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Kobe Bryant's health isn't only issue during Los Angeles Lakers' transitional season

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    FILE - In this Oct. 21, 2012, file photo, Los Angeles Lakers, from left, Steve Nash, Dwight Howard, Metta World Peace, Kobe Bryant and Pau Gasol, of Spain, pause during the second half of a preseason NBA basketball game against the Sacramento Kings in Los Angeles. Just three years removed from their last championship, the Lakers are a team in transition.(AP Photo/Mark J. Terrill, File)The Associated Press

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    Pau Gasol of Los Angeles Lakers scores against Golden State Warriors during a 2013-2014 NBA preseason game between Lakers and Warriors at Mercedes-Benz Arena in Shanghai, China, Friday, Oct. 18, 2013. (AP Photo/Eugene Hoshiko)The Associated Press

Kobe Bryant's health is just one issue for the Los Angeles Lakers as they begin a season of transition.

The 16-time NBA champions are nobody's pick for a title, even with a roster featuring three likely Hall of Fame players. Pau Gasol and Steve Nash will attempt to hold the team together until Bryant is back to something close to full strength on his surgically repaired Achilles tendon.

Dwight Howard's decision to take less money to sign with Houston last July put the Lakers' short-term future into flux. Yet it also freed the Lakers, who have almost nobody under a contract longer than one season.

But coach Mike D'Antoni isn't thinking about next year. He's hoping the Lakers' new roster is more suited to his style of play.