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Lakers Nation Roundtable: Frontcourt Rotation Confusion Reviewed by Momizat on . [new_royalslider id="300"] The Los Angeles Lakers have revamped their frontcourt this off-season. Adding Carlos Boozer, Julius Randle, and Ed Davis to the retur [new_royalslider id="300"] The Los Angeles Lakers have revamped their frontcourt this off-season. Adding Carlos Boozer, Julius Randle, and Ed Davis to the retur Rating: 0
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Lakers Nation Roundtable: Frontcourt Rotation Confusion

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The Los Angeles Lakers have revamped their frontcourt this off-season. Adding Carlos Boozer, Julius Randle, and Ed Davis to the returning Jordan Hill, Ryan Kelly, and Robert Sacre have given the Lakers a number of options.

However, most of these players have spent the majority of their time playing at the power forward position, and only Ryan Kelly has the ability to stretch the defense out to the three-point line.

Randle was the Lakers’ first-round pick, and with the team far from championship contention, you would like to believe he could get enough minutes to help his development.

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Davis is a four-year NBA veteran who has never really had the chance to show what he can do in extended minutes. He also offers the Lakers’ best possibility of a true rim protector, something the team sorely needs.

Hill and Boozer are the most developed of the players and would probably give the team the most production immediately. Hill is a hustle specialist who excels on the boards but struggles offensive.

Boozer is the exact opposite, offering solid offensive production and struggling on the defensive end. Meanwhile Robert Sacre showed that he can be effective in spot minutes, but likely shouldn’t be more than that.

With so many options, all of these guys will not be able to play the amount of minutes they would like. So we asked our panel of experts what they believe the Lakers’ frontcourt rotation should be. This is what they had to say.

Ryan Ward (@Lakers_Examiner): With so many forwards on the roster, the Los Angeles Lakers will have a difficult time allocating minutes to start next season. Now that Jordan Hill is back and Ed Davis is in the fold, I believe Robert Sacre will be back to cheering on the sidelines.

I can’t really see Sacre getting much time on the floor next season without Mike D’Antoni calling the shots. Any coach outside of D’Antoni would likely go with more versatile or more well-rounded players like Hill and Davis.

As for power forward, things will likely get tricky. Although most Lakers fans will want to see rookie Julius Randle playing heavy minutes, Carlos Boozer will more than likely be the starter at the four spot. Randle could come off the bench to backup Boozer, but Kelly might get the nod depending on where the new coach will want to play him.

Once a new head coach is in place, and more than likely it’ll be Byron Scott, the outlook for next season will begin to take shape. The real question will be what to do with Kelly and Randle right out of the gate, but I think the Lakers brass will urge the coach to get their top draft pick involved early and often.

It isn’t out of the realm of possibility that Kelly gets some consideration at small forward. Wesley Johnson is the only real player on the roster at that position. Nick Young, Kobe Bryant and Xavier Henry have also played the three spot in the past.

Corey Hansford (@TheeCoreyH): The Lakers have a very intriguing group of big men coming into this season. But figuring out the rotation is going to be extremely difficult.

I’ll get the obvious out of the way. Robert Sacre should not be seeing any sort of significant minutes barring major foul problems and/or injuries.

Now comes the hard part. Jordan Hill showed some promise down the stretch last season, but I worry whether he can do it on a consistent basis for 30 minutes a night. One addition, in my opinion, should be the starter and that man is Ed Davis.

I had been campaigning for the Lakers to sign Davis since well before free agency began and am ecstatic he is now a member of this team. The main reason I believe he should be starting is that he is the Lakers’ best rim protector.

Starting Davis would also allow Hill to continue to play 25 minutes a night and wreak havoc on second units with his hustle and rebounding.

At the power forward spot, Carlos Boozer is likely to get the nod and he should as he is a reliable player. Him starting will not severely affect Julius Randle as Randle will still get a lot of minutes in order for him to develop.

While Randle has promise, he still is a long way away from being a truly impactful player. Unfortunately for Ryan Kelly, I feel he will be the odd man out, but with his shooting ability, he is always capable of carving out some minutes for himself.

Suki Thind (@TheRealSuki): To start the season, I’d have Carlos Boozer start at power forward and Jordan Hill start at center.

Although Hill isn’t a true center, the league has adopted the “small ball” style of play. Additionally, Hill is the Lakers’ best defender in the frontcourt, and can rebound the ball well. The two should virtually be able to switch off, which should help the Lakers’ team defense.

I’d like to see Randle come off the bench at first, and fill minutes at both positions. If he can prove he’s able to stretch the floor with his outside shot, he may even earn a starting spot, or at least more minutes.

