People in Los Angeles aren’t the most patient in the world so anyone cheering for the Purple and Gold find very little reason to do so.
Kobe Bryant seemed to have one thing in mind from the get-go, and that is to pass Michael Jordan on the all-time scoring list, shooting percentages be damned. Highly-touted rookie Julius Randle got himself seven minutes of real NBA play before breaking his tibia. And the list goes on.
No fantasy-productive players will return this season except for Jordan Clarkson. Wayne Ellington, Carlos Boozer, Jeremy Lin, Jordan Hill, and Ed Davis have all moved on.
However, there should be light at the end of the tunnel. Good news is, it’s hard to be worse than what they have showed next year.
Breakout Candidate: Roy Hibbert
Roy Hibbert quickly went from a force to a farce in less than a year, thanks to a tumultuous 2013-14 season that saw his Indiana Pacers spiral down from the top of the East. Last year was even worse and so Pacers top honcho Larry Bird reportedly told Hibbert he can’t guarantee his minutes anymore.
And thus began Hibbert’s journey from Indy to L.A. With the Lakers, he is almost a lock to start, guaranteed to have playing time, and if he’ll show the defensive consistency of the past, he’ll get his fair shake among the front office and the fans alike.
And shall we say among the fantasy owners, too? Probably. Hibbert is still at the peak of his strength at 28 years old and is just a couple of years removed from being an All-Star.
Bust Candidate: Any Laker guard
Jordan Clarkson, D’Angelo Russell, Lou Williams, Nick Young, and Kobe Bryant on the same team is about as deep a backcourt can get in the NBA. Coach Byron Scott, as would any coach, would love to have that problem. However, that is exactly what fantasy basketball nightmares are made of.
Kobe will get his share of production and Williams could get hot in a hurry but Clarkson, Russell, and Young may have to split the available spoil among themselves.
Deep League Sleeper: Julius Randle
Aside from Brandon Bass, there’s nobody there to challenge Randle for power forward minutes. And while Bass is NBA solid, in no way he is a consistent game-changer. Don’t be surprised if the former Kentucky Wildcat takes over the 4 spot if he already doesn’t have the job won in training camp.
Image Credit: Marcus Yam/Los Angeles Times/TNS
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