Originally posted on Fox Sports Ohio  |  Last updated 5/1/13
Mike Brown got fired. Mike DAntoni was hired. Dwight Howard arrived injured and Steve Nash may have been worse. And we all know about Kobe Bryant and his torn Achilles tendon. So is it any surprise the Los Angeles Lakers were the NBAs biggest disappointment? Is it really a shocker they were swept in the first round of the playoffs by the San Antonio Spurs? Actually, even when Bryant, Howard and Nash were healthy, the Lakers werent any great shakes. They lacked chemistry. They barely defended -- at least, not when it mattered most. They possessed a thin and inconsistent bench. As Howard indicated, the Lakers were basically one gigantic flop. Now, general manager Mitch Kupchak has some major decisions. Bryant is 34 years old and coming off surgery. Howard is an unrestricted free agent. Nash is at least a little over-the-hill. And no ones sure if DAntoni is actually the right coach. Bryant offered his own opinion. He suggested the Lakers shouldnt gut the roster, that most of the key pieces should return. When Kobe talks, you chisel it in granite and hang it on the wall. We can win a championship, no doubt about it, Bryant told LA reporters. He may be on to something. Bryant and Howard are two great places to start. A healthy Nash would help, too. Theres been talk (all of it unfounded) that the Lakers might consider waiving Bryant via the leagues amnesty provision. Lets not kid ourselves. Thats not going to happen. As for Howard, its true he remained non-committal about his future with the team. But odds are, hell re-sign -- especially since the Lakers can offer him a larger contract than any of the leagues other 29 teams. So while not all fans are sold on Howard, hell likely be a Laker for a long time. Nor is Nash going anywhere. His age (39) and recent so-so play leave the Lakers with little choice but to keep him. Besides that, they truly want to give him another shot. That leaves starting forward Pau Gasol and Metta World Peace. Gasol turns 33 in July and is due 19.3 million next season. Hes still pretty good, still capable of being a No. 1 or No. 1-A option on most teams. Trading him shouldnt be overly difficult, and the Lakers will certainly try. As for World Peace, he turns 34 early next season (Nov. 13). Hes not nearly the defender he once was. Hes erratic offensively. His contract calls for a player option of 7.7 million next season. The Lakers are privately hoping he declines it and tries his hand at free agency. If the Lakers can trade Gasol, and World Peace walks, they could have something. Everyone on their bench can be had for cheap and reserves such as Devin Ebanks, Jodie Meeks and Antawn Jamison (who shouldve retired three years ago) wont be back. So, that is where the Lakers stand. Theyre about as perplexing as they were during the season. But Kobe is probably right. Re-signing Howard and making the right moves around him and Bryant could put the Lakers right back in serious contention. More of the wrong moves, however, will likely set the franchise way back. Kupchak has been the Lakers GM since 2000, and hes officially on the clock. A quick look at the roster shows this is his most important summer yet. Double Dribbles The Milwaukee Bucks are another team facing potentially sweeping changes following their first-round ouster by the Miami Heat. Key Bucks reserves Mike Dunleavy and J.J. Redick are unrestricted free agents. Starting guard Brandon Jennings is restricted, meaning the Bucks can match any offers. The Bucks are also without a coach after parting ways with interim coach Jim Boylan on Wednesday. Houston Rockets assistant Kelvin Sampson and former Cleveland Cavaliers coach Byron Scott are believed to be candidates. The same goes for former Orlando Magic coach Stan Van Gundy -- but he seems like a long shot. Van Gundy could be holding out to see what becomes of the Los Angeles Clippers and coach Vinny Del Negro during the playoffs. Del Negros contract expires at seasons end. League sources believe he could be fired if the Clippers lose their first-round series vs. the Memphis Grizzlies. The Clippers currently trail, three games to two. Anyway, back to the Bucks. Jennings told the Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel his future is up in the air. When asked if he wants to remain with the Bucks, Jennings said, I dont know. I cant answer that. The Detroit Pistons are said to be interested in former Portland Trail Blazers and Seattle SuperSonics coach Nate McMillan for their vacancy. Van Gundy has already hinted hes not interested. Scott may also be a candidate for the Phoenix Suns coaching job, sources said. Interim coach Lindsey Hunter is not expected to be retained. Twitter: @SamAmicoFSO
GET THE YARDBARKER APP:
Ios_download En_app_rgb_wo_45
MORE FROM YARDBARKER

Eddie Lacy defends Mike McCarthy for weight loss comments

Red Sox nearly had serious catcher emergency in loss to Tigers

Ohio State DL Dylan Thompson ineligible for season

Roger Federer will miss Olympics, U.S. Open with knee injury

Seahawks extend Pete Carroll through 2019

LIKE WHAT YOU SEE?
GET THE DAILY NEWSLETTER:

LSU kicker Colby Delahoussaye releases first statement following car crash

Report: Brock Osweiler could have made more money staying with Broncos

Andrew Luck: Feels `as good as I've ever felt` for training camp

Amar'e Stoudemire announces retirement after signing one-day contract with Knicks

Report: Gregory failed multiple drug tests since suspension

Olympian Abby Johnston: Worst thing about Olympic village is no Pokemon

WATCH: Inside the Nike SNKRS BOX in SF for Golden Air Celebration

Report: Paul Pierce to return to Clippers

Jimbo Fisher: You come to FSU to win national championships

Andre Johnson worked out for Tennessee Titans

Shattenkirk for Krejci trade rumor still floating around

NHL Commissioner Gary Bettman denies link to C.T.E.

Michael Vick: Cam Newton can’t beat me in 40-yard dash

WATCH: Five other uniforms Chris Sale should cut up

Odell Beckham Jr. says Giants will play in Super Bowl LI

Iowa researchers say they can optimize Monday Night Football ratings with scheduling

Terrelle Pryor can visit Ohio State as five-year ban comes to a close

Rudy Gay admits to having ‘no idea’ about what the Kings are doing

NBA News
Delivered to your inbox
You'll also receive Yardbarker's daily Top 10, featuring the best sports stories from around the web. Customize your newsletter to get articles on your favorite sports and teams. And the best part? It's free!

By clicking "Sign Me Up", you have read and agreed to the Fox Sports Digital Privacy Policy and Terms of Use. You can opt out at any time. For more information, please see our Privacy Policy.
the YARDBARKER app
Get it now!
Ios_download En_app_rgb_wo_45

WATCH: Inside the Nike SNKRS BOX in SF for Golden Air Celebration

WATCH: Five other uniforms Chris Sale should cut up

QUIZ: Name every Olympic event in which the USA has never won a gold medal

Five U.S. Olympians favored to win multiple gold medals

WATCH: What teams should join the Big 12?

One Gotta Go: Do NBA players really love NBA2K?

One Gotta Go: NBA players hate Facebook too

One Gotta Go: NBA players settle the fast food beef

One Gotta Go: NBA players make tough choices on their favorite rappers

One Gotta Go: NBA Summer League is not about that Game of Thrones life

Today's Best Stuff
For Publishers
Company Info
Help
Follow Yardbarker