Los Angeles Lakers: Summer League Roster, Key Storylines
With Kobe Bryant, Pau Gasol, Andrew Bynum and Steve Nash running the show, the Lakers are going to be a very dangerous team during the 2012-13 season. Those players won't be able to do it alone, though.
The Lakers will need to fill out their depth chart with young players who can be signed to low-level minimum contracts, and that's where the 2012 summer league comes in. Players like Darius Johnson-Odom, Andrew Goudelock, Robert Sacre and Christian Eyenge are going to be competing for a spot on the Lakers' talented roster, where they can be a productive member of a team pursuing an NBA title.
Ahead is a breakdown of the Lakers' summer league roster and the top storylines to watch as the Lakers look to find their depth heading into the 2012-13 season.
Lakers' Summer League Schedule
Friday, July 13, at 8:00 PM: L.A. Lakers vs. Golden State Warriors
Saturday, July 14, at 8:00 PM: L.A. Lakers vs. Sacramento Kings
Monday, July 16, at 8:00 PM: L.A. Lakers vs. Miami Heat
Tuesday, July 17, at 6:30 PM: L.A. Lakers vs. San Antonio Spurs
Thursday, July 18, at 8:30 PM: L.A. Lakers vs. L.A. Clippers
(All times Eastern)
Darius Morris, G, L.A. Lakers (1-Year Experience)
Player Profile: 6'4'', 190 pounds
2011-12 Per-Game Stats: 2.4 points, 1.1 assists, 0.8 rebounds, 0.1 steals, 42.9 FG%, 44.4 3P%, 86.67 FT%
Key Storyline: Darius Morris averaged just 8.9 minutes per game in 19 games during his rookie year last season, and in those limited minutes, he certainly didn't impress.
Morris is a great athlete with an impressive range to his game, but he hasn't fully realized his potential yet.
Morris will be on the Lakers roster to start the 2012-13 season, but he will be buried on the depth chart behind Steve Nash and Steve Blake, which will hold him back yet again next season. Morris will need an impressive summer league performance to compete for minutes behind Nash and Blake, and I don't see that happening.
Prediction: Morris will once again find himself buried on the Lakers depth chart during the 2012-13 season.
Toure' Murry, SG, Wichita State (Undrafted Free Agent)
Player Profile: 6'5'', 199 pounds
2011-12 Per-Game Stats: 12.2 points, 3.3 assists, 4.8 rebounds, 1.3 steals, 42.2 FG%, 28.6 3P%, 78.9 FT%
Key Storyline: Torre' Murry was a production player at Wichita State. The one thing that consistently held him back was his lack of efficiency on the offensive side of the ball.
The Lakers don't need another inefficient, undersized guard filling their depth chart, and there's no doubt that is the kind of player Murry is.
Murry doesn't have an impressive range to his game either, and that will be a major reason why he won't be on the Lakers roster to start the 2012-13 season.
Prediction: Murry will be playing his first year of professional basketball overseas next year.
Andrew Goudelock, SG, L.A. Lakers (1-Year Experience)
Player Profile: 6'3'', 200 pounds
2011-12 Per-Game Stats: 4.4 points, 0.5 assists, 0.8 rebounds, 1.2 steals, 39.1 FG%, 37.3 3P%, 91.7 FT%
Key Storyline: Andrew Goudelock averaged just 10.5 minute per game in 40 games this past season for the L.A. Lakers.
During those limited minutes, Goudelock had a few flashes of genius, including six 10-plus-point games where he showed the potential that exists in his range at the shooting guard position.
This summer, Goudelock needs to show that he has become a more versatile and complete player if he wants to increase his minutes during the 2012-13 season.
Prediction: With another year of experience under his belt, Goudelock will impress during the 2012 summer league, and he will become a more consistent member of the Lakers rotation next season.
Darius Johnson-Odom, SG, Marquette (2012 No. 55 Overall Pick)
Player Profile: 6'2'', 215 pounds
2011-12 Per-Game Stats: 18.3 points, 2.7 assists, 3.5 rebounds, 0.9 steals, 44.7 FG%, 38.5 3P%, 76.4 FT%
Key Storyline: Darius Johnson-Odom was one of the purest scorers in the draft, and his talents will certainly translate into the NBA for the L.A. Lakers.
Johnson-Odom's best quality is the confidence that he brings to the court, and that will help him compete with players like Darius Morris and Andrew Goudelock for legitimate time coming off the bench for the Lakers next season.
The one thing Johnson-Odom will need to do during the summer league is show that he can be an efficient player and not just put up shot after shot no matter where his team is at in its offense.
Efficiency is the name of the game for Johnson-Odom, and if he can show that he can be an efficient player, he'll be a consistent producer for the Lakers next season.
Prediction: Johnson-Odom will not only earn a roster spot for the Lakers, he will also be a productive member of the Lakers eight-man rotation during the 2012-13 season.
Devin Ebanks, SF, L.A. Lakers (2-Years Experience)
Player Profile: 6'9'', 215 pounds
2011-12 Per-Game Stats: 4.0 points, 0.5 assists, 2.3 rebounds, 0.2 steals, 41.2 FG%, 40.0 3P%, 78.3 FT%
Key Storyline: The biggest moment of Devin Ebanks' season last year was when he got ejected from a playoff game during scrub time against the Oklahoma City Thunder.
That doesn't bode well for Ebanks' development heading into the 2012 summer league. Ebanks will have to put on an impressive performance in the summer league to earn minutes next year.
