As fallout from the Ric Bucher revelations about Dwight Howard's demands to remain with the Lakers continues, CBS Sports' Matt Moore looks at how Bucher's quotes have been portrayed in the media. While listing the headlines, Moore shows that they've primarily focused on the Lakers protecting Kobe Bryant in lieu of Howard's stipulation that he not be re-signed next summer.
As we already updated, Howard never explicitly said that he'd re-sign with the Lakers if Mike D'Antoni were ousted as coach. The focus in the media, as Moore shows, was on the back-and-forth between Bryant and Howard: two superstars possessing egos that wouldn't allow them to co-exist on the same roster, and how the Lakers would rather let Dwight walk than entertain the idea of Bryant leaving LA.
Here's some more on the Lakers chances next season, and a report card on the Nuggets tumultuous offseason…
- Sports Illustrated's Ben Golliver gives the Nuggets an F in his recent offseason report card grade at SI's The Point Forward blog.
- Golliver compares the offseason of the Pacers with the Nuggets to show how, despite both teams experiencing impressive regular seasons, the Pacers continued to trend up in the playoffs, and the Nuggets failed to keep everything together this summer.
- They lost GM Masai Ujiri – who accepted the Raptors' high-paying GM role – and the 2013 NBA Coach of the Year George Karl – who they did not retain for the final year of his contract.
- Not only did the Nuggets lose their coach and GM, but they also lost free agent Andre Iguodala to the Warriors in a three-team deal involving the Jazz, Nuggets and Warriors.
- Unlike the Pacers – who were able to re-sign David West this summer and significantly upgrade their bench – the Nuggets signed offense-first players like Nate Robinson and J.J. Hickson and allowed others, like defensive wing-stopper Iggy, to bolt the sinking ship.
- HoopsWorld's Jabari Davis put together a plan for the Lakers while pretending to be their GM during a chat with readers earlier today.
- In his plan, Davis said the Lakers should try and land a top 12 spot in next summer's heralded 2014 NBA Draft.
- Davis also discusses the possibility that Jordan Farmar and Steve Blake improve next season, how the additions of Nick Young, Wesley Johnson and Farmer's athleticism will translate well with D'Antoni's uptempo offense and the chances Bryant sits out the full season – similar to Derrick Rose last season with the Bulls – while they attempt to position themselves higher in the the 2014 draft.
- Davis also believes the Lakers can win between 44-47 games next season and finish with a 6-8 seed in the West if Pau Gasol, Steve Nash and Bryant all play at least 70 games together.