9. Los Angeles Lakers

2010-11 Record: 57-25 (Lost in Western Conference Semis to Dallas 4-0
Key Returning Players: Kobe Bryant, Pau Gasol, Andrew Bynum
Key Additions: Troy Murphy
Key Losses: Lamar Odom, Shannon Brown
This Week: vs. Chicago, Sunday (12/25); @ Sacramento, Monday (12/26); vs. Utah, Tuesday (12/27); vs. New York, Thursday (12/29); vs. Denver, Friday (12/29)

Can there possibly be any more drama in an offseason than what this team has gone through over the last few weeks? Oh great, you're landing one of the best point guards in the league—sike! What's that, your overly sensitive yet highly productive Sixth Man of the Year has been dealt to Dallas for a first-round draft pick? Then Kobe's wife files for divorce and the Black Mamba tears ligaments in his wrist sidelining him for two to three weeks. Yeah, L.A. knows drama, but even Tinseltown natives would say this is a bit much. Combine all that with the fact that Mike Brown has replaced the Zen Master and things will be very interesting for this squad in 2012. Brown is a defensive-minded coach yet they don't really have any quality defensive role players. Dudes like Matt Barnes and Ron...sorry, Metta World Peace are going to have to step up in order for this team to remain among the elite in the West. Either that or things will probably start looking like they did during the rebuilding phase of the mid 2000s. *starts up countdown to Kobe demanding a trade* —Ralph Warner