Previewing Los Angeles Lakers Biggest Training Camp Battles

The Los Angeles Lakers experienced quite a bit of roster turnover this offseason. 

An abundance of free agent signings now populate a roster that lost several key contributors from last year's squad.

Dwight Howard's departure ranked as the most prominent, but another starter from a year ago was jettisoned as well.

Veteran small forward—and resident screwball—Metta World Peace was waived via amnesty, leaving a void at the position.

That sets up the Lakers' most intriguing training camp battle to determine who will start at the 3 in 2014.

Here's a breakdown of how that and the team's other key depth chart decision will shake out.


Small Forward

The contestants for the critical role of Lakers' small forward will be Nick Young and Wesley Johnson. 

As of now, Young has top billing on preliminary depth charts, but the decision won't be a simple one as neither player was on the roster last season, nor have they ever worked under current boss Mike D'Antoni.

Young is the slight favorite to win the job, as he's had the demonstrably better NBA career of the two.

He's got a prototypical shooting guard frame with excellent athleticism. He's a pure scorer who can make any shot from anywhere on the court.

The problem is he'll also take any shot from anywhere on the court.

A deplorable shot selection holds Young back from being a truly devastating offensive weapon. His biggest strength is his sweet shooting stroke, which D'Antoni can feature in his spread attack.

If Young sticks to shooting good, open looks, he can be a valuable cog in the Lakers offense.

Johnson, meanwhile, is kind of the opposite. He's got the shot chart you want from a complementary player at his position—a look at his heat map shows that he scores most frequently from the areas right arou...

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