Had the Lakers lost that final game to Denver, the answer would have been easy – Blow it Up. But, they won that game and went on to a lackluster conference semi-final defeat at the hands of Oklahoma City. Just enough success to give Mike Brown a reprieve?
What ever the direction, the first step HAS to get the dumping of Mike Brown.
If the move is to patch it up, then there is really only one choice for the new head coach. In an interview a couple of weeks ago, Jeanie Buss clearly said that her bf Phil Jackson was healthy and waiting by the phone. Those rumors that had him signed and sealed by the Knicks were dead wrong, as they have not called Phil and appear about to re-up with Mike Woodson. Remember, Phil has retired before (twice, in fact), and his first Lakers’ retirement resulted in two things, the short-lived Rudy Tomjanovich fiasco, and Phil’s return and two subsequent NBA titles. He can do it one more time.
Keeping either Bynum or Gasol, if not both, would be necessary. If Pau goes, there are some petty good power forwards on the coming free agent list. Orlando’s Ryan Anderson or Milwaukee’s Ersan Ilyasova would be solid additions at that spot, but there is no one that could replace Bynum and be an improvement at center. Even Dwight Howard, who will be coming of major back surgery and has to be considered a serious question mark health wise for at least the start of next season.
But the key “patch” for one more shot at the title would be signing free agent point guard Steve Nash.
And of course, the team has to rid itself of the lunatic piece meta tag artest thing fermenting at small forward. How about restricted free agent Jeff Green as a replacement? Or, Nicolas Batum?
There are a lot of options for a “patch up”, but they all start with dumping Brown, and hopefully rehiring Phil.
As to a blow up, Then you need a young, talented coach, and to seriously consider trading Bynum. In this scenario, Howard must be considered, but he brings baggage as well. He’s trashed his coach in the media, and Orlando’s eventual firing of Van Gundy and the team’s GM seem to have done little to placate him. Unless Howard really wants to be in LA, of which there has never been an indication, acquiring him will only perpetuate serious problems into the future. Maybe a JaVale McGee would be a better object of attention?
The coach in this plan should be the guy that should have gotten the job a year ago, Brian Shaw.
Even if it is a patch job, then bring back Shaw as an assistant, with the assurance that he WILL be the next head guy. And why not also go after one of those over-achieving Indiana guys that Shaw has worked so well with this season? How about a point guard rotation of Steve Nash and Darren Collison?