Kobe Bryant (Luis Sinco / Los Angeles…)
The Lakers hit the off-season after a 4-0 sweep by the San Antonio Spurs.
Afterward, Coach Mike D'Antoni said he was proud of his team despite their "doomed" season.
The Lakers held exit meetings with each player early in the week to discuss the past season and possible futures.
Naturally, the biggest question is the contract status of soon-to-be-free-agent Dwight Howard.
Steve Nash said he wants Howard to return.
Kobe Bryant was clear: It's "very important" for Howard to re-sign with the team. After Bryant's surgery, Howard visited him in his home -- a moment that Bryant said strengthened their bond.
Howard said his decision will be centered on the "right to be happy." Lakers General Manager Mitch Kupchak said he is relatively optimistic Howard will be back.
One bit of good news for Howard -- he won't need surgery to repair his torn labrum (shoulder).
Howard apologized for his ejection against the Spurs in the final game, taking to Twitter to admit that he lost his cool.
Jodie Meeks said he can't speak for Howard, but that he believes the all-star center loves the city and the team.
Odds-makers expect Howard to re-sign with the team, giving 4-7 odds.
Pau Gasol said that although he isn't sure about his future with the Lakers, he'd prefer to stay.
Metta World Peace said he wants to stay and win with the Lakers. An advocate for mental health, World Peace has joined with the Los Angeles County Department of Mental Health to help promote awareness.
Earl Clark, also a free agent in July, was clear that he wants to be a Laker next season.
Jordan Hill pushed to come back from his "season-ending" hip surgery to play in the first round of the playoffs, hoping to help.
Andrew Goudelock's experience was magical, getting a late-season call-up from the D-League to ultimately start for the Lakers in the playoffs. The second-year guard put up big numbers in his two starts against the Spurs, averaging 17 points on 44.1% shooting.
Antawn Jamison missed his scheduled exit meeting on Monday. He underwent surgery to repair a wrist injury on Tuesday. Coming to the Lakers at a minimum salary, Jamison helped -- but not consistently. He's unlikely to return next season.
Devin Ebanks was the forgotten man and also isn't likely to be back.
Former Lakers coach Phil Jackson reveals in his upcoming book "Eleven Rings: The Soul of Success" that he was diagnosed with prostate cancer in 2011. Jackson has taken an informal position with the Detroit Pistons to help the team find a new head coach.
If D'Antoni had concerns about his job, his purchase of a $6.9-million home in Manhattan Beach suggests that he now is feeling more secure.
LeBron James was named NBA most valuable player for the fourth time in five years. Bryant finished in fifth place. James received 120 of 121 first-place votes -- the lone holdout has yet to be identified publicly.
Fred Hickman, who was the lone voter not to select Shaquille O'Neal for MVP back in 2001, recalled the backlash.
Staples Center was named the NBA's second-best arena by Stadium Journey.
Former Laker Elgin Baylor will auction off memorabilia, awards and personal items from his Hall of Fame career on May 31.
In other auction news, Bryant and his mother are facing a court battle over her plans to auction off some of his memorabilia.
Finally, Bryant got the stitches removed 17 days after surgery to repair his Achilles' tear.
Email Eric Pincus at firstname.lastname@example.org and follow him on Twitter @EricPincus.