For Ebanks, his main focus during the summer league needs to be increased maturity on the court. If he can do that, he'll have a spot on the Lakers bench next season, but if he doesn't, he could be one of the players destined for the NBA D-League next year.
Prediction: Ebanks will be playing the majority of the 2012-13 season in the NBA D-League.
Christian Eyenga, SF, L.A. Lakers (2-Years Experience)
Player Profile: 6'7'', 210 pounds
2011-12 Per-Game Stats: 2.4 points, 0.7 assists, 2.0 rebounds, 0.4 steals, 24.0 FG%, 33.3 3P%, 50.0 FT%
Key Storyline: After being a part of the trade that sent Ramon Sessions to the Lakers, Christian Eyenga didn't really get a chance to compete for legitimate minutes for the Lakers last season.
Eyenga is a ridiculously athletic wingman who can make a difference coming off the bench in the right rotation. With the Lakers looking for depth on the wing, Eyenga's performance during the summer league will go a long way in deciding if he's going to be a part of that depth.
One of the main things Eyenga will have to do is show that he's capable of being more than just an athletic player. Eyenga needs to improve his efficiency throughout the summer league, and if he can do that, there will be a place for him on the Lakers bench during the 2012-13 season.
Prediction: Eyenga will be riding the pine for the Lakers for the majority of the 2012-13 season.
Julian Khazzouh, PF, Sydney Kings (Australia)
Player Profile: 6'11'', 240 pounds
2011-12 Per-Game Stats: 16.4 points, 10.8 rebounds, 2.1 blocks, 51.2 FG%, 64.8 FT%
Key Storyline: Julian Khazzouh has been playing professional basketball overseas since the 2004-05 season, which gives him a decisive advantage over other players competing for a roster spot with the Lakers.
During the 2011-12 preseason, Khazzouh was a member of the Golden State Warriors preseason squad, although he was waived before the start of the 2011-12 regular season.
If Khazzouh wants to be in the NBA during this upcoming season, he'll have to prove that he can bring his double-double production into the NBA. Khazzouh has all the raw potential he needs to excel. He just needs to show that he can realize that potential during his summer league games with the Lakers.
Prediction: Khazzouh will be a competent player during the summer league, but he'll take more money overseas instead of staying in the NBA just to ride the Lakers bench.
Greg Somogyi, C, UC Santa Barbra (Undrafted Free Agent)
Player Profile: 7'3'', 242 pounds
2011-12 Per-Game Stats: 3.1 points, 3.3 rebounds, 1.6 blocks, 47.7 FG%, 52.2 FT%
Key Storyline: Greg Somogyi is a 7'3'' player who's never filled out his massive frame and never realized his high level of potential.
Somogyi is just another seven-plus-footer who is destined for a long and disappointing professional career. He has no polish on his offensive game in the post, and he also has no intensity on the defensive side of the ball.
That will all be put on display during the summer league, and it will be the main reason why his professional basketball career won't start in the NBA.
Prediction: Somogyi and his Shawn Bradley-esque body will be waived as soon as the 2012 summer league ends.
Robert Sacre, C, Gonzaga (2012 No. 60 Overall Pick)
Player Profile: 7'0'', 260 pounds
2011-12 Per-Game Stats: 11.6 points, 6.3 rebounds, 1.4 blocks, 51.1 FG%, 76.1 FT%
Key Storyline: Last year's No. 60-overall pick, Isaiah Thomas, turned out to be one of the best players taken in the entire 2011 draft. The same could happen with Robert Sacre on a Lakers team that needs some depth in the frontcourt.
Sacre is seven-footer who knows how to score the ball from anywhere inside the three-point line. He's like a poor man's Pau Gasol, and that's a good thing for Sacre.
The one thing Sacre needs to focus on during the 2012 summer league is showing off the range he has in his mid-range game. If he can do that, he can quickly become one of the Lakers' most exciting prospects heading into the 2012-13 season.
Prediction: Sacre will impress during the summer league and earn himself a spot on the Lakers depth chart for the 2012-13 season.
Ater Majok, C, Nitra (Slovakia)
Player Profile: 6'10'', 233 pounds
2011-12 Per-Game Stats: 11.2 points, 8.1 rebounds, 2.6 blocks, 51.8 FG%, 73.4 FT%
Key Storyline: Ater Majok is player who has a lot of potential in his game but hasn't really realized it at the professional level in the NBA.
This past year, he proved that he can dominate the competition in Europe. Now, it's time for him to show that his game can translate into the NBA—against the best talent in the world.
While Majok has potential in his game, he won't be able to translate his game into the NBA just yet, and that will be put on display during the summer league. He will be due to make more money overseas, too, which will be at the foundation of the reason why he won't be in the NBA during the 2012-13 season.
Prediction: Majok will continue his professional career overseas when the 2012-13 season gets underway.
L.A. Lakers Summer League Storyline
With a ridiculous amount of cash tied up in Kobe Bryant, Steve Nash, Pau Gasol and Andrew Bynum, the Lakers will need to fill out their depth chart with a bunch of players who can produce but who can also be signed at a low-level minimum contract.
That's why the 2012 summer league is going to be such an important time for the Lakers.
Players like Andrew Goudelock, Darius Johnson-Odom, Robert Sacre and Julian Khazzouh are going to be competing for legitimate time on the Lakers' bench, and the Lakers will be looking for players to step up their game.
The summer league is going to be a great opportunity for a number of players looking to find their way onto an NBA roster where they will be able to help the Lakers compete for an NBA title in the 2012-13 season.
Filling out the Lakers bench will be the major storyline to follow during the 2012 summer league.