How the playoffs will play out is on the minds of Los Angeles Lakers and Golden State Warriors fans. However, with front office never taking a day off, are both sides looking towards the future of Stephen Curry?
Kobe Bryant mortality has put Lakers offense in jeopardy
Everybody knew it was just a matter of time before Kobe Bryant couldn't carry the Lakers anymore. They just never expected it to happen so suddenly. Most believe he would go out like Jordan, still game and competitive but betrayed by age. Instead, it was his body that gave out first. When Bryant tore the Achilles tendon in his leg, people didn't only question his future for next season. They questioned if he could return at all. Bryant turns 35 in August. All professional athletes take time to heal from grievous injuries but older ones tend to take longer. Kobe is still Kobe. That doesn't change the facts. Los Angeles made the playoffs again as a seventh seed. They have Dwight Howard on board. Yet, is that enough in an increasingly powerful Western Conference? Besides leadership and experience, Bryant was the offensive driver for the Lakers. Howard does his best work on defense and rebounding. With Kobe out, do they have any young prospect who can step in to shoulder the load? The answer seems pretty plain at this point. Regardless of what happens in the playoffs, they must do something about it if they want to stay competitive.
NBA free agency could change for Curry depending on Denver Nuggets series
One thing the Lakers have done well for decades is lure top players to them in free agency. With that in mind they could and should go hard and fast at the 2014 class next season. Highlighting the group is sensational point guard Stephen Curry of the Golden State Warriors. After dealing with early injury problems, the young man has blossomed into one of the best offensive forces in basketball. He already owns the single-season three-point shooting record last held by the great Ray Allen. Most believe his ceiling is only going higher. That is why Warrior fans are nervous. Curry is a restricted free agent next year. That means any team can make an offer to him and force Golden State to either match it or let him leave. Curry has the chance to become one of the top targets next year. A lot will depend on how he plays in the first round playoff match against the Denver Nuggets. A strong series would solidify his stock. Los Angeles has never lacked the money to pursue big names. Pairing Curry with Howard, with or without a Kobe return, could become the foundation for their championship hopes in following years.
Kobe Bryant believes he still has time to bring the Los Angeles Lakers one more title. Whether his team agrees is the bigger issue. If Stephen Curry is there for the taking next year, they can't afford to not make a run at him.
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