7. Jordan Hill
The former Arizona Wildcat is entering his fifth year in the league, and while he hasn't lived up to expectations as a lottery picky, Jordan Hill is starting to make a name for himself as an energy guy. Hill's role will be to provide tough defense and efficient rebounding for a team that gave up the 19th most offensive rebounds last season. While Hill's health has been a concern in the past, he hopes to stay healthy enough to register 20 minutes per game as a power forward and center.
6. Steve Blake
As an excellent shooter and solid passer, expect Steve Blake to carry on his success from last season. While he lacks athleticism and foot speed, Blake's ability to stretch the floor will be a crucial attribute for the squad. The 33-year-old will split the backup point guard duties with Jordan Farmar, and can play some two-guard as well.
5. Nick Young
Swagy P was brought in to provide the Lakers with scoring and athleticism. While Nick Young is already a proven versatile scorer, he will also need to improve his efficiency from the field. With the departure of defensive standout Metta World Peace, Young will also have to step up on the defensive end.
4. Chris Kaman
While no one expects Chris Kaman to replace Dwight Howard's production, he is expected to play 25 minutes of effective basketball. With the minimal depth at the power forward and center position, Kaman, Hill and Pau Gasol will all play a big role for the Lakers. The German big man will be a nice compliment to Gasol, as both players can play both inside-out.
3. Steve Nash
The former two-time MVP is certainly not the player he once was, but Steve Nash is more than qualified to handle the starting point guard position. His excellent shooting and play making abilities are important qualities to have in Mike D'Antoni's fast paced offense. At 39 years old, Nash cannot handle heavy minutes, but with two very capable backup point guards in Blake and Farmar, his minutes should be limited to 28 minutes of quality basketball.
2. Pau Gasol
With Howard gone, Pau Gasol will have to step in as the starting center for the Lakers. Although last year was his worst statistical season as a pro, the Spaniard is skillful enough to remain as one of the best big men in the league. Gasol helped the Lakers win two titles as Kobe Bryant's sidekick, and L.A. is hoping to return to their winning ways with Gasol as their primary big man.
1. Kobe Bryant
Who else did you expect at number one? The Black Mamba has been with the Lakers organization for nearly two decades, and has achieved significant success during that time. Although Kobe suffered an Achilles injury last season, he is determined to come back strong and make a run with the pieces that are intact.
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