Ryan Kelly Will Be Productive Complementary Player for LA Lakers

Brian Mazique@@UniqueMaziqueCorrespondent IIIJune 28, 2013

Ryan Kelly's versatility, basketball I.Q. and collegiate experience with a winning program will be a great fit for the Los Angeles Lakers.

Throughout Kelly's college career, he proved himself to be a good shot-blocker and solid low-post defender. As a senior, he blocked 1.6 shots per game. At 6'11.75" in shoes, per Draft Express, Kelly has the length to be a defensive presence in the paint.

He also knocked down 42 percent of his three-point attempts as a senior. The ability to hit the outside shot makes him an excellent stretch 4 prospect.

Spending five years playing for Duke legend Mike Krzyzewski has augmented what was already a good understanding of the game. Kelly isn't an elite athlete, so comprehending how to accentuate his strengths is the key to his success.

The Lakers' No. 1 objective this offseason is to convince Dwight Howard to re-sign with the team. One look at the team's Instagram account is evidence of that.

Even if the Lakers don't accomplish their goal, Kelly would still be an asset. With Howard in L.A., Kelly's ability and willingness to step outside is the perfect complement to Howard's inside game.

On defense, he can be the second long big man the Lakers need to be tough defensively in the paint. If Howard bolts, Kelly could still play the same role alongside Pau Gasol—assuming the Lakers don't trade the latter.

Being a pick-and-pop option with Steve Nash and/or Kobe Bryant upon his return from injury is also a realistic possibility for Kelly.

Because he was a five-year senior and member of Duke's winning tradition, he is mature enough to understand and accept this important—but secondary—role for a potential winner. 

Drafting Kelly was a smart move that doesn't clash with any of the Lakers' long-term primary goals.

 

Follow me for hoops news, rumors and spirited opinions.


Related

    Warriors' Roster Flaws on Full Display Against Rockets

    NBA logo
    NBA

    Warriors' Roster Flaws on Full Display Against Rockets

    San Francisco Chronicle
    via San Francisco Chronicle

    No Margin for Error Left Between the West's Elite

    NBA logo
    NBA

    No Margin for Error Left Between the West's Elite

    The Ringer
    via The Ringer

    Report: MSU's Izzo Candidate for Magic HC

    NBA logo
    NBA

    Report: MSU's Izzo Candidate for Magic HC

    Scott Polacek
    via Bleacher Report

    NBA's Worst of the Worst Salary-Cap Situations

    NBA logo
    NBA

    NBA's Worst of the Worst Salary-Cap Situations

    Dan Favale
    via Bleacher Report