We can safely assume Kobe Bryant will be a Laker next season, but beyond that, there are a number of questions surrounding the team's roster going forward. GM Mitch Kupchak told reporters, including Marc J. Spears of Yahoo! Sports, that he'll be open to "all opportunities" to improve the team in the coming weeks and months.
"Why not? Sure," Kupchak said, of exploring a major trade (via Dave McMenamin of ESPNLosAngeles.com). "When you lose before you think you should have lost, you have to open up all opportunities."
With over $80MM+ already committed for 2012/13, the Lakers are wary of adding any more salary and increasing tax penalties, but still plan to offer Andrew Bynum a contract extension, according to Kupchak. If Bynum is part of the team's long-term future and Kobe isn't going anywhere, Pau Gasol is the most logical trade candidate, though the Lakers GM says he has yet to have that conversation with the club's owners.
"I have not met with ownership," Kupchak said. "I do not know what direction the team is going to go, what the parameters are going to be going forward, so there wasn't really anything additional to share with Pau."
Since they're over the tax line, the Lakers don't have many options for bringing in talent besides the trade market. However, the team will have the $3MM taxpayer mid-level exception at its disposal, along with the $8.9MM trade exception acquired in December's Lamar Odom trade.