Blueprint for Solving LA Lakers’ Woes at Center and Wing

Los Angeles Lakers fans have good reason to be excited again, but the team still has major frontcourt holes to fill.

Consider the situation: Kobe Bryant has retired, Roy Hibbert is unlikely to be re-signed (nor should he be) while Metta World Peace is a free agent and more of a mentor at 36.

Also, the underwhelming Robert Sacre and Ryan Kelly are unrestricted free agents and, at best, end-of-the-bench contributors.

To say the Lakers need a starting center and small forward is an understatement. And let's not hold out hope that Nick "Swaggy P" Young will miraculously rise like a phoenix from the ashes of his last two immolated seasons, taking glorious wing again.

Fortunately, L.A. has the No. 2 pick in the upcoming draft and an obscene amount of money to play with this summer. Additionally, the anointment of boy wonder Luke Walton as the new head coach should add some sway when it comes to luring quality players to Lakerland.

Because let's be real here—Byron Scott was never a shining beacon of light for available players with any aspiration of winning during his lackluster 38-126 tenure.


Small Forward

Finding a small forward of the future could fall into place first, given the two choices at the top of the draft board.

LSU's Ben Simmons is a 6'10" playmaker who would be an interesting cog in the free-flowing offense Walton is likely to implement. But Duke's reedy Brandon Ingram, with his 7'3" wingspan and classic three-and-D sensibility, would fit even better alongside Julius Randle, D'Angelo Russell and Jordan Clarkson (all of whom prefer having the ball in their hands).

There has been some talk of the Philadelphia 76ers nabbing Simmons as the top overall pick. As Bleacher Report's Kevin Ding recently noted, the organization has "great confidence in the upside of Simmons, whose ambidextrous athletic ability at 6'10" and 240 pounds com...

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