The crazy South Bay Lakers talent pool

As the mother team feels the brunt of a poor recruitment process, another Laker team seems to have the opposite fortune. In fact the SBL seems packed with borderline NBA-talent. This should not be credited only to scouting, but should also be a testimony of how much the Lakers have used this team to boost talent, starting from first 2-way to sign in the league Caruso.

So what's that going to change for the "A" Lakers this season?
Well, we could promote a few of these guys, instead of keeping a few useless end of bench vets...
Don't forget that Stanley Johnson started the year in SBL.
The protocol also meant that McClung, Bass, Brown, Huff, Oliver & Johnson got called-up to the NBA with mixed results. Which is half the initial team. And I'm not counting Jones, who was traded for after getting a second shot with our "A" squad. Another interesting point is that only legendary Andre Ingram is "old" in this team, everyone else is between 23 & 26.

Of these talents, the most outstanding thus far has been Mason Jones, his limited chance with the first team has been a bit of a disappointment, as many Laker fans feel that anything but Westbrook could work. But with SBL he's currently @26P,7R,6A,1.5S,4TO per game (on 492/379/829 shooting with 2.4 3PM). It's impressive, and although smaller guard suffer the move to the NBA, Mason has some experience there (32g last season) and could, late this season or next season, provide a third-string Guard off the bench option worth the trouble.

Another player having a great rookie season is McClung, with 21P, 7R, 8A, 1.6S, 2.9TO (472/351/857, 1.8 3PM). He fits the "next Caruso" mold that he showed glimpses off in preseason. He's not on a 2-way so he could just walk away for another opportunity now or later. He unfortunately didn't get a chance to play in the NBA much thus far, but apart from a few decision-making improvements (which Caruso also went through) he looks like a good prospect to break into the NBA at some point.

The third player I'd like to mention is Paris Bass, who is a Forward with 3nD written all over him. 7 minutes played with the Suns weren't enough to see how he would fit in the NBA, but his 506/345/750 shooting line with 18P, 2.2 OR & 1.7S make him a prime candidate for a call-up.

Another player with similar potential is energy-boosting Oliver, whose limited NBA experience is impressive (11PPG over 6 games), and could work nicely as a modern small-ball Center. The SBL start Huff as paint protector, so he doesn't always see the floor, but he provides almost everything we've lacked in the parent team, energy, some shooting, defence with an impressive (564/308/667), 1.3S, 1.2B, 6.9R with 23MPG.

Chaundee Brown is another rookie also worth a mention. His 3 games with the Hawks showed that he's a sharp-shooter ready for the NBA. He wasn't kept as a 2-way, which is red flag, but he could find his niche eventually. If Wayne Ellington is in our roster, so can he. 19P, 5R,1A on 471/345/885 show that there is still work to do, but nothing game IQ, experience & confidence cannot overcome.

The last one I will mention was also a 2-way rookie at some point, Jay Huff, he provides 2.9B & 2.5OR & like Oliver has some shooting range developing. That might not make him better than Dwight nor Jordan, but maybe, just maybe trying something else than declining players could workout, perhaps not for this season, but the next one(s)...

Honourable mention for newly acquired Tremont Waters, another tiny Guard with 3D potential. Whilst, Wenyen Gabriel, just signed and microwave defensive wings Pierre-Louis & Cain are perhaps too early into their development. Defensive ace, Jemerrio Jones was also recently added, but didn't impress much in his last stint with the parent team.

Anyway, that's 6-7 players out of SBL that have skill sets that can provide something, more than anything a spark to our falling-apart Lakers. Obviously it would be nice to have the SBL Lakers go far into post-season and bring that positive energy to our first team. But can we afford to wait?

All stats come from here: