for the third seed in our own division. Ouch. We have fallen. Can we get back up? Maybe not this year.
I have to say that this upcoming season is the most depressing I've seen as a Laker fan maybe since Magic retired. Between being stuck with D' Antoni, losing Dwight Howard, losing the great Jerry Buss, Kobe busting his achilles and maybe not ever being the same player, and our weird mix of older players and younger guys who haven't done a whole lot, it's just not hopeful at all. I'm not encouraged by much or any of it. Hard times for Laker fans. We've had it so good.
Thank goodness for the Dodgers by the way. They are taking my mind off the Lakers' woes.