Despite losing Dwight Howard, Metta World Peace and a few other key contributors from last season, the Los Angeles Lakers still have a stockpile of role players who will definitely step up to the plate.
With a logjam of guards and a few a serviceable big men, the Lakers have a lot of talent on the roster to work with.
Flying under the radar and being the underdogs may be the best thing for this Lakers squad. Despite losing a marquee name in Howard and a lot of role players, a big impact from several key players could mean unexpected success for the Lakers.
Kaman is a solid player with enough versatility to fit in with most systems.
While he isn't the stereotypical Mike D'Antoni-style big man, he has ample knowledge of the game and can set smart screens, hit open shots and score in the interior when called upon.
Kaman is capable of scoring from anywhere within the three-point line.
His ability to make a significant impact with his versatility will be predicated on the amount of playing time D'Antoni gives him. Being perhaps the best rebounding presence on the team, he should see plenty of time on the floor.
Another factor that should make Kaman a stable part of the rotation is the fact that he doesn't have an ego and is willing to conform to any role assigned to him.
Despite his days as perhaps the best player on the Los Angeles Clippers during his tenure, Kaman doesn't have a problem being a complementary player. This should allow him and Gasol to develop a cohesive rapport on the court a lot quicker.
A three-point shooter and a serviceable passer, Blake should see a lot of playing time backing up Steve Nash at the point guard position.
While Jordan Farmar could potentially give Blake a run for his money, the backup point guard spot is Blake's to lose.
The multitude of talented guards on the roster means that Blake may play several different roles on the team—based on who he's playing alongside.
If he and Nash are on the same roster, Blake's role would be to stretch the floor and be a spot-up shooter. If Blake is paired up with Nick Young or Jodie Meeks, Blake would be more of a facilitator.
His ability to score, handle the ball and facilitate makes him an ideal glue guy who should see a lot of minutes alongside the other guards on the roster.
Farmar and Blake have very similar games.
Both are very solid shooters from the point guard position. The difference between the two is that Blake, at age 33, has already peaked as an athlete and a player. At only 26 years old, Farmar is just entering his prime.
With much more of an upside than Blake, Farmar should slowly usurp Blake's position as the backup point guard if he continues to make the strides most expect of him.
His renewed focus on defense should help him see a lot of court time, seeing as perimeter defense from the Lakers' point guards has been an issue dating back to Derek Fisher's second tenure with them.
A very talented scorer and athlete, Nick Young is a high-volume shooter who should be a perfect fit in D'Antoni's system.
He can stretch the floor with his shot, and the dribble penetration he can create with his athleticism and ball-handling abilities can be used in a multitude of ways on the offensive end.
Young is the type of player a team can throw the ball to when the offense gets stagnant and needs to be re-ignited by someone who can create his own shot.
While Farmar, Blake and Nash are all capable shooters, they are point guards and use their dribble penetration more for facilitating than scoring.
With the Black Mamba presumably out for the beginning of the season, expect Young to have free rein to take a lot of shots.