Here are seven questions about the Lakers' immediate and distant future.
What do the Lakers expect Kobe Bryant to be able to do when he returns?
Here's the scary part: No one in the organization really knows. There's some optimism but also plenty of shrugging. He recently practiced hard for two consecutive days and then stopped after feeling "general soreness" in his left foot, the same one that housed his torn Achilles' tendon.
There appears to be only one consensus. Bryant adjusted his slash-and-burn game a few years ago to become one of the NBA's top perimeter players, and now he'd have to retool again by doing more damage from the post than outside.
It's a potential problem because Coach Mike D'Antoni's offense relies heavily on high screen-and-roll sets that players are enjoying.
Irresistible offense meets immovable Bryant? Add it to the many story lines when Bryant returns.
What's going on with Steve Nash?
Better question: What isn't going on with Steve Nash?
He's pretty much covered it all in a little more than one season with the Lakers — ankle, back, neck, hamstring and leg injuries. I'm sure I'm forgetting three or four.
The gentleman of the NBA won't be cut before the season ends because the Lakers would have to eat his salary ($9.5 million this season, $9.7 million in 2014-15).
But one of two things will happen next summer. Nash either retires or gets waived via the "stretch provision," where the Lakers can pay him his $9.7 million over three years to soften their cap hit next season.
One thing they won't be able to recover — the two first-round picks and two second-round picks they sent Phoenix to acquire him.
Is Pau Gasol really no longer an All-Star player?
I admit it. I fell for the narrative. Dwight Howard leaves L.A., Pau Gasol gets the post to himself and has a bounce-back season.
Instead, he's been bounced around while shooting only 41%.
What do they have in common? They're all point guards. Far from the basket. Little guys. Not 7-footers.
Maybe things get better when Kobe Bryant returns to action. Maybe not.