The Lakers aren't fond of going a season without winning a championship.
They're even less fond of getting swept by a team that they were expected to beat.
The last time the Lakers were swept was 1999, and they followed that season with a 67-win season, an MVP for the best player, and a championship title.
Whether the Lakers can rebound as well next season is up for debate but the Lakers were probably going to make some changes should they have won a championship this season or not.
So expect the purple and gold to consider some changes, but executing trades and signings might be easier said than done.
General Manager Mitch Kupchak may have his work cut out for him.
Who will want Ron Artest? The Lakers' starting forward has been inconsistent for most of the season and at age 31 it seems his best years are behind him. With Artest's personal troubles, and the three years and roughly $21 million that is owed to him, it will be hard to find a suitor.
What is the fate of Luke Walton? It almost seemed like he wasn't on the team for some stretches. The long-time Laker has two years, and roughly $11 million remaining, on his contract. He might be impossible to trade, especially with his nagging injuries.
Perhaps the biggest question mark is Derek Fisher. His contribution to the Lakers has been immeasurable over the years, and has been a fan favorite. Fisher might retire, and at age 36 it's hard to imagine any team would take a chance on him. He's under contract for next season with an option for 2012-2013.
Steve Blake was a major disappointment. The point guard began the season with high expectations, and the Lakers have major problems at the position with him and Fisher. With three years and $12 million left on his deal, he has some trade value, but not much.
As for Shannon Brown, he continues to be among the most athletic bench players in the NBA, but he lacks the consistent outside shot and basketball smarts to earn more playing time. His time in Los Angeles might be coming to an end because of his lack of improvement.
The other off-season signing was Matt Barnes, and he wasn't quite what the Lakers were expecting, either. Barnes is a hard-nosed player but the Lakers were hoping for more from him, particularly on offense. The former UCLA star was injured for part of the year, so he might get a pass. Barnes will probably return, but might be a decent bargaining chip for a packaged trade.
Then there are the big names. Pau Gasol, as valued as he has been over the years, was subjected to a lot of criticism over the past season. Many were calling out his toughness, and his subpar performance against the Mavericks had Phil Jackson giving him consecutive motivating jabs to the chest, something Jackson rarely does. He still is among the best big men in the NBA, despite his rough patches, but the Lakers may feel he is on the decline, and this is as good a time as any to trade him.
The Laker have a prized trade piece in Lamar Odom. The NBA's Sixth Man of the year is only getting paid a little under $9 million in his final guaranteed season. Odom is living a Hollywood lifestyle with new wife Khloe Kardashian, but the Lakers may want a player with more focus, and the reputation of being an inconsistent, underachieving performer has dogged him since his college days. The Lakers may want to trade Odom now, while he's in a contract year, and get something for him while his stock is rather high.
Then there's the big piece. Andrew Bynum has been subjected to trade rumors for years, and during the regular season trade speculation that a straight-up deal for Orlando Magic star Dwight Howard was in the works. Such a trade would send shock waves through the NBA, and the possibility remains very real. Owner Jerry Buss's son, Jim Buss, who is rather influential in transactions, has stressed his appreciation for Bynum. But after a sweep to Dallas, the Lakers may have no choice but to pull the trigger on a trade that the Magic would likely have to make as a necessity since Howard might leave via free agency. It also doesn't help that Bynum has had knee problems for years.
So, basically, it's just Kobe Bryant who is safe.
Like every team, particularly with a lockout looming, the issue of cap space to sign a free agent is sensitive and complicated. It's unclear what type of money the Lakers will have next season to spend on free agency, and what players have a reasonable chance of being signed by Los Angeles.
The Lakers have a pair of young players in Devin Ebanks and Derrick Character who have shown glimpses of potential, but neither is a lock to return.
The Lakers have no first-round draft pick, but three second round picks, and that doesn't sound too favorable for an organization that is showing their age, and in an upcoming draft that is rather weak.
Let's not forget there's also the big issue of who will coach the team. Phil Jackson may or may not return, and if he doesn't the probable choice is Brian Shaw, a Lakers assistant with no head coaching experience. Is Shaw who the Lakers will rest their hopes on to return them to glory?
Kupchak is among the best general managers in sports, but he has quite a unique challenge awaiting him. It might be Bryant who is consulted as to who should stay and who should go, and his opinion carries a lot of weight.
It will certainly be an interesting off-season for the Lakers, to say the least.