LA Lakers Positional Analysis: Shooting Gurad
-Scoring Efficiency measures a player's ability to create effective scoring opportunities. That means that being effective in the chances you get is one part; the other is creating when you don't have those opportunities. The numbers are not very surprising here. Bryant's SCOFF was right up there with Durant (6.9) and was slightly better than Carmelo's (6.6) and Wade's (6.6). Despite a poor shooting percentage, Bryant is still able to put points on the board as effecitvely as just about anyone in the league. Goudelock's SCOFF is respectable, and the number is promising from a rookie. Ebanks and Kapono were both ineffective but for different reasons. Ebanks's confidence was clearly affected by an early seasons benching. Kapono did not seem to be there physically and was eventually let go.
-None of LA's Shooting Guards are great ball handlers; while Bryant holds his own (he's better than Durant's 2.8), he's clearly not at the elite level of SGs (Wade was at 3.5, Iggy at 3.6, and Rose at 4.1). Barnes's number is not bad (same as Durant's), but after that, it's slim pickings. Goudelock and Ebanks are likely to improve those numbers as they become more acclimated to the NBA game. Kapono doesn't really have any excuses.
-Matt Barnes's HUFF is great. A quick examination of the elites at similar positions, only Wade (3.2) was better. Ebanks showed his Ariza-like knack for blocks, deflections, and rebounding. He could carve out a role on most teams just by doing that consistently. Bryant's numbers were not bad, but fouls and turnovers hurt him. Goudelock and Kapono's numbers are simply horrendous. Again, maybe Goudelock has an excuse.
-Compare to some of the top Guards/Wing Players: Wade 106, Rose 100, Durant 99, Carmelo 95. Kobe is still clearly in elite territory. Barnes was respectable, and after that the options drop off severely. Kapono was brought in to be a shooter. When a shooter cannot shoot consistently, that player is not going to be worth very much. There is reason to hold out hope for development from both Goudelock and Ebanks. For instance, in the ten games Goudelock saw the most minutes, his SCOFF increased to 5.7 and his Offensive Efficiency rose to 62.
Kobe Bryant is under contract for two more seasons. At $27.8M and with a No Trade Clause, he is not going anywhere. Matt Barnes becomes a Free Agent. After earning less than $2M this season, and with veteran experience, Barnes is an interesting player; he might be happy to remain in LA at a very affordable price. Goudelock's team option is $762k. Ebanks is a Free Agent. His skill set is sufficiently interesting to draw a good deal of interest on the open market (compare 2011/2012 salaries of Matt Barnes - $1.9M and Trevor Ariza - $6.8M; both are similar but more seasoned players). Jason Kapono was dealt, and he will almost certainly not return.
Kobe Bryant will almost certainly start and consume the majority of minutes at the Shooting Guard position. The only other player who is obviously a Shooting Guard on the roster is Andrew Goudelock. His combination of shooting, scoring, youth, and incredibly low salary make him an excellent bet to be LA's primary backup at the SG spot next season. If there are moves coming, do not expect much at the 2. Ebanks, mostly a Small Forward, would be an intriguing player to re-sign. He can do what Barnes does, and he has a higher ceiling. Would he re-sign a contract starting at what Barnes earned this season ($1.9M)? If not, LA might have to look at cheaper options. Money is tight in LA. It is unclear what the biggest questionmark is for LA at the SG spot. Most of these questions will be examined in the next positional installation: Small Forward.