To think, just a year ago questions persisted on whether Ryan Kelly would actually land on a Lakers’ roster.
Kelly still faced a lengthy rehabilitation process on a right foot injury that sidelined him for the entire 2013 offseason and parts of training camp. With the Lakers selecting him 48th overall in the 2013 NBA draft, Kelly had a non-guaranteed contract. Yet, the Lakers’ overlapping injuries, Mike D’Antoni’s open-court offense and Kelly’s work ethic and smarts as a stretch forward led to a consistent spot on the rotation.
All of that spurred the Lakers to sign Kelly to a two-year deal worth around $3.5 million. But how will Kelly build on that foundation in his second season? Time Warner Cable Access SportsNet host Chris McGee, analyst Dave Miller and I addressed that subject during part of Wednesday’s show noting the Lakers’ various offseason developments.
Miller, who served as an assistant under Byron Scott with New Orleans from 2005 to 2007, mentioned that Scott’s Princeton-based offense will tap into Kelly’s strong principles in shooting, passing and cutting. I mentioned how Kelly could still encounter some challenges by virtue of a more loaded frontcourt that features Julius Randle, Jordan Hill, Carlos Boozer and Ed Davis. We both highlighted how Kelly’s efforts to improve his strength, including taking MMA training, could help bolster his physical presence inside.
Follow L.A. Daily News Lakers beat writer Mark Medina on Twitter. E-mail him at firstname.lastname@example.org