How Will Los Angeles Lakers Solve Glaring Small Forward Problem?

Relatively speaking, the Los Angeles Lakers have fared pretty well in their roster-rebuilding efforts.

With both eyes on the future and a mostly unwavering commitment to maintaining financial flexibility, the Lakers have limited their number of available avenues to external assistance. Backed into that corner, they've done a decent job of finding talent that mostly helps out now and won't cost much later.

The exception to that assessment is the small forward position. There, the Lakers are no better equipped than last season's 27-win outfit—and could be even worse.

If the 2014-15 campaign started today, gunner Nick Young could be in line for the starting gig. The 29-year-old returns to the Lakers with a new four-year, $21.5 million contract in hand, a deal he earned largely on the strength of his career-best 17.9 points-per-game scoring average.

Undoubtedly an explosive offensive weapon (career 18.5 points per 36 minutes, via, he might be a little too combustible for the team's still unnamed next coach. He's a gunner, but as his career .429/.377/.827 shooting slash shows, he doesn't hit his target with the most regularity.

And if his shooting stroke is off, he really struggles to positively impact the game.

Despite standing 6'7" and possessing what the Los Angeles Daily News' Mark Medina dubbed "freakish athleticism," Young has never been much of a rebounder (career 3.1 per 36 minutes). He's been even less imposing as a setup man (career 1.6 assists per 36).

He can play better defense than most people realize, but his focus and commitment seem to waver at that end.

"Nick Young plays defense the way I floss," wrote USA Today's Nate Scott. "Flossing is not something I get excited about or pride myself on, but I am aware it’s important and try to do it whenever I remember. That’s how Young seems to feel about...

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