Los Angeles Lakers: Does Ryan Kelly Make The Final Roster?

By Ian Meredith
Ryan Kelly
Brian Spurlock-USA TODAY Sports

As the tipoff of the 2013-14 NBA season looms nearer, the Los Angeles Lakers will be facing a few tough decision on their final roster and who ends up making the final team. One of those decisions will be the fate of rookie Ryan Kelly, who was drafted 48th overall by the Lakers this June. Kelly has only recently seen much playing or practice time due to multiple offseason foot surgeries, but he is quickly adapting to the offense. He has suffered through the same foot issues throughout his college days as well, missing major time when he was at Duke University, making him a clear, long-term risk for injury.

Yet the question remains — does Ryan Kelly deserve a spot on the Lakers’ final 15-man roster?

Sadly enough, the answer is yes. The Lakers are extremely thin at the power forward position and in the front court in general, and Kelly’s ability to shoot the three makes him a nice fit in coach Mike D’Antoni‘s offense. Although he never averaged much more then twelve points and five rebounds a game in his time at Duke, he has a high basketball IQ and could quickly adapt his multifaceted game to fit a reserve roll in the NBA, making him a valuable asset at the back end of the bench.

The main competition for the roster spot comes from fellow forward Marcus Landry, Sacramento Kings‘ power forward Carl Landry‘s little brother. Landry also has the ability to shoot, making it a tough competition. However, the younger, unproven Kelly should get the chance over Landry, since Landry has yet to prove his worth in his four years of NBA play.

Either way the competition is fierce, and as the Lakers play their final two preseason games against the Utah Jazz,the young forward will get plenty of time to prove his worth.

Catch Ian Meredith on Twitter @Cui2iousGeoi2ge

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