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Kobe Bryant will 'probably' play minutes at power forward, Lakers tinkering with small ball lineups

Byron Scott thinks the Lakers added versatility to their lineup, and sees Kobe Bryant playing minutes at power forward every now and then.

Brace Hemmelgarn-USA TODAY Sports

The Los Angeles Lakers are trying to propel themselves forward after a franchise-worst season, and it sounds like head coach Byron Scott is preparing to go outside of the box. Scott told NBA.com reporter David Aldridge there's a possibility Kobe Bryant will play power forward, "some games, against some teams."

Before stressing about Kobe trying to cover Zach Randolph in the low-post, Scott seems to imply this will be a very situational tactic for the Lakers. Don't expect Kobe to clock serious minutes at power forward. He'll still log the majority of his time as the Lakers' starting small forward, which Byron mentions earlier in the interview.

It's certainly not a bad thing for Scott to be open to experimentation, especially when it comes to lineups. Interestingly enough, Mark Madsen already showed plenty of signs this could be on the way. Madsen said the team believes D'Angelo Russell will ultimately be able to handle minutes from point guard up to small forward, and the Summer League squad actually played small ball for stretches.

Here's a quick grab of that happening in Las Vegas, with Julius Randle moonlighting as the lineup's center:

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To take this a step further, when Randle subbed out of this lineup, Larry Nance Jr. came in as the center and the team continued playing a small lineup. Whether or not the Lakers can make this effective with the right rotation of players remains to be seen, but they have options that Scott seems to be open to testing.

Here's the full quote, via the great David Aldridge:

There will no doubt be nights when Russell and Clarkson look like the first- and second-year players they are. But their size and athleticism in combination will be much more in line with the kind of backcourt that can excel in the triangle. Add Williams' ability to get white hot in a hurry off the bench, and the Lakers should be much more dynamic in the backcourt, no matter where Bryant lines up.


"I think that's the beauty of it," Scott said. "The one thing that we wanted to do and accomplish through this draft and through free agency was to try and be a little more versatile, have some versatility. So I think all three of those guys can definitely do that. Kobe can play one, two and three. There's no doubt in my mind. And there's some games. against some teams, where he'll probably play four. With his tenaciousness, the way he guards people and when his mind is set, if I say 'Kobe, you've got him,' he takes that as a challenge. You know how he is. He'll compete."

Kobe might get minutes in specific situations at power forward, but it's not something that sounds like it will be a big part of the Lakers' strategy.