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Offseason Wrap-Up: On-Court Progress
With training camp beginning in less than a week, it is almost time for the Lakers to begin jockeying for starting roles and playing time.
This competition is largely fueled by the work put in over the summer. Below is a look at how each member of the roster has used the offseason in preparation for camp.
The new Laker has been practicing on his own outside of the Lakers practice facility in El Segundo. In particular, he has put in work in his hometown of Baton Rouge, where he also holds a basketball camp.
The Memphis native put together a steady Summer League performance by averaging 9.2 points and a team-best 7.6 rebounds, while hitting 69.2 percent (18-of-26) from the field. Black has also been working out at the Lakers practice facility, and he told The Popcorn Machine that he is looking to diversify his offensive capabilities by developing a respectable mid-range jump shot.
The Stanford alum struggled to show off the sweet shooting that made him stand out in college, going just 8-of-24 (33.3 percent) from the field at Summer League, including 3-of-12 on 3-pointers. Since then, he has been putting in work at the practice facility.
Brown missed the first pair of Summer League contests due to an eye injury, but he made an immediate impact by leading the Lakers with 17.7 points per game on a 40.5 percent (15-of-37) clip over the final three tilts. He also played at the San Francisco Pro Am near his hometown of Oakand. Through the rest of the summer, he has been working with strength and conditioning coach Tim DiFrancesco and putting in time at the practice facility.
Bari with the eyewear pic.twitter.com/T8dRhZ0LzJ— Los Angeles Lakers (@Lakers) July 14, 2015
In late August, the 17-time all-star was cleared to start shooting for the first time since his season ended on Jan. 21 due to a torn right rotator cuff. Head coach Byron Scott also told “The Orange County Register” that Bryant said “he will be ready for training camp.”
The First Team All-Rookie member served as the leader of the Summer League team and averaged 16.8 points on 41.3 percent shooting (31-of-75). He, too, has been working at the practice facility and with DiFrancesco.
As part of Golden State’s Summer League team, Frazier’s pinpoint accuracy was nowhere to be found, as he shot just 26.3 percent (10-of-38) and missed all 11 tries from 3-point range. Since then, the former SEC 3-point leader has signed with the Lakers and worked at the team’s headquarters.
The big man has slimmed down in preparation for camp, losing 14 pounds to 268, which can be traced back to a new nutritionist and sessions with DiFrancesco. Hibbert has also been scrimmaging with teammates in El Segundo in order to spar with other bigs — which he didn’t have the opportunity to do in past offseasons — and learn Scott’s offense.
Holmes stayed hot throughout Summer League for Boston, connecting on 13 of his 28 3-point attempts (44.6 percent). He also started seven of eight games and contributed 10.0 points and 5.6 rebounds. Since signing with the Lakers, he has been working at the facility.
Huertas signed with the Lakers mid-September and has been at work at the El Segundo facility since.
Marcelinho with the save pic.twitter.com/uL60rBSVen— Los Angeles Lakers (@Lakers) September 19, 2015
Kelly has been putting in on-court work at the team’s headquarters. In addition, he has spent time training with DiFrancesco.
Larry Nance, Jr.
The former Wyoming Cowboy could not establish a rhythm at Summer League, shooting 29.4 percent (5-of-17), though he did tally a team-high 1.6 steals per game. He has worked out at team headquarters and with DiFrancesco over the offseason and told The Popcorn Machine that he has been trying to add a consistent 15- to 18-foot jumper.
Randle was limited to 20.5 minutes per game by coaches at Summer League and averaged 11.5 points and 4.0 rebounds, while shooting 39.5 percent (15-of-38). In his first competition since fracturing his tibia in the season opener, Randle — who has also been training in El Segundo and with DiFrancesco — was able to beat his man often, but could not seem to finish at the rim consistently after doing so.
Coast-to-Coast pic.twitter.com/A1MkSyd4QT— Los Angeles Lakers (@Lakers) July 16, 2015
Russell averaged 11.8 points, 5.2 rebounds and 3.2 assists at Summer League, while shooting just 37.7 percent (23-of-61). However, the No. 2 overall draft pick flashed his potential in the tournament finale by racking up 21 points on a 10-of-20 clip against Utah. Like most of the Lakers, Russell has been a mainstay at the practice facility, while also training with DiFrancesco.
The Vancouver native spent the second half of the offseason representing Team Canada. Sacre played sparing minutes as the Canadians swept through the Tuto Marchand Cup in August. Then, he averaged 4.1 points on 10-of-22 shooting (45.5 percent), while bringing down 2.1 rebounds in Canada’s bronze-medal campaign at the FIBA Americas Championship.
After posting just 1.4 points and 2.2 rebounds in 11.4 minutes for the Lakers at Summer League, Upshaw began training in San Diego, losing 20 pounds in a little over a month and earning a contract with the purple and gold. The seven-footer has been a part of the practice facility crew since.
In addition to training in El Segundo, the Sixth Man of the Year put on a show in his home state of Georgia. Williams averaged nearly 50 points at Atlanta’s (admittedly offense-friendly) Prather Pro Am and Atlanta Entertainment Basketball League.
Young has been working at the Lakers practice facility for the past several weeks, but he shined in performances in early August at the Drew League in Compton. Young hit a game-winning 3-pointer on July 26 and also helped his team, M.H.P., to the championship game.