LA Lakers: Breaking Down Chatter Surrounding Training Camp

The rumor mill is churning with dozens of reports trickling out of Los Angeles Lakers training camp each day (usually with the same quotes sprinkled in).

We've done the hard work for you and separated the wheat from the chaff. Here's the early scoop on the big stories so far:


Open Competition for Starting Power Forward

Mike D'Antoni has already named Pau Gasol his starting center, which means the power forward job is wide open.

According to ESPN LA's Dave McMenamin, D'Antoni is looking at a wide range of players including Chris Kaman, Jordan Hill, Wes Johnson, Shawne Williams and Ryan Kelly.

Employing simple some logic, we can pare that list down even further.

For starters, throw Kelly out. The second-round pick has yet to take part in camp due to a foot injury he's been rehabbing all summer. There's just not enough time for him to get back on the court, get in game shape, learn the system and adjust to the speed of the NBA game. 

Williams we can also remove from consideration. His best season as a pro came under D'Antoni, but other than that brief spell he's been a below-average to downright bad NBA player. Being out of the league last year means he must get re-acclimated to the NBA's level of competition.

As much as D'Antoni loves to play small-ball, Johnson isn't a good fit at the 4. He can't guard the position nor hold his own on the boards the way Shawn Marion did in Phoenix, and his offensive game is too weak to make up for those deficiencies.

That makes it a two-man race between Kaman and Hill. Both are making around the same money ($3.5 million for Hill, $3.2 million for Kaman) and are in contract years.

Hill should get the edge as the better fit next to Gasol.

While Kaman is the more proven NBA commodity — he was an All-Star as recently as 2010 and has posted PER's above 15.0 in each o...

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