Lakers Positional Analysis: Center

SCORING EFFICIENCY (Dwight Howard 6.3)
Bynum 6.2
Gasol 5.8
Hill 5.4
Murphy 4.1
-Andrew Bynum scored as efficiently as any Center in the game. Gasol was likewise in rare company. Even Jordan Hill's performance was strong (compare to Marc Gasol's 5.5). Troy Murphy, who should not play Center, unfortunately did at times. The results were pretty unfortunate. He struggles to create a shot and is best as a spot-up shooter.

PASSING EFFICIENCY (Pau 2.9 / Marc 2.8)
Gasol 2.9
Murphy 2.2
Bynum 1.9
Hill 1.5
-Pau Gasol turns in top marks for PAFF. His brother is just behind him, and then there is a bit of a gap among the big names at Center. Murphy's 2.2 was solid for a Center, besting, for instance, Dwight Howard (2.1) and Tyson Chandler (1.6). Andrew Bynum struggled as he saw double teams on a routine basis for the first time in his career. He will have to improve that number if he is going to be the premiere big in the league.

HUSTLE EFFICIENCY (Dwight/Hibbert 3.8)
Hill 4.5
Bynum 3.5
Gasol 3.2
Murphy 2.5
-Jordan Hill was again off the charts (and very strong even across the full season, where his HUFF was still 3.7). The top Centers were all in the 3.6-3.8 range, so Bynum's number is strong. Gasol's is all but identical with his brother's, but it is below Hibbert's, Chandler's, and Howard's. Troy Murphy fouled too much and didn't block enough shots to be effective.

Bynum 99
Hill 97
Gasol 94
Murphy 51
-Compare to some of the top Cs in the league: Dwight 108, Hibbert 96, Marc Gasol 88, Tyson Chandler 83. Andrew Bynum posted a dominant Offensive Efficiency score, better than all but Dwight Howard among big names. Gasol was not far behind, and was clearly in elite territory as well. Hill's number falls to 82 if we include his full season's stats, but that was still a strong  performance. Troy Murphy is so far behind it is easy to see the kind of drop off LA had to deal with when he manned the 5-spot.

The Lakers picked up Bynum's option for next year. He will receive $16.5M. Pau Gasol has two years and $38M remaining on his contract. The Lakers hold a Team Option on Jordan Hill at $3.6M. Troy Murphy becomes a Free Agent.

Although many were disappointed by the way he finished the season, Andrew Bynum will almost certainly be LA's starting Center next year (and for years to come). He is clearly one of the best bigs in the league (arguably second best). Pau Gasol is less likely to return, and he is best suited as a Power Forward on a roster including Bynum. Gasol is the player most likely to be dealt, it seems. Jordan Hill could be a great backup, and he might even be a decent starter. It is always difficult to judge, as his numbers were often posted against backups, so the projectibility is questionable. Troy Murphy could fit into LA's schemes, but it seems very unlikely that he will return. He failed to score with the exception of a few games at the beginning of the season, he is aging, and he cannot defend.


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