Which signee has had the biggest impact this season?
Booth (Chris Kaman) - Has to be by far and wide, Nick Young. He has led the team in scoring, has given himself the green light to shoot, and also, is one of the few players on the Lakers that is actually entertaining to watch. You can tell he is definitely making the absolute most out of his time in LA.
Garcia (Xavier Henry) - The most impactful signee has definitely been Nick Young. Not only has he been among the healthiest Lakers on the team, but found his niche scoring effectively off the bench and going for a string of 25-plus points per game. What is more surprising is, he has shown some great IQ plays on the defensive end, most notable for the charge taken at the end of the Sacramento Kings game in December to protect the Laker lead and win. Right now, among all of the injuries, he is sought out as a scorer to bail the team out, as well as having a stronger voice in the locker room.
Hicks (Jordan Farmar) - I’m going to go with Ryan Kelly. Honestly I felt that way when he was drafted and I feel justified by his recent play. Kelly just knows how to play. How many legit 7 footers can shoot the three, put the ball on the floor, post up and play three positions? With confidence, he can be a 15 point a night player. Kelly was a good defensive player at Duke and that was my biggest question with him, would he be a sieve at the pro level. I’ve been pleasantly surprised to see that he has some potential there. For the Lakers to be what they have been in the past, they will need to think like the small market teams and find these cheap, hidden gems on rookie deals. Kelly is a great first step. I think he’s a future quality NBA starter.
Morales (Kaman, Young, Henry) - The most impactful signee has been Jordan Farmar. He tore his hamstring and a 9-8 team was suddenly 13-15. He tore his hamstring again and only miserable Utah and the pathetic Celtics kept the Lakers out of the Pacific Division cellar. The Lakers have no back up point guard and the strength of their team-their bench-has spiraled into irrelevancy.
Rude (Henry, Johnson, Farmar) - My prediction was more centered at the who second unit, which started the season hot as can be. But injuries decimated what was once a deep Lakers squad and the bench is no more. While Henry and Farmar have suffered injuries to hinder their impact, none have had the same effect on this team as Nick Young. Swaggy P brought just that to this Lakers unit: swagger. It hasn’t resulted in a lot of wins, but it’s instantly made him a fan favorite. He’s playing arguably the best basketball of his life and has been the Lakers MVP to date.