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Lakers Players Trending Up And Down During Off-Season Reviewed by Momizat on . It's been a long off-season already for the Lakers as Dwight Howard decided to become "Rocket Man" and general manager Mitch Kupchak has tried to construct a te It's been a long off-season already for the Lakers as Dwight Howard decided to become "Rocket Man" and general manager Mitch Kupchak has tried to construct a te Rating:
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Lakers Players Trending Up And Down During Off-Season

NBA: Sacramento Kings at Los Angeles LakersIt’s been a long off-season already for the Lakers as Dwight Howard decided to become “Rocket Man” and general manager Mitch Kupchak has tried to construct a team of one-year contracts.

With the 2014 off-season looming and the prospects of a high draft pick, the Lakers have already signed Jordan Farmar, Chris Kaman, Nick Young and Wesley Johnson to help solidfy the starting lineup and bench.

We’re one week away from the calendar turning to August and we take a look at the current and former Lakers players who are trending up and down.

Trending Up

Jordan Farmar: 

Farmar left a lot of money on the table in Europe to try and re-establish himself in the NBA and with the Lakers. Last season, with the trio of Steve Nash, Steve Blake and Chris Duhon, the Lakers struggled at the point guard position.

In re-signing with the Lakers, Farmar will do well in the pick-and-roll offense, which he’s familiar with from his days in Turkey.

The 2013-14 season might be hard to stomach, but it’ll be great to see Farmar don the purple and gold for at least another season.

Nick Young: 

Another LA kid, Young sounds like he’s the happiest person in the world to be a Laker. Young will be a fan favorite in LA with his knack for scoring, but will draw the ire of Kobe one or two times.

Young is one of the few free agents that received a second-year in his contract, albeit an option, but he could play his way onto the 2014 roster.

Last season, Young averaged 10.6 points and it’s yet to be determined whether or not he’ll be the starting shooting guard or small forward on opening night.

Chris Douglas-Roberts: 

The 2013 Lakers summer league team performed leaps and bounds better than last season as there should be at least one player from the team on the Lakers roster.

Douglas-Roberts was a tough cut for the Lakers last training camp, but the athletic wing has a chance of making the team as the Lakers are thin at the small forward position.

Douglas-Roberts will be fighting for a spot most likely with Marcus Landry and Elias Harris when the Lakers open training camp later this year.

Trending Down

Dwight Howard: 

The easiest person to put on this list is Howard after he chose to leave LA for the “tiny town” of Houston, but he’s definitely one of the most hated former Lakers, ever.

Howard left because he didn’t want to play for three-to-four more years with Kobe running the offense, but failed to realize getting the ball from James Harden and Chandler Parsons might be just as difficult.

Regardless, Howard’s one season in LA was a colossal failure and being someone that wanted him to stay, it’s good that he’s taken his talents elsewhere.

Steve Blake: 

Blake is still the primary point guard behind Steve Nash, but the addition of Farmar will definitely cut into his playing time.

Without Blake playing the way he did in parts of last season, it’ll be interesting if head coach Mike D’Antoni plays him more at the shooting guard position, especially if Kobe doesn’t start the season.

Jodie Meeks: 

Meeks had his option picked up on his contract, but the signing of Young will definitely cut into his playing time as well next season.

While he didn’t shoot the ball as well as most Laker fans had hoped, Meeks should still see the bulk of the action at the shooting guard position, behind Bryant.

With the Lakers thin in the backcourt to start the season, Meeks will need to improve on his shooting to continue to see a significant amount of minutes.

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About The Author

Ross is a staff writer with LakersNation. He is a graduate of the University of Arizona. He is a huge sports fan and will keep you up to date with the latest sports news. Follow Ross on Twitter at @Ross_Gasmer12.

Number of Entries : 256
  • Daryl Peek

    @ Ross Gasmer and all other Lakers Nation bloggers, it’s time to move on from Howard. The constant articles about and or mentioning him is bordering on a woman scorned. Not a good look.

    • Eddie Lazaro

      OH, who’s that again? Agreed, let’s focus more on someone who’s relevant.

  • Jim213

    I’m for trying out CDR, as Odom may not sign with the Lakers. Although, he should know that he ain’t going to get too many minutes of play time with the Clipps.

    Won’t even bother with yesterday’s news but Blake will need to be placed in the trading block given Farmar’s return.

    • Daryl Peek

      Mitch already had a clear the air meeting with LO over the trade issues he had after 2011. Ramona Shelburne has reported that both the Clips and Lakers are hesitant on bringing in LO due to all the personal life drama he’s currently in the midst of.

