The Lakers’ roster currently stands at 16 players due to the recent dismissal of Darius Johnson-Odom. For this roundtable’s sake, we will assume that the Lakers will enter the season with a 15-man roster, which is the maximum roster allowed by the NBA. Therefore, the last two spots will likely come down to Marcus Landry, Elias Harris, and Ryan Kelly.
Based on what the fans have seen so far in the preseason, which player will be the final cut before the season opener? The Lakers Nation roundtable writers decided to tackle this topic this week. Here’s what they had to say:
Suki Thind (@TheRealSuki): I’m going to say Marcus Landry will be the one to go here. Neither player really had time to make a true impact on the preseason to date, but Elias Harris really impressed Lakers’ management during the Summer League, and Ryan Kelly has the potential to be a solid stretch four down the line.
We certainly can’t count Landry out 100 percent as the Lakers are thin at the small forward slot, but Xavier Henry is likely to make the cut and can be played at that position.
Age will also play a factor as well, as Landry is 27 years old while Harris is 24 and Kelly is just 22. In either case, it’s unlikely that any of the three aforementioned players will get significant playing time this season, but the Lakers will make their decision based on upside.
Ryan Ward (@Lakers_Examiner): With the Lakers recently parting ways with Darius Johnson-Odom for the second time in two years, the storied franchise is starting to see the roster come together, but one more player must be let go in order to get it down to 15.
That player will be Marcus Landry. Although Landry has a lot of promise to be a solid deep threat in the NBA, the brother of Carl Landry has been inconsistent to say the least during his time with the Lakers.
In the five games played during the preseason, Landry is averaging 4.2 points per game while shooting only 25 percent from the floor. As if the overall shooting percentage from the floor wasn’t bad enough, Landry’s supposed specialty, three-point shooting, is even worse at 19 percent.
Needless to say, despite many endorsements from head coach Mike D’Antoni, Landry has shot himself off this team in my opinion with it being only a matter of time before he’s the next and final player to be cut by the Lakers.
Ramneet Singh (@RamneetSingh24): The Lakers are approaching the time to make the final cuts to the roster, and at this point it seems as though the last three on the list are Marcus Landry, Elias Harris, and Ryan Kelly. Based on the both the Summer League play and the preseason, I see Landry being the one most likely to make the team.
For the most part, the Lakers have a solid back court with veteran leaders and explosive younger players. With Kobe Bryant, Steve Nash, Nick Young, and Xavier Henry, to name a few, the Lakers don’t have a need for any guards. However, the team will always be in need for big men, and Landry is by the far the most skilled and experienced out of the three.
Landry was very impressive over the summer, and he will be a great player to have off the bench. With Pau Gasol and Chris Kaman leaning towards the end of their careers, Landry will provide a much needed spark in the second unit. He and Jordan Hill will be great compliments to each other, and it will only benefit the Lakers by having another talented frontcourt player.
As for Kelly and Harris, I see Harris getting the final nod and joining the Lakers on opening night. Kelly is still dealing with his injuries, and the Lakers just cannot afford to have more injured players on the roster. Harris has shown great promise this summer, and he will only get better being around veteran players during the season.
Elizabeth Benson (@gobibs): It appears that the final two roster spots (assuming the Lakers go with a 15-man roster) will come down to Elias Harris, Marcus Landry, and Ryan Kelly. When our roundtable covered who would likely end up with a roster spot before training camp started, I thought it would be Landry hands down.
However, Landry’s Summer League performance has faded, and he has struggled to find his shot thus far in the preseason, which would be his primary role. Despite Mike D’Antoni’s confidence and support for Landry, I believe he is the most likely to get cut out of these three players.
I think it is unlikely Harris gets the axe as his contract is partially guaranteed. I think Harris is a development project that has youth and skill waiting to be refined in the D-League.
I also find it unlikely for the Lakers to cut their sole draft pick in 2013, Ryan Kelly. While his foot injury has lingered longer than anticipated, he was drafted because he is a tailor fit for D’Antoni’s system. His presence in China this week also seemed optimistic for an early showing of his abilities.
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