The 2014 Lakers: A Team of Power Forwards

As teams across the NBA are signing draft choices and free agents, and are piecing together rosters for the upcoming 2014-2015 season, in Los Angeles, Lakers’ GM Mitch Kupchak and the rest of the team’s brain trust have seeming undertaken a new concept in assembling a team: It looks like they are trying to build an entire team of power forwards.

Point Guard
Shooting Guard
Small Forward
Power Forward
Center
Jeremy LinKobe BryantXavier HenryCarlos BoozerRobert Sacre
Steve NashMarShon BrooksNick YoungJulius Randle
Jordan ClarksonWesley JohnsonJordan Hill
Ryan Kelly
Ed Davis

In the past few days, they re-signed their own free agent, Jordan Hill, and also signed free agent Ed Davis, and then newly-waived Carlos Boozer. In addition, they have their 2014 first round draft choice Julius Randle, and last year’s draft choice, Ryan Kelly. That

sounds like they will be going five-deep at the position. That does not seem to leave much room for players that might be needed at the OTHER four positions, and the rest of the roster is woefully thin at each of those other positions, save for small forward.

At small forward, they have the over-rated and significantly overpaid trojan brain surgeon nick young, and the recently re-signed and significantly more talented Xavier Henry, and it appears
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Julius Randle LA Lakers
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that Wesley Johnson will be back as well. Any Lakers’ watcher of the past decade also realizes that Kobe Bryant is at the small forward position much of the time, but in past seasons, they have had other viable shooting guards to be on the court at the same time. With Jodie Meeks and Kent Bazemore, as well as others who have played there in the recent past, all now gone, Marshon Brooks currently is the only other number two on the roster. So, that position is very thin, and pretty much eliminates much of the versatility that Kobe has brought to the Lakers.


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The biggest problem is at center, however, with Robert Sacre the ONLY real center on the roster. Sacre has played well at times in the past, but he has never been a starter (Save for a handful of games when injuries required it) and has averaged only 13.3 minutes per game for his two-year career. With an average of 1.8 personal fouls in that
limited time, just how much time will he be able to put on the court as a starter – a starter with no real backup? The most logical backup would be Boozer, but at 6′ 9″, while a perfectly -sized power forward, he is significantly undersized for an NBA center.

Finally at point guard, the question continues to be how much will Steve Nash be able to play? They have a solid backup in Jeremy Lin, though not as good a backup as Jordan Farmar, who left for the Clippers, was last season, and draft choice Jordan Clarkson, who has impressed in the summer league. They still might also bring back Kendall Marshall, who had figured to have been treated a bit better by the team. They should have gotten him secured long before now.

And, as summer races toward fall, the Lakers still do not have a head coach.

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