The Los Angeles Lakers’ roster revamp is scary but hopeful. If all players will find their place in the team, all pieces will fall into place. But if they don’t, it could spell disaster for Kobe Bryant’s last season in the NBA.
Earlier this week, the Lakers welcomed its newest acquisitions to the team — Roy Hibbert, Lou Williams and Brandon Bass. These veterans will definitely help put the team in the right direction after dismal past seasons.
“We’ve tried to do our best to identify and create a young core, and also bring some veteran players around a young group. Not only can those veteran players hopefully contribute, but they have solid character, and they can be mentors for our young players,” Lakers GM Mitch Kupchack revealed in an interview with NBA.com.
“We’re gonna do our best to win as many games as possible, and it’s very difficult to do that with all young players.”
Hibbert will be a big addition to the team in terms of defense, as he averaged 7.1 rebounds and 1.6 blocks last season, 16th in the league. However, Kupchack admitted that using the bigman to the fullest will be up to coach Byron Scott.
“It’s a question for Byron (Scott), but it all can’t fall on (Hibbert’s) plate. If you’re on the perimeter, you just can’t let your guy get past you and say, ‘Oh, Roy’s back there.’ It doesn’t work that way,” the GM explained.
Williams is also expected to help with point production as the former Toronto Raptor averaged 15.5 points and 2.9 assists in the 2014-15 NBA Season. Bass will also offer good post presence as PF for the team.
One notable change for the team though will Kobe Bryant at the three-spot. Several reports have revealed that Coach Scott could be using the future hall of famer as a small forward, putting him in rotation with new draftee D’Angelo Rusell and Lou Williams.
The coach has since confirmed the reports.
“I think (Bryant) will play more three than two. If we can get him at the elbows and at the mid-post, the more effective he’ll be,” Scott confirmed, quoted another NBA.com article.
Scott believes the mid-post area is best for Bryant. However, not everyone agrees.
The Black Mamba has been best as a shooting guard, although over his lengthy career he has played one to four. In a data collected by the Bleacher Report, the athlete has a net negative percentage as an SF the past two years, mainly because of his injuries, his age and the roster he has played with.
“It’s still a dangerous plan, one fraught with risks that a soon-to-be 37-year-old may not necessarily be able to endure…As the saying goes, when you play with fire, you might get burned,” the site noted.
While it’s too early to say how well Bryant will perform as a small forward in possibly his last season as a pro, with new bodies in the team Lakers fans may find a spark of hope for a title.