Starter – Nick Young, 25 minutes/game
Backup – Kobe Bryant, 30 minutes/game
Reserve – Elias Harris/Wes Johnson, 12 total minutes/game
One of the biggest question marks with the current Lakers roster is the complete lack of small forward options. The only true small forward on the roster is Wes Johnson, and he’s a reserve player at best. Elias Harris is an interesting prospect. In college, spent a lot of time at the power forward position, but at 6’8, he’s undersized for that role in the pros. He showed enough on the Lakers summer league team to get himself a multi-year deal, meaning they think they have something special. However, he’s in the same boat as Johnson in terms of expected productivity.
That leaves Young and Bryant, which I explained in my shooting guard post. Neither are natural fits at the small forward role and will take a bit of a beating against big forwards – LeBron James, Kevin Durant, Carmelo Anthony. There’s an outside chance the Lakers bring in one last summer leaguer, namely Chris Douglas-Roberts or Marcus Landry. Austin Daye is another name that’s been floated around as a potential Laker signee. He’d fill a big need at small forward and would certainly take loads off Young and Bryant.