Spotlighting and Breaking Down LA Lakers’ Power Forward Position

In the wake of Dwight Howard leaving town, the Los Angeles Lakers had to completely reconfigure their roster over the course of the offseason with an eye toward generating the maximum amount of cap room possible heading into next season.

Power forward is one position which the Lakers turned over rapidly during the summer. While Pau Gasol remains at the top of the depth chart, gone are his primary backups from last year—Antawn Jamison and Earl Clark.

Taking their places are two unproven rookies. The Lakers selected Ryan Kelly out of Duke 48th overall in June's draft and signed undrafted rookie Elias Harris out of Gonzaga to a multi-year, non-guaranteed contract earlier this month.

Let's take a look at what the Lakers can expect out of each of their projected power forwards in 2014.


Pau Gasol

Pau Gasol is coming off the worst year of his illustrious career.

The Spaniard struggled to stay healthy all season and didn't seem to quite fit into coach Mike D'Antoni's plans when he did take the court.

Overall, Gasol posted career lows in games played, scoring, true shooting percentage, PER and win shares. He made seven appearances off the bench after doing so only six times total in his first 11 NBA campaigns.

The main problem for Pau last year was his pairing with Howard. When those two shared the floor, Gasol was forced into an uncomfortable role away from the basket—essentially as a spot-up shooter.

According to (subscription required), 47 percent of Gasol's field goal attempts came from outside the paint with the Lakers' twin towers playing together. He shot just 36 percent on those attempts and the Lakers were outscored by 0.7 points per 100 possessions.

On the flip side, when Gasol was in the game without Howard, 62 percent of his attempts came in the painted area, and he converted on ...

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