Los Angeles Lakers general manager Mitch Kupchak retooled the roster during free agency by trading for Jeremy Lin, adding Carlos Boozer via waiver claim and retaining Nick Young and Jordan Hill, among other moves.
Lakerland wasn’t able to net big-name star Carmelo Anthony nor keep veteran Spaniard Pau Gasol. So what exactly will the Lakers’ starting lineup look like next season?
The point guard spot appears to be a two-lane race between J-Lin and an aging, injury-prone Steve Nash.
Shooting guard will continue to be Kobe Bryant’s domain, unless L.A.’s next coach (Byron Scott, perhaps?) finds it more fruitful to slide him down to small forward. None other than “Swaggy P” will otherwise man the 3.
Boozer has seniority for the power forward position, but the Lakers used their No. 7 overall draft choice this year on Julius Randle. He's the future of the Lakers franchise and needs meaningful minutes to develop.
Due to that, the frontcourt in L.A. just continues to get more complicated.
Hill and his $9 million annual salary will likely hold the fort at center, but nothing is set in stone.
Of the offseason moves, Bryant said, “I can sit here and tell you with 100 percent honesty that I’m happy with the effort the organization put forward this summer,” per ESPN’s Ramona Shelburne.
Happy or not, the Black Mamba is no doubt aware the Lakers will be fighting an uphill battle for a playoff berth in the loaded Western Conference. Questions about the starting five only solidify that fact.