POSITION SUMMARY: SMALL FORWARD
Metta World Peace 2530 minutes
Antawn Jamison 1636 minutes
Earl Clark 1363 minutes
Devin Ebanks 197 minutes
-Metta has held down the SF spot for the Lakers for the past four seasons, and barring massive changes he would enter next season as the favorite to maintain that streak. Antawn Jamison split time between the two Forward spots, but he seems better suited toward the 3. Earl Clark came out of nowhere to log 1300 minutes over the last four months of the season. Ebanks was quickly relegated to the bench, and he seldom left that spot.
-Neither Ebanks nor Clark is much of a scorer, and Metta is at best a streaky three-point shooter. Antawn Jamison was clearly the most consistent offensive threat at the SF position. His numbers weren't bad, as he averaged 1.23 points per FGA.
-None of LA's SFs should be thought of as skilled ball handlers or good passers. They're all tightly clustered in what would be fair to call "barely adequate" at taking care of the ball. It is one of several weaknesses of the position.
-The worst news here is that Ebanks was supposed to grow into a new role, the hustling slasher. He did neither this season. Earl Clark, on the other hand, showed an adeptness at doing at least some of that. Metta's hard-nosed play and Jamison's opportunistic play on D seem to have paid off for them.
OFFENSIVE RATING (Composite of other three)
-There is not a player on that list worthy of a spot in a starting lineup based simply off offensive production. Ebanks probably doesn't deserve a spot in the rotation, period. Jamison's play is worthy of a first man off the bench role, and that's roughly what he was. Metta's declining offensive game coincides with Clark's likely growing game, meaning that Metta's number is disappointing going forward despite being higher than Clarks's (which should be encouraging).
World Peace is due $7.7M if he activates a Player Option. He'd be a fool not to do that, as he wouldn't get within $2M of that on the open market. Clark, Jamison, and Ebanks are all Free Agents. All made at or close to the league minimum this season.
Despite there not being much money tied up in the SF position, it's a real problem for the Lakers. World Peace should probably be bought out if he cannot be traded. His defense and offense both fell off this season, and there is no reason to suppose they'll improve. The only caveat is that Metta is obviously one of only two Lakers whose competitive nature can never be questioned. Ebanks found himself riveted to the pine, and he's likely gone. The way Antawn Jamison was treated this season should be a case study in how not to handle a veteran player. There is almost no way he will return to this team, leaving a gaping hole at 6th man. Earl Clark should be brought back. He struggled enough to make him a bargain buy for a couple of seasons, but he showed enough on defense to make him a borderline starter.
Its like Dr. Buss is guarding the Celtic rim this second half. Nothings dropping