      • Jim213

        Aside of his personal issues he’s been a reliable player at least with the Lakers. With the limited pool available other than overseas they’ll have to acquire him if they want to assure themselves of a playoff spot next season.

        Other players that are still on the market include Ronnie Brewer, Ivan Johnson, Solomon Jones, Cartier Martin, Sam Young. There’s some solid players here but given that we lack in defense I’d go with Sam Young given his defense and constant overall hustle.

        • Daryl Peek

          Given both teams are hesitant, you have to pass on LO. Cartier Martin would be a good pick up of the players you listed. As much as most don’t wanna hear it, we’ve got to get players that fit with what D’antoni wants. SF is the one position the team needs depth at most.

          • Jim213

            Time will tell but IMO management should focus more on defense than Dumbtoni’s offensive minded run and gun given that it’s very likely he’ll be canned next season. Team chemistry, depth, defense, and overall health will determine our success next season.

            IMO, Cartier Martin fits Dumbtoni’s scheme but lacks the most important thing IMO… defense. This is why I’d prefer Sam Young given his athleticism, defense, and his overall hustle when on the floor. Something the team may be able to feed off of next season.

            These are some of the best available players remaining for our current needs. But lets hope that management can make the right acquisitions and possible trades to really make the team competitive next season.

          • gotemcoach

            Sam Young isn’t as athletic as you think. He’s a hustler who plays defense but is also very undersized(listed at 6’6 but is shorter than Kobe). Ivan Johnson is a guy I will discredit as well. He’s undersized, getting older, and he has a lot of baggage Laker fans don’t want to deal with. Most of these guys are hitting the twilight years of their careers! I would pick up someone who’s young, plays defense, and hustle. Ronnie Brewer could be the one piece the Lakers are missing. He’s great at cutting (he was a BEAST with Utah where the system fit him well) and lead the league in defensive efficiency when he was with the Bulls. Our biggest need is a backup PF. Once Jordan Hill goes to the bench, no one else on the team can play that spot besides Gasol. You know how much Gasol hated to play the 4 so don’t expect him and Kaman to get too much playing time together. Lakers need to find a guy who can fit Kaman’s weaknesses which are athleticism and shooting.

          • Jim213

            Yes, though I was thinking more for SF/PF but we shouldn’t expect Odom to sign with the Lakers given his current issues. I ain’t saying that Sam Young is the most athletic too, but he’d help with out biggest issue aside of another PF which is defense.

            IMO, I still expect Jim Bust to make some moves given that they’re over the cap and as he’s mentioned in some recent interviews they don’t intend to be repeat offenders given the dollar for dollar tax.

        • richard

          Those players you mentioned are untested in pressure games.. LO and Kenyon Martin is our best bet to shore up the PF position. Bring in LO/KMART and Corey… two veterans that can push this team to championship level… they can defend and also score.

          • Jim213

            I believe Kenyon just recently signed with a team though I’d still prefer Lamar but given his indecision to come back makes it seem as Doc and the current Clipps roster appeals more… Plus I don’t believe management is going to wait much longer for his decision. Given Corey’s previous injuries and age leaves some doubt whether he can return to his style of play.

            Yes, though these players lack the pressure experience there are some that have been involved in pressure situations though not playoff wise. Lamar is the best option but I’m not sure that he wants to return… IMO, Sam Young seems to have the type of play that can contribute and feed others to play for wins. He’s also hit clutch last second shots aside of showing athleticism and solid defense though the numbers don’t show it given the teams he’s played for in the past.

  • Al

    I say sign Corey Magette!

    • richard

      AGree! Signing Corey and LO would definitely complete the roster. I don’t know why it is taking so long for FO to do this.

      This should be a solid lineup from top to bottom on paper:

      Center = Pau/Kaman/Sacre
      PF = J.Hill/LO/Landry
      SF = Young/W.Johnson/Corey
      SG = Kobe/Meeks
      PG = Nash/Farmar/Blake

      a good mixed of versatility, athleticism, experience, and youth. A lot of shooters and slashers as well as excellent post players.

      • Al

        I agree except now that they may sign Austin Daye i would prefer him over Landry

        • richard

          Well well well…I am not gonna lie.. if Daye could be had… hell yeah, I am for it. I saw his game in the playoffs with Memphis… I think he is a big time player that hasn’t found his nitch yet. He could find it in the MDA system. He is long and can shoot the 3 ball, he is an Odom type of a player circa 2000 without the handle… too long for a SF and skinny for a PF, but he is almost 7 feet.

    • richard

      If Austin Daye signs with the Lakers, I think management will get one or two from summer league invitee to complete the roster. I would root for Landry or CDR

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