The Los Angeles Lakers opened training camp Tuesday, and the team has several issues to shore up after their disappointing second round exit in five games to the Oklahoma City Thunder.
One of the biggest Lakers weaknesses last season was a thin bench, and training camp brings several players trying to make Los Angeles’ final roster. The Lakers will need size and more scoring off the bench in order to keep up with new powers like the Thunder. Los Angeles' bench was last in scoring in 2011-12 season, averaging 20.5 points per game.
Here are five players fighting for the chance to don the purple and gold.
Chris Douglas-Roberts, Small Forward
The former second round pick played 44 games with the Milwaukee Bucks last season, and played with Italian club Virtus Bologna before the last season’s lockout ended. He averaged 7.7 points with the Bucks and could provide some scoring off the bench. Douglas-Roberts probably has the best chance to make the final roster, and fill in when superstar Kobe Bryant or small forward Ron Artest sit.
Reeves Nelson, Small Forward
Nelson was named to the All-PAC 10 first team after his sophomore year at UCLA, but ran afoul after an article in Sports Illustrated portrayed him as a bully. Every NBA team passed on him in the draft, but the Lakers signed him on Sept. 5 after a strong showing in the summer league. The 6-foot-8 forward had first round potential before his controversy, and should he make the roster, could be a steal for Los Angeles.
Robert Scare, Center
Gonzaga product Sacre was a second round pick this year, but his contract was held up and he finally signed on Sept. 7. A big body that can fill the lane while center Dwight Howard or power forward Pau Gasol are on the bench, Sacre finished second all-time in blocks for the Bulldogs with 186. He provided solid production during the summer league, averaging 9.0 points, 6.2 rebounds, and 1.0 block in 30 minutes per game.
Ronnie Aguilar, Center
Last season the 7-foot-1 250-pound Aguilar was on the Bakersfield Jam, a NBA Development League team, and he averaged 2.2 points and 4.2 rebounds in six games last season. He's another potential back-up for Howard, even if Aguilar’s only upside is his size. He’s probably a long shot to make the roster.
Greg Somogyi, Center
At 7-foot-3, Somogyi is the tallest listed player on the roster, but his 242-pound frame may be too slight to rebound or defend at the next level. The 23-year-old Hungarian averaged only 12 minutes per game during his four seasons at UC Santa Barbara, and more than likely won’t make the regular season roster.