L.A. Times: Even if Bryant played less than 38.9 minutes a game (his average last season), it would be hard to squeeze enough time out of the position for Trevor Ariza, Vladimir Radmanovic and Luke Walton.

“As far as I’ve heard from the coaches, everybody is going to be playing shorter minutes,” Radmanovic said. “So, we have to prepare mentally.”

Walton averaged 7.2 points in 23.4 minutes a game last season. Ariza averaged 6.5 points and 18 minutes a game, and Radmanovic averaged 8.4 points and 22.8 minutes.

Walton has been sidelined while recovering from off-season ankle surgery and Radmanovic hasn’t shown many dimensions beyond shooting, so Ariza is the favorite to get the bulk of the reserve minutes there. (Ariza might end up the starter if the Odom backcourt experiment fails, with Bryant moving back to shooting guard and Odom relegated to the bench.)

The small forwards are also in different contract stages.

Including this season, Walton has five years and $26 million, and Radmanovic has three years and $19.4 million. Ariza is in the final year of a contract that pays him $3.1 million this season.

Continue reading ‘Fewer minutes are almost a guarantee for Lakers’

  • Zen Master

    Ariza can use some more muscles.

  • Smush Walton

    Hopefully Smush Walton & Vlady do get fewer minutes.