Lakers Players Trending Up And Down During Off-Season

NBA: Sacramento Kings at Los Angeles LakersIt’s been a long off-season already for the Lakers as Dwight Howard decided to become “Rocket Man” and general manager Mitch Kupchak has tried to construct a team of one-year contracts.

With the 2014 off-season looming and the prospects of a high draft pick, the Lakers have already signed Jordan Farmar, Chris Kaman, Nick Young and Wesley Johnson to help solidfy the starting lineup and bench.

We’re one week away from the calendar turning to August and we take a look at the current and former Lakers players who are trending up and down.

Trending Up

Jordan Farmar: 

Farmar left a lot of money on the table in Europe to try and re-establish himself in the NBA and with the Lakers. Last season, with the trio of Steve Nash, Steve Blake and Chris Duhon, the Lakers struggled at the point guard position.

In re-signing with the Lakers, Farmar will do well in the pick-and-roll offense, which he’s familiar with from his days in Turkey.

The 2013-14 season might be hard to stomach, but it’ll be great to see Farmar don the purple and gold for at least another season.

Nick Young: 

Another LA kid, Young sounds like he’s the happiest person in the world to be a Laker. Young will be a fan favorite in LA with his knack for scoring, but will draw the ire of Kobe one or two times.

Young is one of the few free agents that received a second-year in his contract, albeit an option, but he could play his way onto the 2014 roster.

Last season, Young averaged 10.6 points and it’s yet to be determined whether or not he’ll be the starting shooting guard or small forward on opening night.

Chris Douglas-Roberts: 

The 2013 Lakers summer league team performed leaps and bounds better than last season as there should be at least one player from the team on the Lakers roster.

Douglas-Roberts was a tough cut for the Lakers last training camp, but the athletic wing has a chance of making the team as the Lakers are thin at the small forward position.

Douglas-Roberts will be fighting for a spot most likely with Marcus Landry and Elias Harris when the Lakers open training camp later this year.

Trending Down

Dwight Howard: 

The easiest person to put on this list is Howard after he chose to leave LA for the “tiny town” of Houston, but he’s definitely one of the most hated former Lakers, ever.

Howard left because he didn’t want to play for three-to-four more years with Kobe running the offense, but failed to realize getting the ball from James Harden and Chandler Parsons might be just as difficult.

Regardless, Howard’s one season in LA was a colossal failure and being someone that wanted him to stay, it’s good that he’s taken his talents elsewhere.

Steve Blake: 

Blake is still the primary point guard behind Steve Nash, but the addition of Farmar will definitely cut into his playing time.

Without Blake playing the way he did in parts of last season, it’ll be interesting if head coach Mike D’Antoni plays him more at the shooting guard position, especially if Kobe doesn’t start the season.

Jodie Meeks: 

Meeks had his option picked up on his contract, but the signing of Young will definitely cut into his playing time as well next season.

While he didn’t shoot the ball as well as most Laker fans had hoped, Meeks should still see the bulk of the action at the shooting guard position, behind Bryant.

With the Lakers thin in the backcourt to start the season, Meeks will need to improve on his shooting to continue to see a significant amount of minutes.

VIDEO: Nick Young Wins Player Of The Week At Drew League Honors. Check Out His Highlights

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