The Lakers have a lot of problems, in that they're old and slow. Nash turned out to be a horrible fit, and D'Antoni's inability to use Gasol effectively seems indicative of a systemic problem. They obviously aren't going to amnesty Kobe, but they can't count on him being a major contributor in the early part of next season (if at all). I have to think that Howard stays and tries to rebuild his reputation, but the team has a lot of holes to fill elsewhere.
I pretty much agree. But one question that has been brewing among Lakers fans is; will Dwight somehow let it be known that his re-signing depends on firing D'Antoni. If he does this, and that is a big "if", then, IMO, the Lakers will fire D'Antoni in less than a heartbeat. But as long as D'Antoni keeps promoting the inside out offense that got us into the playoffs, Dwight will likely be okay wiht another year with him. But I don't think D'Antoni is a championship coach. I hope he does sooner rather than later.
Another big issue is whether or not they keep Gasol another season. Considering the major financial hit the team will take next season if they keep Pau, it is hard to imagine not dealing him. They'll wait to sign Dwight before tading him, of course. If we can get a some quickness at small forward and/or point guard, the team could be back in business by this time next season.
Kobe vs the "inside out" offense will be the story, which is kind of Kobe vs Dwight by proxy. But as Magic once said about Kobe v Shaq after Phil was hired the first time, "Shaq say he wanna win, Kobe say he
wanna win -- we gon' see".