Lakers head coach Byron Scott says that Kobe Bryant could see time at power forward this coming season.
Bryant has spent his previous 19 NBA seasons primarily as a shooting guard. The Lakers have assets at the guard position, with Sixth Man of the Year winner Lou Williams, Jordan Clarkson and D'Angelo Russell, who was the No. 2 overall pick in this year’s NBA draft.
"If we don't get another guard, then Kobe's in that mix," Scott said to NBA.com. "I'm kind of going through those scenarios. But not necessarily as far as who's starting and who doesn't ... I think [Bryant] will play more three than two. If we can get him at the elbows and at the mid-post, the more effective he'll be.”
Lakers head trainer Gary Vitti told the Los Angeles Times that he has talked with Bryant about the team’s young players and where he fits in among Clarkson and Russell.
“I said I personally thought D'Angelo Russell is going to be a star,” Vitti said. "Then Kobe said to me, 'Well, then who's going to play [small forward]?' I looked at him and I said, 'You.' And with absolute, 100% confidence, he said, 'I can do that.'"
Scott said that Bryant can play the one, two or three position and make the switch to power forward against some teams.
“With his tenaciousness, the way he guards people and when his mind is set, if I say 'Kobe, you've got him,' he takes that as a challenge. You know how he is. He'll compete,” Scott said.
Bryant will be 37 years old by the time the regular season starts and is entering the final season of a two-year, $48.5 million contract.
He is set to make $25 million in 2015-16 and has only played 41 games in the past two seasons because of injuries to his knee and shoulder.
- Scooby Axson