Beat L.A.! Beat L.A.! Beat L.A.! - whoops, sorry, that's just a reflex at this point
The Lakers were the two time defending champs last year, right up until they got swept out of the playoffs by the eventual Champions the Mavs (in pretty pathetic form I might add, but that might just be the Celtics fan in me piling on). That leaves the Lakers and their fans kind of worried about the near future of the franchise.
There are two ways to look at the 2010-2011 season for the Los Angeles Lakers. Either the two-time champions were too sated and complacent to do what it takes to bring home a third NBA crown or ... we saw the beginning of the end of the Kobe Bryant era, with an aging team that just couldn't keep up. The Lakers biggest offseason need is for the latter not to be the case. Of course, the latter shouldn't be the case, if only because the Lakers were blown out of the water by a team that's even older then they are. If L.A. had been dismantled so convincingly by an OKC Thunder team that was more athletic at every position, you could make a case for the Lakers roster being too far past it's prime vintage, but instead, they were out-performed, out-savvied and out-composured by an even more veteran unit. Go figure.
Given the team’s precarious financial situation (in 2010-11 they were $30+ million over a salary cap that’s far more likely to fall than rise, and are committed for another $91.3 million in 2011-12) and the paucity of desirable trade chips (~$75 million of the aforementioned $91 million is tied up in Kobe Bryant, Pau Gasol, Bynum, Lamar Odom and My Man Metta), the Lakers are unlikely to find significant help from anyone not already on the roster.
The Zen Master is gone and Mike Brown is in charge of restoring the Championship swagger in L.A. Good luck with that.