Los Angeles Lakers executive Jim Buss has said that he doesn't intend major moves for the offseason, despite calls from fans, media and even Lakers great Magic Johnson.
After the Lakers were bounced out of the playoff by the eventual Western Conference Champion for the second time in as many seasons, fans, media members and critics were expecting big things out of the Lakers offseason.
Even Johnson said on ESPN, where he works as an analysis, Jim Buss, brother, you have a job to do. I'm telling you right now because if you don't do it, you're going to hear from me. He was exhorting Buss to make the kinds of major moves that everyone expects.
But on Wednesday, Buss blew that all up.
In an interview with the Los Angeles Times, Buss describes the chances that Andrew Bynum, Pau Gasol and Kobe Bryant will all return to the Lakers next season as very good.
This comes even after the Lakers position got even more tenuous when Ramon Sessions opted out of his contract, leaving the Lakers without a legitimate point guard.
We will try to sign Sessions when the rules allow beginning in July, he says. And improve the bench.
That's a long way from Showtime, in fact, it sounds downright pedestrian.
But that doesn't mean Buss isn't working to improve the team, and whatever he does he makes sure to keep the Lakers prized possession informed and in the loop.
We have the draft coming up and we're trying to trade up into the first round. After the draft, Kobe and I will have a sitdown, Buss said.
Buss, Bryant, and general manager Mitch Kupchak are all satisfied with the roster as is.
He's already had lunch with Mitch (Kupchak), and from what I'm hearing Kobe is pretty satisfied with this team. If I heard differently from Kobe, it would put some doubt into what I was thinking, said Buss.
But I'm hearing he believes this team kept together can do something. And he's only got a short window of time remaining to win championships, so apparently he believes this group gives him the best chance to do so.
But none of this addresses the fact that the Lakers weren't good enough to compete in the West last year with the roster they have. The Thunder are clearly a team on the rise and they will get better next season as they continue to mature.
San Antonio also figures to be a dangerous team, as well as Dallas, Memphis and the Lakers' Staples Center co-tenant the Clippers.
While Buss's comments could be right on point, it seems hard to believe that the Lakers would head into next season without some kind of overhaul to take advantage of Bryant's last few years of dominant basketball.