1) Organizational Coherence
The transition to the Jim Buss era has been choppy, as his “good” moves (trading for Dwight Howard, making the trade for Chris Paul) haven’t worked out as planned, and his “questionable” moves (giving up two first round picks and two secound round picks for a 38 year old Steve Nash) look Kahn-esque in hindsight.
Minor front office successes like the emergence last year of Earl Clark or the pleasant surprise of Ramon Sessions two seasons ago have been mitigated by the inability to resign such players.
With the acquistions of young castoffs like Nick Young and Wesley Johnson, the Lakers have the opportunity to look smart in finding cheap talent that outperforms their reputations and contracts. The addition of Chris Kaman similarly is a low risk high reward move that could change the view of the Buss led front office.
For Mike D’Antoni this is his opportunity to show that he can identify players that can make his system work. If he’s able to extract great production from this roster and collectively punch above their weight, Free Agents will again look at the Lakers as a preferred destination. Credibility is earned and time is running out for the Buss/D’Antoni partnership to prove it knows what its doing.