If his outside shot isn’t going for him or he’s unable to quite keep up with the rigors of the NBA off the bat, I expect Ryan Kelly to get some minutes at the four, as she showed some defensive capabilities last season, along with his expected outside shot.

The Lakers have depth in the frontcourt going into next season, which was their biggest advantage in the last two championship seasons. They may not quite have the same size, but their main strength is sure to come from within the post, and that needs to be fully utilized in order to win as many ballgames as possible.

Russell Valenzuela (@RussVal4): I believe the two frontcourt starters should be Carlos Boozer and Jordan Hill as they are the best players right now.

With those two on top of the depth chart, I see Julius Randle being the first one off the bench and replacing Boozer. The Lakers will need to give Randle plenty of minutes over the course of the year and he could very well take over the starting job by the end of the season.

Ed Davis will also see plenty of minutes with his ability to play both power forward and center. I also see Davis as a good complement to Randle when they are on the court together.

As for the other two big men on the roster, Ryan Kelly is deserving of a bigger role since he can stretch defenses out with his shooting ability while Sacre will primarily see minutes when everyone else gets into foul trouble.

At the end of it all, Randle and Hill will see a majority of the minutes although Boozer gets the start. Boozer, Davis, Kelly will likely get around the same amount of playing time as each other but less than Randle and Hill with their different roles that they all be asked to take.

The Lakers will be coming into the season with some frontcourt depth, and are going to be taking advantage of it by giving plenty of minutes when needed. Since they also have some young and developing players, they are going to want to play them.

Kevin Chan (@Kevin_Cruiser): The Lakers have put themselves in a pickle by acquiring an excess of power forwards yet neglecting the rim defender role.

Out of the Lakers’ six bigs only Davis has the tools to be a potential shot blocker. However, Davis tends to do most of his damage from the weakside. He’s slim at 225 pounds and will have a tough time matching up with larger players like Marc Gasol and Nikola Pekovic.

Instead it’ll likely be up to Sacre to guard opposing centers since he’s the tallest and heaviest player on the Lakers’ roster.

Given the roster I’d expect Hill to see significant time at center and possibly even get the starting nod. He played well towards the end of last season when D’Antoni finally unleashed him and gave him consistent minutes.

Boozer was a surprising acquisition after the Lakers signed Ed Davis. But give the front office credit for picking up a savvy veteran at a steep discount. Hopefully he will mentor Randle and also guide the other young Lakers big men.

The Lakers wisely resigned rookie Ryan Kelly to a two year deal. Kelly is a prototypical stretch-four which is increasingly en vogue in the NBA these days. He will need to continue to work on his rebounding and defense, but hopefully he can develop into a meaningful contributor down the line.

Now let’s get to the elephant in the room – how will the Lakers ensure the young and promising Julius Randle will get enough minutes? The Lakers first rounder has very high upside, but if he isn’t given minutes then it’ll be tough for him to develop.

Whoever ends up coaching the Lakers should allow Randle to get his feet wet – and by that I mean allowing him to develop through the ups and downs off his rookie season. Randle will make his fair share of mistakes and he’ll need significant minutes in order to learn to play through them.

One possible solution is to give Randle some minutes at the small forward position in addition to his native position of power forward.

Lakers Acquire Carlos Boozer

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About The Author

Corey is currently a full-time staff writer for Lakers Nation. He is a passionate follower of the Los Angeles Lakers and Dallas Cowboys and can usually be seen arguing the merits of Kobe Bryant or cursing the decisions of Jerry Jones. He is also a former producer and associate producer for Sirius XM Sports Radio. Follow him on twitter @TheeCoreyH

Number of Entries : 829
  • lakers4life

    No question randle should start. His development is crucial in order to become an elite player in this league. No other better way to develop than to get minutes and boost your confidence.

    • wangkon936

      Let the rookie breath a little. Have him come off the bench as the first forward option for at least 20 games. See how he does, then increase minutes accordingly.

