But they really should.
If you look at the history of the Lakers, they have never ever rebuilt from scratch. They have always had at least one star carry over from one generation to the next. It seems they tried that again with the current Kobe generation. The problem is that they're asking Kobe to do something that he simply cannot do. The Lakers are asking Kobe to mentor and lead a group of youngsters so that once he leaves, the Lakers can still compete. The problem is that Kobe lacks the charisma and patience that a leadership role requires.
The sad thing is that there is actually quite a bit of talent on the Laker roster. Players like Bynum, Turiaf, Farmar and of course Odom have all shown flashes of greatness. If you need particular examples, look no further than the games Kobe missed this year. In those games, there were 6 different Laker players that scored over 20 points and 2 near triple doubles. So the question becomes, why are the Lakers so inconsistant? The simple answer is that they never know what they're going to be asked to do on any given night. Kobe gets the ball at half court and sometimes he forces a shot, sometimes he passes. The problem is that Kobe's shot attempts varied from 7 to 45 this year. Now how can any teammate get into any kind of rythym when they don't know if they'll get 20 touches or zero.
So the next question is why can't Kobe get some help? There are two reasons that I see. First of course is that it seems the Laker organization doesn't want to. There is of course life after Kobe and they have to think about that before trading away their young players especially when they have shown promise. What happens if the Lakers trade everything for an O'Neal, Kidd or KG and it turns out not to be enough? Then Kobe still leaves when his contract is up and now the Lakers are without any promising youth. Looking at the Laker's moves in the last couple years, it's hard to argue that they're not thinking about the future and were really hoping Kobe could help develop some players before he left town.
The next reason they can't get any help (assuming they actually want to) is that Kobe called 7 different media outlets and told them exactly how desperate L.A. was to make a deal. Indiana has been trying to dump O'Neal for years and I'm guessing that sometime last year, they probably could have got him for a stick of gum. Kobe goes off and suddenly it's going to cost the Lakers Odom & Bynum which makes it a bad deal. I don't think Kobe was going to get any help regardless (due to my point above) but Kobe's rampage certainly didn't help.
So where does that leave them? Well, you can realistically count out any superstar blockbuster trade. I don't see the Lakers trading their future to appease Bryant who will most likely opt out anyway. Kobe's stock also dropped after he publically called out his entire organization. He won't be traded as 1) No team he would be willing to go to would gut their entire squad to get him and 2) He still brings hunderds of millions of dollars to the organization. My advice? Wave Kwame Brown and see if you can talk Billips into a 2-3 deal worth $20-30 million. The Lakers instantly get better and they can keep their youth.
My guess is that they will pull a couple small moves and be in about this same place next year. Being the summer before Kobe's contract is up, next year is a more likely trade timeframe and then maybe, just maybe, the Lakers can really start looking at the future.