Los Angeles Lakers Fantasy Basketball Season Preview

We preview the Los Angeles Lakers and the impact their players will have on the 2016-2017 fantasy basketball season.

Say goodbye to Kobe Bryant and his 32.3% usage rate, and say hello to the new era of young Lakers, featuring players such as Russell, Clarkson, Ingram, Randle, Nance Jr., Zubac.. and Mozgov.

It’ll take a fair chunk of the year for the Lakers to adjust to playing without father Kobe, but once January comes these kids should have adjusted to the idea of receiving the ball back, after passing it off to a team-mate, and it’ll be fun to watch.

Player Movement

Notable Ins Notable Outs
Brandon Ingram NBA Draft
Ivica Zubac NBA Draft
Jose Calderon New York Knicks
Luol Deng Miami Heat
Timofey Mozgov Cleveland Cavaliers
Yi Jianlian Free Agent
Brandon Bass Los Angeles Clippers
Roy Hibbert Charlotte Hornets

Los Angeles Lakers Depth Chart

Point Guard Shooting Guard Small Forward Power Forward Center
D'Angelo Russell
Jose Calderon
Marcelo Huertas
Jordan Clarkson
Louis Williams
Luol Deng
Brandon Ingram
Anthony Brown
Nick Young
Julius Randle
Larry Nance Jr.
Yi Jianlian
Timofey Mozgov
Ivica Zubac
Tarik Black

Rotation Player Projections

SG Jordan Clarkson 27 32 18.1 4 2.9 1.1 0.1 1.6 43.3 80.4 2.1
PG D'Angelo Russell 28 32 17.4 3.9 5.7 1.4 0.2 2.1 41.4 73.7 4.3
SF Luol Deng 20 30 13.1 5.6 2 0.9 0.4 1.3 45.5 75.5 1.2
SF Brandon Ingram 18 28 14 5.7 1.6 0.9 1 1.1 42 68 1.3
PF Julius Randle 22 26 10.8 9.4 1.7 0.6 0.4 0.1 42.9 71.5 1.7
C Timofey Mozgov 18 24 9.7 6.1 0.6 0.4 1.1 0 56.5 71.6 1.4
PF Larry Nance Jr. 13 22 6.2 5.5 0.8 1 0.4 0 52.7 68.1 0.8
SG Louis Williams 22.6 18 9.7 1.6 1.6 0.6 0.2 1 40.8 83 1
C Ivica Zubac 14 18 8.1 4.5 0.2 0.4 1.3 0 48 63 0.7
PG Jose Calderon 12.6 10 2.7 1.1 1.5 0.3 0 0.4 45.9 87.5 0.4

Position Battles

Starting Small Forward

Ingram comes into the season as a nineteen-year-old rookie and Deng comes in as a thirty-one year veteran (more like thirty-three, given how much being coached by Tom Thibodeau ages a player). It makes sense that Deng starts to begin with and as Ingram’s minutes increase Deng’s minutes at small-forward decrease, with his minutes at power-forward going up.

Starting Power Forward

We saw enough of both Julius Randle and Larry Nance Jr. to know that both of them deserve to start on this roster, but neither are particularly great fantasy basketball options. With the addition of Deng, who will play more minutes at power forward as Ingram’s minutes creep, it makes drafting them even less appealing outside of Randle, who can give you PTS, REB and not much else.

Starting Center

This one will take the longest to play out, since the Lakers organization has to save face after handing Mozgov a 4yr/$64M deal, but by the end of the season Ivica Zubac should be competing for the starting center job.

Rise in Value

D’Angelo Russell

Russell should be the one who benefits the most from Kobe’s retirement, so long as he takes care of his Snapchat account. With no real competition at point guard (Jose Calderon will be his backup) and a player friendly coach in Luke Walton, the potential for big numbers is there for D’Angelo.

Jordan Clarkson

The other player to benefit the most from Kobe’s retirement is Clarkson. His usage rate should shoot up, along with the amount of shots he’ll be taking, and with a developing three-point shot, he makes for a good mid-round target.

Decrease in Value

Lou Williams

With the youth movement in play for 2016-2017 all signs are pointing to a reduced role for Williams, who should see a dip in both minutes and usage. He won’t completely be out of the rotation, and still has the potential to go on a hot streak, so keep an eye on him as a streaming option if you ever need 3PM.

Injury Risks

Timofey Mozgov

Yes, the 64 million dollar man comes with defects, and hasn’t played more than 50 games in a season since 2013-2014 (which bodes well for Zubac). He’s the kind of player I’d happily let somebody else draft and has very little upside.

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