    • joshhh

      kobe doesn’t have time for players to develop I think and this is probably the best lineup. make boozer start a the pf cuz he will produce than make randle come off the bench to play against the 2nunit of the opposing team so it’s easier for to develop and produce instead of going up right away against the big boys of the league. at center they should start ed davis cuz he’s the only rim protector on the team and make hill come off the bench cuz he’s better when he gets spurts.and Kelly and sacre are there 3rd option at the 4 and 5
      at the sf they must sign shawn marion must if they don’t which I will be very mad they go with Johnson cuz he’s blocks shot he’s athletic and has length he’s the obvious choice. at sg it’s kobe with young to replace him and at pg it’s lin with nash coming off the bench and give Clarkson a chance plzz he’ll prove people wrong

      • lakers4life

        we can go back and forth about who should start at PF. Im going with Randle. He going to prove everybody who says he should come off the bench. Its obvious you cant see a all star caliber of a player when you see one. Hes better than boozer. just watch and see

        • joshhh

          marion

          • Thomas Klein

            In order for someone to start or come off the bench, you have to be on the team, Marion isn’t

          • joshhh

            they need him trust me what r they waiting for go get him he’s still out there
            DEFENSE

    • im retarded

      “elite player” I love laker fans

      • lakers

        Thats why you’re “retarded”

    • Thomas Klein

      where does it say you can’t develop coming off the bench? It’s playing minutes that helps development, not starting position.

  • wangkon936

    This article seems to forget that (at least as of now) the Lakers don’t really have a true center. Thus, they will have to have three forwards on the floor at the same time most of the time. So, part of your “logjam” problem solved.

    Now, the Lakers just need to find a coach that can optimize that situation.

    • joshhh

      kobe doesn’t have time for players to develop I think and this is probably the best lineup. make boozer start a the pf cuz he will produce than make randle come off the bench to play against the 2nunit of the opposing team so it’s easier for to develop and produce instead of going up right away against the big boys of the league. at center they should start ed davis cuz he’s the only rim protector on the team and make hill come off the bench cuz he’s better when he gets spurts.and Kelly and sacre are there 3rd option at the 4 and 5
      at the sf they must sign shawn marion must if they don’t which I will be very mad they go with Johnson cuz he’s blocks shot he’s athletic and has length he’s the obvious choice. at sg it’s kobe with young to replace him and at pg it’s lin with nash coming off the bench and give Clarkson a chance plzz he’ll prove people wrong

      • Al Haldie

        AHHHHH I DO BELIEVE YOU RAN THIS BEFORE – you must have forgot….. your really looking for attention..

  • David

    The surprising addition of Boozer really improved the Lakers roster; I believe Boozer is underrated but because due to his 16.5million salary he is amnestied for salary cap relief. I think he is worth about 10million per and the Lakers were lucky to land him for 3.2mil because every other team wanted him.

    The question of who should start to me isn’t that hard to decide; Hill and Boozer will start at PF and C and Randle & Davis will come off the bench. Regardless of who will start at the SF the feature position is obviously PF position due to their ability to score on offense. Boozer is past his prime but is still very effective on offense but his minutes will need to be managed in order for him to be effective and so I really see Randle splitting minutes evenly with Boozer.

    Davis will complement Randle well because I believe due to the slight stature of Davis and his true position is PF; Randle’s physical play will take some of the load off of Davis in the front court and he will have a little more energy to attempt to deflect or block some more shots with opposing players going for layups inside.

    • David

      I also believe at times Ed Davis will be overmatched with some centers in the league and I can see on many nights he will split minutes evenly with Robert Sacre who isn’t bad on defense.

    • joshhh

      kobe doesn’t have time for players to develop I think and this is probably the best lineup. make boozer start a the pf cuz he will produce than make randle come off the bench to play against the 2nunit of the opposing team so it’s easier for to develop and produce instead of going up right away against the big boys of the league. at center they should start ed davis cuz he’s the only rim protector on the team and make hill come off the bench cuz he’s better when he gets spurts.and Kelly and sacre are there 3rd option at the 4 and 5
      at the sf they must sign shawn marion must if they don’t which I will be very mad they go with Johnson cuz he’s blocks shot he’s athletic and has length he’s the obvious choice. at sg it’s kobe with young to replace him and at pg it’s lin with nash coming off the bench and give Clarkson a chance plzz he’ll prove people wrong

      • Al Haldie

        I think we should stop and think -what does the COACH WANT and that is the end of that story !!!!!

      • Mike Smith

        Kobe isn’t the coach! Nobody cares what Kobe has time for. These players will learn to dislike him just like everyone else he has played with!

    • Mike Smith

      The Lakers panicked and bailed boozer out because nobody else wanted him!

  • 3339

    there is no confusion. Whoever plays the best/works the hardest will start or play the most minutes.

    • LegendInMyMind

      Randle is currently 19 years old. I don’t think they should push him too hard, too fast. That’s why I LIKE the signing of Boozer and believe that, no matter what, he’s the veteran presence they need on the court. Even if Randle plays great, this team has a low ceiling. Protect him. Even Kobe had to wait his turn behind Eddie Jones. He wasn’t a starter until year 3.

