LA Lakers rumors about Kobe Bryant have him ready to switch positions when the NBA season begins. The Lakers rumors indicate that Bryant will start the 2015-16 season as the small forward, moving over from his regular spot as the starting shooting guard. A report from CBS Sports states that this is a move to cater to the youth that the Lakers have on the 15-man roster. It could also help Bryant transition into a role as a contributing veteran rather than the focal point of the offense.
Training camp for the team has already begun, with a backcourt tandem of D’Angelo Russell and Jordan Clarkson seeing a lot of the minutes at the guard positions. Russell was a first-round pick for the Lakers in the 2015 NBA Draft, and Clarkson is a returning player that made the All-Rookie team last season. Having both players in the starting lineup could certainly help push the team in a positive direction. Bryant has also spoken well of this potential change.
“I don’t have to handle the ball really at all. Gives me more time to catch and shoot. These guys can handle the ball and make incredible decisions and make plays. Makes it a lot easier.”
Prior LA Lakers rumors that were reported by the Inquisitr, included coach Byron Scott’s plans to limit the number of minutes Kobe Bryant plays every night. By moving him over to small forward, it takes away a lot of the responsibilities of bringing the ball out of the backcourt. Combining that with a cut in his total minutes should help keep him fresh for the postseason. The main goal of this new-look Lakers roster is to get the team into the 2016 NBA Playoffs.
If everything remains the same as it has early in camp, the starting five for the Lakers will be D’Aneglo Russell at point guard, Jordan Clarkson at shooting guard, Kobe Bryant at small forward, Julius Randle at power forward, and Roy Hibbert at center. That would allow Nick Young, Brandon Bass, Lou Williams, Robert Sacre, and Metta World Peace to come off the bench. Larry Nance Jr. and Jabari Brown are trying to lock down two additional spots during the preseason games.
Bryant hasn’t played much over the last two NBA seasons, making it difficult to project how his 37-year-old body will hold up for a full year. During the 2013-14 season he played in just six games, and last year he was only able to play in 35 games. Injuries took a toll on the former NBA MVP, which is why Byron Scott will look to give him added rest this coming year. He spoke about that in a recent report from Yahoo! Sports.
“He and I have talked a number of times on the phone, we’ve talked about playing time, we’ve talked about back-to-backs, we’re going to probably sit down as we get closer to training camp or as we get in training camp and even talk more about it. Because the one thing I want, if this is his last year, I want him to go out standing. I don’t want him to go out hurt. I want to make sure I do everything in my power to make sure we stick to the game plan, as far as his minutes and as far as back-to-back games.”
There will be a lot of eyes on the Lakers, especially Byron Scott and Kobe Bryant, during the beginning of the 2015-16 NBA season. Bryant’s new role will be scrutinized heavily, pressure will be on Scott to get the team back to the postseason, and the young Lakers players will have to perform early to avoid talk of trading the future Hall of Fame guard. There will continue to be LA Lakers rumors until the team either proves it has improved or the front office has moved on from having Bryant at the core.
[Photos by Hannah Foslien/Getty Images; Ezra Shaw/Getty Images]