Heading into a season swirling with championship buzz, the Lakers will be hoping to get off to a quick start in hopes of building chemistry and confidence. They’ll have to do it without star center Dwight Howard, though, meaning that one of their young centers will have to step up in the meantime.
But which one will get the opportunity to prove that they deserve a roster spot with the Lakers?
According to Mark Medina of the Los Angeles Times, the Lakers and head coach Mike Brown will decide between two options for the starting spot at center.
“Mike Brown says he will either start Robert Sacre or Greg Somogyi in preseason opener [because] of Dwight Howard’s absence,” Medina tweeted.
While Howard continues to rehab from offseason surgery, the young, raw centers will get their shots at making an impact for the Lakers.
The final pick in the 2012 NBA Draft out of Gonzaga, Sacre heads into the preseason with plenty to prove. The 7-footer started all of the Lakers’ summer league games while averaging 9 points, 6.2 rebounds and 1 block. He has shown promise during his short stay in Los Angeles, but will have a tough time cracking the lineup unless he can display considerable maturation during the preseason.
Somogyi, an undrafted rookie out of UC Santa Barbara, brings outstanding size to the lineup at 7’3’’. During his four years with the Gauchos, he averaged 3.5 points, 2.9 rebounds and 1.5 blocks per game. He’s extremely raw and underwhelmed during his college career, but has the potential to be productive for the Lakers.
No matter who gets the start, both should see plenty of playing time as they attempt to make the Lakers roster as depth behind Howard. Who will stand out more, though, remains to be seen.