With the recent acquisitions of Kent Bazemore and MarShon Brooks, and the return of Nick Young, Ryan Kelly should be the Los Angeles Laker on the bench indefinitely. Kelly has had his opportunity this season and has showed some flashes of being a competent player in the NBA, however he lacks the strength and athleticism to play at a high level. Too many times I have seen him attempt to drive to the basket for a layup and not have the ability to power up and finish.
There is also the troubling issue of him having a very slow release on his jumper, which you can get away with in college but not at the pro level– with the kind of athletes that can close out on shooters. He needs to work on getting the ball out quicker this summer, or else he defeats the purpose of his best skill. Even Kelly’s open shots have not been falling as of late, which probably can be chalked up to rookie fatigue.
Mike D’Antoni should have an easy decision to make here, but he never quite gives up on his “stretch fours” so that gives the first year player out of Duke a glimmer of hope. Kelly is in a scary position as he is not guaranteed to have a roster spot next year, and he could very well be out of the league.
He should be kicking himself for this latest stretch of games where he really struggled and looked over-matched. D’Antoni will continue giving minutes to Chris Kaman and Jordan Hill as they helped lead a furious comeback against the Boston Celtics on Friday.