  • Tomás Ruiz Chavez

    I see the most likely scenario as Boozer at PF and Hill at C, with Randle and Davis coming off the bench for the same respective positions. Kelly seems to be the odd man out here, as he’s not quick enough to play SF for long periods and can’t take away minutes from Randle despite being an ideal stretch 4. It’ll be interesting to see who earns their way into the rotation to get consistent minutes. It honestly doesn’t matter who starts, as long as the kids get ample development time and the best players are allowed to finish the games.

  • LakerSpartan117

    I believe Boozer will start at the 4 and I’m pretty split on Hill/Davis starting at the 5. Hill hasn’t proved he can play heavy minutes on a consistent basis, and when he did he looked winded and lacked the same energy he did at the start of the game. If he can get his conditioning up and sustain some consistency, then he’s my starting 5.

    Randle and Kelly will split minutes at the backup 4, mainly because we are developing both of them and not just Randle. I don’t think its smart to play Randle the majority of the backup minutes, at least at first. He needs to get the feel for the pro game before he gets 20+ minutes a game. And I’m saying it here… Kelly can develop into a Dirk-type of player. And that’s an important piece to have for the future.

    Sacre will be transferred to the Laker Girl squad and be our first male cheerleader.

    • Mike Smith

      Can you say the Last Pl., Lakers?!

      • LakerSpartan117

        What?

  • Thomas Klein

    Hill should start at center, Davis or Sacre will sub as needed depending on the opposition, Boozer will start at PF, Randle will back him up with almost equal minutes, Ryan Kelly should start at the small forward spot, he can hit the three, rebound, and develop there. Nick Young can then still be the 6th man at SF. Kobe is the SG with Henry backing him up, Nash if healthy will start, but play limited minutes, with Lin coming off the bench, Clarkson will get garbage time along with Wes Johnson.

  • Kb24

    Randle will play 24-28min. A game whether as a starter or off the bench,boozer and kelly will share at the remaining minutes for the PF spot,hill will play 25-28minutes at center with ed davis,kelly cant play the 3 lack of speed same with randle though if both of them are on the floor,randle will be the 3 on defense and 4 on offense

  • Kb24

    I personally think that we should get mo will

    LIN,mo will,nash
    BRYANT,JC,X
    wes,SWAGP
    RANDLE,booz,kel
    HILL,davis,sacre

    Nash(if injured),xavier,kelly will join sacre cheering on the bench, there is no way we will use 12-14 man rotation, probably 10-11 but not 12 or more or 9 or less

  • Jay Robertson

    I been a die hard fan of the Lakers since they played at the great western forum…I’m not predicting a championship or anything like that but truly the Lakers are the bad news bears of basketball nobody gives them a chance right now. But if they gel as a team they could unexpectedly become a force that causes opponents plenty of problems.

  • Pat Oslon

    J-Rock should get a little shine at the 3 & plenty of PT at the 4.

  • Mike Dantoni Fan

    I hope Byron tries this lineup in the preseason:
    Lin
    Bryant
    Randle
    Boozer
    Davis

    Might be a stretch with Randle at three, but I think Boozer and Davis are good enough post to midrange shooters where it can open up the lane for Bryant and Randle while Lin can spot up and do his thing.

  • vdogg

    starters :

    LIN
    KOBE
    JOHNSON
    BOOZER
    DAVIS

    back ups:

    CLARKSON
    HENRY
    YOUNG
    RANDLE
    HILL

    sprinkle in some sacre, nash and kelly. i think byron is going to light a fire under wes johnson’s ass and finally get him to realize his vast potential.

  • marcus

    You don’t pay Jordan Hill 9 million dollars to come off the bench and play only 25 minutes a game.

  • They call me Pringles

    Starting 5 should be:
    C Jordan Hill
    PF Carlos Boozer
    SF Julius Randle
    SG Kobe Bryant
    PG Jeremy Lin

    Will this lineup be effective in terms of defending fast breaks? I hope Kobe’s 100% healthy.

  • SoulAce

    That’s laughable to insert Wesley Johnson in the starting lineup over Nick Young.

    Starting 5 I’d like to see:
    PG – Jeremy Lin
    SG – Kobe Bryant
    SF – Nick Young
    PF – Julius Randle
    C – Jordan Hill

    Reserve lineup:
    PG – Jordan Clarkson / Steve Nash (depending on health)
    SG – Xavier Henry
    SF – Wesley Johnson
    PF – Carlos Boozer (let him run with the 2nd unit to get more touches)
    C – Ed Davis

    • Mike Dantoni Fan

      if you watched the lakers play this past season, then it would extremely laughable to put Nick in at starting 3 considering everytime he was inserted in the lineup, he played poorly. Nick thrives off the bench and thats where we need him.

