The Lakers’ training camp is nearly two weeks old and the roster currently stands at 20. The team generally carries 14 players leaving a slot open for flexibility. That’s certainly not set in stone, they could easily carry a 15th body through some option periods before having to make a final decision. Ronnie Aguilar, Robert Sacre, Chris Douglas-Roberts, Andrew Goudelock, Darius Johnson-Odom, Reeves Nelson and Greg Somogyi are all at the pleasure of the court with non-guaranteed deals, although there’s more vested in Johnson-Odom due to the draft pick buy-back from Dallas. Just by simple math, it’s doubtful that more than two of them will make the cut. If I were to bet on one, it would be Sacre, he’s a hard worker, likes to bang inside and can hit his free throws.
Brian Kamenetzky at ESPN’s Lakers Report (formerly Land O’Lakers), has a terrific interview with swingman Chris Douglas-Roberts, one of the guys who’s fighting for a slot and an NBA career.
Andy Kamenetzky brings us Mike Brown’s reasoning on heavy practice and preseason minutes for certain players, especially Pau Gasol. I kind of like Mike Brown but I’m not quite getting the logic. Maybe it’s just me. Also included is a closer look at backup center Robert Sacre.
Mark Stein for True Hoop reports that the Lakers are open to trading either Steve Blake or Chris Duhon. Stein also tries establishing a nexus between such trade scenarios and bringing D-Fish back into the fold, even though it couldn’t happen until March 15. The time continuum seems just a tad shaky.
Kevin Ding for the OC Register examines a schedule that he feels favors the Lakers and Dwight Howard as he returns to action.
Kobe Bryant was riffing on some former teammates the other night, especially Smush Parker and Kwame Brown. Mark Medina at the L.A. Times has the story. For those who haven’t heard, Mark will be moving on to the L.A. Daily News as their Lakers beat writer while Eric Pincus from Hoopsworld will take over Mark’s former position at the Times (Eric will continue to write for Hoopsworld as well).
Mark Travis for Silver Screen and Roll, breaks down the Lakers defensive mindset vis-a-vis Dwight Howard.
Larry Brown at his eponymous website has the Smush Parker retaliation.
The weekend is upon us, with a game tomorrow night against the Jazz. While it would be nice to notch a win, there’s always helpful takeaways from these early tuneups, especially with new players and new plays. With regards to the inevitable weeding out process, it’ll start to happen very soon. What are our biggest needs when it comes to the end of the bench? Will it come down to a battle between Douglas-Roberts, Johnson-Odom and Goudelock? Feel free to fire away.
– Dave Murphy