Right now, let’s discuss something a little less stressful—the Lakers’ summer league team.
After much speculation as to who would be on the roster, Los Angeles has put together a squad with a lot of players looking to get some minutes in purple and gold this season.
Here’s the roster, courtesy of Jovan Buha of ESPN LA, which will be coached by Lakers assistant Dan D’Antoni.
- Robert Sacre
- D.J. Seeley
- Drew Viney
- Renaldo Woolridge
- Souleyman Diabate
- Elias Harris
- Travis Hyman
- Ian Hummer
- Michael Snaer
- Mitchell Watt
- Chris Douglas-Roberts
- Josh Selby
- Lazar Hayward
- Lester Hudson
- Jordan Williams
- Marcus Landry
- Ryan Kelly
According to the Herald, the standout guard from Florida University has accepted an invitation to play for the summer league team after going undrafted. Boynton is Florida’s second all-time leading scorer and has a legitimate shot at playing for the Lakers this season.
Boyton has drawn similar comparisons to Norris Cole from his high school coach.
“Norris Cole wasn’t necessarily a point guard coming out of college but he has established himself as one,” [the coach] said. “He has been following [Mario] Chalmers’ lead and [Dwyane] Wade’s lead. Now he is in his zone. Junior [Boynton] could thrive in a similar situation. Junior is hungry to learn more and then when the times comes, I think he will be alright.”
Boyton would thrive in Mike D’Antoni’s uptempo, pick-and-roll heavy offense, and the Lakers don’t have a lot of guards who create for themselves outside of Kobe Bryant. If he performs well in the summer league, look for Boyton to be offered a contract by the Lakers.
After just one practice with the squad, D’Antoni and his assistants have liked what they’ve seen.
Robert Sacre, the raw center who completed his rookie campaign with the Lakers in 2013 averaging about one point and one rebound per game, is one of the more notable names on the roster.
Second-round draft pick Ryan Kelly will not see any time with the team due to the fact that he is recovering from a foot injury he suffered at Duke. The team is making the right call in sitting Kelly, as the last thing it needs is another hobbled player.
The player most likely to earn himself an invite to training camp, as noted by the D'Antoni, will probably be Chris Douglas-Roberts. CDR was cut by the Lakers before the 2013 regular season but developed a solid relationship with Kobe Bryant and averaged four points per game during four preseason games.
Other potential invitees are Josh Selby, who averaged about two points per game for the Memphis Grizzlies last season, and former Florida State sharpshooter Michael Snaer, who went undrafted after putting up 14.8 points a night for the Seminoles in 2013.
The Lakers are going to be a part of a new system of NBA summer basketball, in which one team will emerge as a champion.
This summer’s event will feature the debut of a tournament style schedule that will crown the first ever NBA Summer League Champion on Monday, July 22. Teams will compete in three preliminary round games from July 12-16 before being seeded in a tournament running through the Championship Game on July 22. Each team is guaranteed to play at least five games.
Right now, L.A.’s roster is pretty thin—especially after the departure of Howard. In addition to D12’s exit, Bryant is out indefinitely as he is recovering from a torn Achilles. Essentially, L.A.'s roster is wide open.
If there were ever a time for a player to earn an invitation to training camp, and maybe a professional contract, it’d be this summer on the Lakers.