What Is Next for the Los Angeles Lakers?

Now that the drama season and the drama Playoffs have reached an end for the Los Angeles Lakers, a new round of interest should begin. The experiment that the Lakers put into display and started during last year's off season failed miserably.

The team, with its new core, didn't manage to fulfill all the great expectations that the NBA world and the Lakers fans were expecting from them.

LA got swept from the San Antonio Spurs in the first round of the 2013 Playoffs. That should go down as one of the most frustrating seasons in the franchise history. Especially for a legendary team like the Lakers, it's intriguing and weird to see them fighting to enter the Playoffs and then, with almost half of their roster injured, get devastated in the first round.

The big question mark not only for Lakers fans but for the whole NBA is what should the next day be for them. With Nash turning 40 next February and the core of the team aging, Mitch Kupchak will have a tough work to do starting from today. He will need to solve a very difficult puzzle.

First of all, the Lakers should decide what their future should be with Dwight Howard. His contract is due to expire this summer and there will be strong suitors for his talents. Of course, the City of Angels is a magnetizing destination not only for Howard but for every player in the NBA. Playing alongside Kobe Bryant is another plus for the Lakers in their effort to keep the 6'-11" center in their roster.

After suffering a season ending torn Achilles injury, the Black Mamba remains optimistic about next season. Following the elimination of his team and the entire frustration of his and his teammate's health, he still believes that this team can win a Championship next year. As he is accustomed to, he appeared confident and more determined for next season. He is expected to make his comeback and show his dominance as a player and as a presence once he gets healthy. Kobe, aged 34, had one of his most efficient seasons of his career, before it was ended on April 12th by his injury. There are no signs that he won't be able to perform at the MVP-level he did throughout this season.

Another important choice Mitch Kupchak and the rest of the Lakers management team will have to make is about Pau Gasol's future. The Spaniard Center didn't provide the needed help to Howard this season. He also experienced several injuries and drops at his performance. However, if he finds his rhythm, he is a deadly player inside. He is also a great trade chip and the Lakers could use him as a part of a small reconstruction of their team. His future might depend on D12's future with the team.

Surely LA's fans have the right to be disappointed with the picture of their team this season. But they should also feel proud. Despite all the difficulties and the injuries that destroyed the team's chances, they managed to enter the Playoffs and did the best they could to compete at a high level. The Lakers deserve respect and congratulations.