For the second straight season, the Lakers are watching the NBA Finals from home.
Los Angeles had a successful 2011-2012 Season by most teams' standards. They finished first in their division, won a playoff series, and lost to the team that eventually made it to the championship round.
However, L.A. measures its success by titles. The Lakers made it to the Finals every year from 2008-2010, but now seem to be a tier below those previous teams.
The Lakers will likely look to shake up their roster during the offseason to try to make another run next year.
Kobe Bryant probably won't be moved, leaving Pau Gasol and Andrew Bynum as the Lakers' biggest trade pieces. L.A. might rather move Gasol, but it possible that Bynum will be the one sent packing.
Gasol is older and was less productive last season, giving him less value on the trade market. Gasol is also under contract for two more seasons, while Bynum's deal expires in 2013.
Bynum was benched after clashing with head coach Mike Brown, and has been indifferent when asked about the possibility of being traded. Los Angeles may feel a change of scenery for the big man is needed.
Bynum is one of the best young players in the NBA and would be highly sought after if the Lakers are willing to trade him.
Here are some possible trade destinations for the center:
The possibility of sending Bynum to Orlando has been discussed throughout the entire season.
Despite Stan Van Gundy's recent firing, reports say Howard still wants the Magic to move him. It would be a very fair trade. Howard has been the consensus best center in the league for a few years, but many feel that Bynum is challenging him for his spot. Bynum is younger than Howard, and is healthier than Howard, who's coming off of season-ending back surgery.
Perhaps the biggest reason to make the move is that both players have expressed some interest in changing teams. Howard has made it known on several occasions that he no longer wants to be in Orlando. Bynum's desire to play in L.A. has been questioned by some. When asked about his future with the Lakers, the big man responded, It really doesn't matter to me.
The Magic would likely do the deal if the Lakers gave them a call. Los Angeles has to decide if it wants to give up on its young center.
Rumors of a possible Gasol for Andre Iguodala swap have been reported on, but if the Lakers decide they'd rather move Bynum, the big man could be on his way to Philadelphia.
Iguodala has been mentioned in a potential deal with the Lakers for quite some time, but a trade may never have been more likely than now. The small forward is not a superstar, but he's one of the best complimentary players in the league. Iguodala averaged 12.4 points, 6.1 rebounds and 5.5 assists this past year, and was an integral part of helping the 76ers beat the top seeded Bulls.
Simply receiving Iguodala won't be enough for the Lakers to give up Bynum, but the addition of Jrue Holiday might make them consider a deal. The point guard position has been a weakness of L.A.'s for years, and Holiday would fill that role, while also giving them a player who's just 22-years old.
The trade works under the rules of the salary cap, and would give Los Angeles some of the depth that they are desperately seeking.
Deron Williams is the biggest name in free agency this offseason. He's among the top players in the NBA, but has been playing for a poor Nets team for much of the past two seasons.
The Lakers don't have enough money under the salary cap to land such a high priced free agent, but it's still possible for Los Angeles to land Williams.
CBS Sports has reported that the point guard would like to stay with the Nets if they can improve their roster, but that he wouldn't be opposed to a sign-and-trade involving the Nets and Lakers.
Brooklyn has done little to improve its roster, losing Gerald Wallace to free agency and missing out on a top pick in the draft. If Williams tells the Nets he's interested in being sent to L.A., they'd be more than willing to listen.
The Nets would almost certainly make the deal. Los Angeles would likely be intrigued as well. They tried to trade Gasol for Chris Paul in December, so they've shown that they are willing to trade size for a great point guard.
The biggest obstacle in making this happen is probably Williams's interest in signing with the Dallas Mavericks.