      • SoulAce

        Last season was a fiasco. Who knows how he will play under Byron Scott if inserted into the starting lineup? As well as Kobe being back at full strength. D’Antoni had no sense of management among the players and the team struggled to build chemistry because of the fickleness within the starting lineup.

  • Guest

    I would like to see Boozer get at least 30 mins as the starter at PF and backup C as well. Randle get about 23-25 mins backing up all three frontcourt positions. Ed Davis and R. Kelly should have to fight for the other minutes. Sacre? His old role as end of the bench guy is always available unless he really improves. We should start grooming Kelly for some minutes at the 3 too. I remember he spent some time there when he was Duke

  • Ray-Marcus

    I would like to see Boozer get at least 30 mins as the starter at PF and backup C as well. Randle get about 23-25 mins backing up all three frontcourt positions. Ed Davis and R. Kelly should have to fight for the other minutes. Sacre? His old role as end of the bench guy is always available unless he really improves. We should start grooming Kelly for some minutes at the 3 too. I remember he spent some time there when he was Duke

  • Mike Smith

    Julius Randall cannot shoot! He proved that at Kentucky so if the Lakers are waiting for him to perfect his outside shot it’s going to be a long year!

  • Jordan Kellogg Wallace

    Why not wait til preseason and see who plays better with whom. Its not about putting the best at each position on the floor, its about the players that play best together. Some games your gonna have to start a different player because of the matchups anyway.

    • ethan

      Thank you..thats what ppl dont get like everyone saying young to start with kobe..then whose the scorer off the bench to me as of now its lin kobe henry boozer davis then nash/clarkson young/clarkson wes/kelly j. Randle/kelly hill..now for why with boozer getting 28min a game not 33+ he will score the ball with kobe and lin he will rebound 7+ for his career but you need a guy like davis who can be a very good defensive c/pf most his blocks coke from weakside yes but that helps because boozer and davis can constantly switch off so davis doesnt just have to stay in post but he is the best shot blocker ..hill comes off the bench at first at least if davis cant handle the min then hill goes bit for now hill on bench still 25min I dnt think he can handle the center pos for 32+ min every game for the full season and hes shown best in spot min because hes all hustle but that tires anyone out..randle is on bench but he will see 25-28min he can play on some nights 3 pos. Most nights just 2 but his speed agility he can play the 3 against some players I wldnt want him guarding good offensive centers like brook lopez but centers in this league are pretty weak all together and not as big as they used to be..randle at least for this year needs to be mentored take some pressure off but with second unit with n youngand hill and nash/clarkson randle will dominate against 2nd unit pfs most teams arnt 2 deep at pf we are ooffensively at least and randle showed flashes of the defender he can be in summer league..that huge ass block, you know what im talking about that was beasty lol..clarkson has starter pot down the road nash will be huge for this kid he has the ability to score and drive he needs some help with vision and not prepicking the target he want to pass to nash never picked ahead of time he wld creat for someone iit to them he ran back out startedagain he didnt force also if gary payton comes with scott theres your def mentor for clarkson who flashed potential as well young is going to give us 15ppg+ everynight randle is def 12ppg+ 8rpg+ 3apg+ player hill off bench gives us 10&10 thats 37points just from thows three on realistic avg. Add in nash (healthy) clarkson that another combined ill go low here 13ppg thats 50 bench points thats very good kobe is back it might take a cple weeks but he will avg for season 24+ppg 6rpg&5apg line 14ppg 6apg boozer will be better 16ppg 8 rpg davis 8+ &12 henry will avg10+ thats 72 now these will fluctuate obviously there not going to score 120 ppg but thats what each player has potential to avg on any given night that looks alot better than many teams look at rockets right now harden and dwight are there only reliable scorers lin is gone thats the scoring pg parsons is gone yeah they got ariza but honestly as much as I love him on lakers he wnt be as good as last year..anyway ppl so just look at how good we can be really its alot better than ppl think

  • Jerry Abdul Johnson

    Isn’t there trade value in Nash’s expiring contract? Perhaps Houston would give up Asik since he doesn’t want to be a backup to Howard. Right now, the Lakers have no height and contenders with legit centers will eat them up.

    • Jordan Kellogg Wallace

      Asik on the pelicans now and no one wants a 40 year old injury prone point guard

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