Chances of Each Player on the Roster Bubble of Making the L.A. Lakers
The Los Angeles Lakers are a team with a lot of quality players. In fact, that's an understatement. This squad is chock full of future Hall of Famers and current All-Stars. L.A.'s bench is also much improved from a season ago.
Because of so many quality players, the Lakers' roster is one that will be tough to crack for journeymen players or talented but raw players.
So while we know about 10 players who are virtually assured of spots on the team, there are still a few players on the bubble looking to make the Lakers.
Here are the chances of each player on the roster bubble making the final squad.
Note: For the sake of simplicity, Steve Blake, Kobe Bryant, Earl Clark, Pau Gasol, Jordan Hill, Dwight Howard, Antawn Jamison, Jodie Meeks, Steve Nash and Metta World Peace aren't considered to be on the bubble and won't be mentioned in this slideshow.
Good Chance of Making the Team
There are 10 players listed as virtual locks to make the team in the first slide. That means there are a few spots still up for grabs and plenty of players in camp and preseason to take those spots. Of those remaining players, the following guys have the best shot of making the team:
Goudelock has somewhat of an upper hand because he played for the Lakers as a rookie last season. The team knows what he's capable of doing. Likewise, Goudelock knows what's expected of him and what he'll be asked to do, which in this case is back up Kobe Bryant.
With the presence of Jodie Meeks as Bryant's primary backup, there's no guarantee that Goudelock makes the team. But given his familiarity with the system and his youth, there's a good chance Goudelock will find his way onto the roster.
Ebanks is a second-year player like Goudelock. He spent his rookie year with the team as a backup. He's likely to fulfill the same role this upcoming season.
Ebanks might be expendable because the Lakers also have Earl Clark, who can also work in at both forward positions. But Ebanks brings a defensive presence that the team doesn't get from its other backup forwards. Because of that, the Lakers should be able to find a way to fit him on the team.
With Ebanks on the team, the Lakers could have the best of both worlds in their backup forwards. They'd have one who can light up the scoreboard in Antawn Jamison, and they'd also have one who can prevent other teams from lighting up the scoreboard in Ebanks.
Odom is kind of in the same boat as Goudelock in that he's a young guard looking to make the team primarily as a backup. In some respects, Goudelock and Johnson-Odom are competing against each other for a spot on the team.
But because of Johnson-Odom's ability to work in at both the 1 and the 2, and because the Lakers went out and traded for him on draft night, it's hard to imagine a scenario where he doesn't make the team. However, if Johnson-Odom makes the team, then somebody else will get left off. Keep reading to find out who that is.
Decent Chance of Making the Team
These are players who could make the team through two scenarios. They could elevate their play during practice and preseason to the point where the Lakers need to include them on the roster, or they could make it because a player in front of them falters.
In terms of present playing ability, Duhon could probably make the team. With his experience, Duhon would be a better option than Johnson-Odom in a situation where a team needs minutes from its third-string point guard.
But with Steve Nash as the unquestioned starter and Steve Blake as a capable backup, there likely won't be too many minutes for a third-string point guard. In that scenario, the Lakers would be better off keeping Johnson-Odom and allowing him to mature.
Sacre is an incredibly raw player. It explains why he fell to the 60th pick in the 2012 NBA draft. But at 7'0" and 260 pounds, Sacre obviously has the size to play in the NBA. The Lakers might decide to keep him on the roster and develop him as a backup for the future.
The problem is that it'll likely come down to a numbers game. By keeping Sacre, the Lakers would have to release some other young player. With Sacre being so raw and not able to contribute much as a rookie, that might be a daunting task.
Since Dwight Howard looks ready to go for the beginning of the season, the team could use Jordan Hill as its primary reserve at center, which would allow Sacre a chance to develop without being thrown into the fire before he's ready.
Morris and Sacre are in the same situation despite one being a center and the other being a point guard. They're both incredibly raw players but due to their size and skill, they have upsides that might be worth waiting for.
However, Sacre probably has a bit up an upper hand on Morris because he's got less competition ahead of him to make the roster. As a point guard, Steve Nash and Steve Blake will already be ahead of Morris on the depth chart. So, in order to make the team, he'll likely have to beat out Darius Johnson-Odom and Chris Duhon.
Small Chance of Making the Team
These are players who are with the team for training camp and preseason but have very little chance of making the final roster. For these guys, a chance to catch on in the D-League would be a good opportunity, because the chances of them catching on with the Lakers seems remote.
At 7'1" and 250 pounds, Aguilar obviously has the requisite size to play center in the NBA. The trouble is that at 25 years old, he's likely too old and too raw for the team to bank on his upside. With Sacre, the Lakers have a player who's younger and more talented, so if the Lakers were to keep a developmental center it would be Sacre. That leaves no room for Aguilar.
Douglas-Roberts has played in the NBA before. In fact, he'll likely play in the NBA again at some point. But with the depth on the Lakers and with younger, more promising players populating Douglas-Roberts' primary positions (shooting guard and small forward), it's hard to envision a scenario where he makes the team.
Nelson has plenty of talent. He showed that when he was named to the All-Pac-10 team following his sophomore season at UCLA. He's a powerful rebounder and a solid defender. But he doesn't have a guaranteed contract, he's never played in the NBA before and he's behind multiple players on the depth chart.
Given that he was dismissed from UCLA's team for off-the-court issues, he would be lucky to get a chance to prove himself in the D-League.
If you thought Aguilar had the size needed to play center in the NBA, then take a look at Greg Somogyi. At 7'3" and 242 pounds, he's an absolute beast. He's also two years younger than Aguilar, which should give him a greater chance of making the team.
The problem is that despite his incredible size, Somogyi simply doesn't produce at a level that's acceptable. As a senior at UC Santa Barbara last season, Somogyi averaged 11.8 minutes, 3.1 points, 3.3 rebounds, 1.6 blocks and shot 47.7 percent from the field. Those numbers simply don't equate to an NBA-ready player.
With his size and youth, Somogyi may be able to someday play in the NBA. But given his struggles to impact the game as a college senior, there's no way he could step into the NBA, especially on a team as talented as the Lakers.