In the other thread, the case for trading the core young players was presented. However, certainly the trade option is not the only way to build a contender. As it is well known, in past 10 years quite a few teams that keep their qualified young players together were able to streak enough wins to make the playoffs, and win championships. This thread is not about building a certain team 2.0, but rather arguing for the possibility of contending through patience and perseverance.
The Lakers have $45m in cap space without extending (or trading) Deng's contract. Therefore, they have enough means to install supporting blocks to build on 35-47 team that finished 10th in conference this past season.
Questions I would like to ask:
1. What sort of game plan this team needs to be structured around?
2. What are the current needs of the team from the view of aforementioned game plan? (be specific, rather than calling for stars/superstars)