NBA offseason preview: Lakers
It may be the middle of summer, but it's never too early to start thinking about the NBA fantasy ahead. Today, the Western Conference champs.
The Lakers finished with the best record in the wild, wild West and advanced to the NBA Finals for the first time since 2004. They were clearly outplayed by Boston and lost in six games, but it was a very impressive season for Los Angeles.
Fantasy-wise, their team numbers in the main categories were outstanding, as they finished fourth in ppg (108.6), third in field-goal shooting (47.6 percent), fourth in rebounding (3,620), fourth in assists (2,003), sixth in steals (654), fifth in blocks (438), and fifth in three-pointers made (662).
It was a pretty quiet offseason for the Lakers, as their biggest move was re-signing
After finishing in the top five in minutes per game from '05-07,
Farmar had a very impressive sophomore season, and it will be hard for the Lakers to deny him more minutes in '08-09. Despite not starting a single game and playing just 20.6 mpg, he still had fringe fantasy value, so just wait till he starts getting more PT. His per-36 minutes stats were very solid (16.0 points, 3.9 rebounds, 4.8 dimes, 1.6 steals, 2.4 threes and 2.3 turnovers per game), and his 15.4 PER was much better than Fisher's 13.8. While Farmar is still just 21-years old, D-Fish turned 34 this summer and has lost a step on the defensive end. Fisher will enter training camp as the Lakers' starting PG, but it wouldn't surprise me at all if Farmar takes over at some point in the season. And if Jordan finds a way to earn 26-plus minutes per game, he's going to be an excellent late-round value pick.
If you throw out Bynum's first game (just 19 minutes off the bench) and last game (just 20 minutes before getting hurt) of '07-08, he averaged an impressive 13.5 points on 64.1 percent shooting, 10.4 rebounds and 2.15 blocks in just 29.4 mpg. Bynum was third in dunks per game behind
If you ask me, using a top 30 pick on Bynum seems a very risky move for this season. As you all know, he's returning from a serious knee injury and we've yet to see him back in action. Even if he does return 100 percent healthy, we don't know how productive he's going to be with Gasol in the lineup. Can Bynum still pull down 10 boards per contest with
(Where you should draft these guys in an eight-category roto league with 12 teams and 14-man rosters)
Bryant: Top 5
Vujacic, Radmanovic, Walton, Ariza: Don't draft (but consider if someone gets hurt).