The Los Angeles Lakers failed to win it all this season but they are planning to keep their core together as they believe they have the roster capable of doing big things. The Lakers, who were the No. 7 seed in the Western Conference, led 2-1 before the Phoenix Suns won three consecutive games to overturn the deficit and progress into the Western Confeence Semifinals.
"I think when you fall short of the goal that you set, it has to drive you," said Lakers vice president of basketball operations and general manager Rob Pelinka, speaking to reporters on a videoconference. "It has to be the fuel that drives your passion, and I think us falling short as a team, that in some sense is going to be part of our motivation and putting in the work to getting back at it, and start training camp next year with a strong roster."
The Lakers were plagued by injuries during the whole season, most notably the injuries to LeBron James and Anthony Davis. "I'm convinced that, again, without some of the unforeseen circumstances this year, the challenges that we had to face, that we'd be a championship-caliber team," Pelinka said.
"So the goal is to try to keep that core group together."
The Lakers determined to win it alll next season
"Jeanie [Buss] and the ownership group has empowered the front office to do one thing, and that's to smartly build a roster to win championships," he said.
"I think next year, of course, hopefully, with all of our fans being able to come back and be a part of the building, we owe them the work to start the process of retooling and have a championship-caliber team that can do special things next year.
That's the driving passion, and there's alignment there between Jeanie, the front office, the coaches. That will always be the goal." Dennis Schroder is one the guys that is set to hit free agency. "Let me make that clear first.
I didn't decline the extension because I was in trade talks," Schroder said. "I own a [basketball] team in Germany as well. I try to run my organization in Germany as fair as possible, but end of the day, it's still business.
... That's what Rob did as well. He told me the story. He listened to it. It wasn't even right by the trade deadline, but he talked to them to see. ... I would listen to offers as well. ... You don't know what you can get, and you see what your options are.