HOOPSWORLD.COM: On Monday the Los Angeles Lakers will open their doors to the media before heading off to training camp in Hawaii. The offseason was a tumultuous one, headlined by Kobe Bryant’s trade demand early in the summer.
While some were adamant Bryant had played his last game as a Laker, it appears the team’s superstar will indeed report. A blurb on his personal website (kb24.com) indicated that Bryant’s staff will be at Media Day covering the event.
Although the Lakers did make some improvements over the offseason, the issues that originally irked Bryant remain. There were no big trades. The team has not made a dramatic leap forward.
Last year the team won 42 games but was decimated by injuries. If healthy, 50 wins is a realistic target. Unfortunately a number of players on the team might be considered injury prone at this point. A more realistic win total may be 46.
Depending on matchups the Lakers might even get out of the first round of the playoffs but they’ll need to be at their absolute best. Whatever residual unresolved issues that may exist after Bryant’s expression of dissatisfaction still need to be overcome.
The Lakers may not be favorites to win a championship but this coming season could be an important step towards that goal.
Although the training camp roster has not been released (a few more free agents are expected to get invites), the Lakers are bringing 14 players with guaranteed contracts to camp. The final roster spot will need to be won out by the likes of Coby Karl, Elton Brown and Larry Turner.