Updated 12:36 AM EDT, Mon, Jun 21, 2021

NBA Fantasy Basketball 2014: Do Any Lakers Have Value?

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The only thing less surprising than the Los Angeles Lakers' sluggish start is Anthony Davis' play just two years removed from his rookie season. Kobe Bryant leads the league in scoring, but the Lakers have little else going in their favor.

Bryant is a high-risk, high-reward liability, and as much as he scorned ESPN voters for placing him 40th-best player in a preseason poll, voters have gotten it right so far. "The Black Mamba" has at least 20 points in all but three games this season, but he's turned the ball over at least three times in three of the last four, leading to a 7.20 overall player rating that's good enough for 39th place in ESPN rankings. Coincidently, Bryant broke the NBA record for missed shots somewhere in between.

As for the Lakers, they've won a grand total of three games in that span by allowing an NBA-high 111.6 points per. Only the hapless 76ers have fewer wins and only the Thunder hold a worse winning percentage among Western Conference clubs, though they expect Russell Westbrook and reigning MVP Kevin Durant back sometime this weekend.

No one on Los Angeles' roster comes near Bryant's fantasy value. Then again, Bryant seemingly doesn't trust his teammates enough to grant that opportunity.

Jeremy Lin is coming around after taking Steve Nash's starting role, averaging 12.1 points per game and 13.2 over the last four. For a team shunning any semblance of a three-point shooting strategy Lin still makes about 39 percent of those he takes, good enough for 13th among qualified point guards. His value rises with consistent play.

Lin's erraticism has its peaks and valleys. One day Lin will put up a double-double, the next he'll shoot blanks. If Bryant holds back on a few errand shots, Lin becomes a viable staring option for fantasy owners.  

Jordan Hill's productive second half to 2013 translated to a well-deserved starting role given to him with Pau Gasol's departure. Had Julius Randle not suffered a season-ending leg injury it might be a different story. At this point, the only consistency within Byron Scott's inept offense comes from Hill.

The journeyman center has six straight double-doubles heading into Wednesday's game in Memphis. His 61 offensive boards and 4.4 ORPG lead the league despite not having anyone outside Ed Davis fighting for rebounds.

Carlos Boozer lines up alongside Hill, but it's only a matter of time before shoddy defense and the strain of an 82-game season become too much for the 32-year-old power forward. If Hill goes down any semblance of a decent front court goes with him.

There is little value outside of Bryant, Lin, and Hill, and while the majority of ESPN leagues don't have either on the waiver wire- Hill is owned in 80 percent of leagues and Lin in 63.4 percent- the latter two should become available as the Lakers' downward spiral continues.

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