From Ross Gasmer, Lakers Nation: It’s been a long off-season already for the Lakers as Dwight Howard decided to become “Rocket Man” and general manager Mitch Kupchak has tried to construct a team of one-year contracts. With the 2014 off-season looming and the prospects of a high draft pick, the Lakers have already signed Jordan Farmar, Chris Kaman, Nick Young and Wesley Johnson to help solidfy the starting lineup and bench. We’re one week away from the calendar turning to August and we take a look at the current and former Lakers players who are trending up and down.
From Mike Bresnahan and Eric Pincus, LA Times: If newly signed free agents Chris Kaman, Nick Young and Wesley Johnson don’t excite Lakers fans, there’s that rarely uttered phrase by the franchise that’s won 16 championships — wait till next summer. The rebuilding will begin after a 2013-14 season that ends presumably without a championship and possibly with no playoffs, depending on the health of a Pau Gasol-Kobe Bryant-Steve Nash nucleus that averages 35.7 years old on opening night.
From C.A. Clark, Silver Screen & Roll: The generally accepted notion when Kobe Bryant suffered a full rupture of his Achilles tendon last April was that Mr. Bryant would be out of action for a long, long time. A ruptured Achilles is one of the most serious injuries an athlete can suffer, and Kobe was on the wrong side of most of the variables (age, mileage) in the equation that would determine his length of absence. We even interviewed a medical expert on this site who said that most patients don’t even begin running until five or six months after their surgery.
From Kurt Helin, Pro Basketball Talk: The first showdown between Dwight Howard and his new friends on the Rockets and his old team the Lakers may happen before Kobe Bryant returns from Achilles surgery. The Lakers will face the Rockets first on Nov. 7 in Houston, something first reported by Adrian Wojnarowski at Yahoo Sports and confirmed byKevin Ding of the Orange County Register on Sulia. The full NBA schedule for next season should come out in the next several days, but some games are starting to leak out.