Kobe Bryant wants Lakers to make changes, contend next season

Los Angeles Lakers superstar Kobe Bryant told reporters on Wednesday that he doesn't want to wait for the team to rebuild.

Kobe Bryant was clearly frustrated when talking to reporters on Wednesday. With news of his left knee injury keeping him out the remainder of the season, Bryant unloaded his thoughts, saying he wanted the Lakers to return to prominence as early as the 2014-15 NBA season.

Bryant has been out since Dec. 17 with a fractured lateral tibial plateau he suffered against the Memphis Grizzlies. Meanwhile, the Lakers have been plummeting toward the bottom of the Western Conference with a record of just 22-42, tying them with the lowly Sacramento Kings:

Los Angeles has its own first-round choice in this year's upcoming draft, which features top prospects Andrew Wiggins, Joel Embiid, Jabari Parker, Marcus Smart and Julius Randle. However, outside of a top pick, the Lakers' cupboards are bare moving forward.

Pau Gasol's $19 million comes off the books this summer, and there's a possibility that Steve Nash could be waived using the rare stretch provision, freeing up even more cap space. But Bryant, 34, just signed a two-year extension worth $48.5 million, effectively clogging one of the max roster spots for L.A. As it stands today, the Lakers have $23.5 million of their $35.3 million cap figure dedicated to Bryant in 2014-15, according to HoopsHype.com.

Even adding a top-flight prospect, the Lakers will need to use their cap to fill out what amounts to nearly an entire roster with an estimated $20 million remaining before they hit their cap. Financial finagling aside, it is unlikely the Lakers would be able to field a championship-level roster with that amount of cap space in a single year, let alone solely from free agents.

For Bryant, frustration with the Buss family -- Jim and Jeanie -- has mounted in what appears to be his perception of the roster being mismanaged around him, telling Serena Winters of Lakers Nation, "You gotta start with Jim. You gotta start with Jim and Jeanie and how that all relationship plays out."

More from SBNation.com

X
Log In Sign Up

forgot?
Log In Sign Up

Forgot password?

We'll email you a reset link.

If you signed up using a 3rd party account like Facebook or Twitter, please login with it instead.

Forgot password?

Try another email?

Almost done,

By becoming a registered user, you are also agreeing to our Terms and confirming that you have read our Privacy Policy.

Join SBNation.com

You must be a member of SBNation.com to participate.

We have our own Community Guidelines at SBNation.com. You should read them.

Join SBNation.com

You must be a member of SBNation.com to participate.

We have our own Community Guidelines at SBNation.com. You should read them.

Spinner.vc97ec6e

Authenticating

Great!

Choose an available username to complete sign up.

In order to provide our users with a better overall experience, we ask for more information from Facebook when using it to login so that we can learn more about our audience and provide you with the best possible experience. We do not store specific user data and the sharing of it is not required to login with Facebook.