The questions surrounding the Mike Brown hire centers on a few fundamental questions.
First and foremost, there's hand-wringing over whether he's the right man to coach the Lakers. Fueled partly by Kobe Bryant's refusal to comment on the hire and by the widely held perception that the Cavaliers fired him in 2010 to appease LeBron James, many wonder how Brown will work with the Lakers' superstar.
Because of Brown's hope to have a faster-paced offense and mostly scrap the triangle system, many believe that Derek Fisher will have a reduced role. And with Brown's hope to have an offense centered on Pau Gasol and Andrew Bynum receiving looks off pick-and-rolls, many wonder how that philosophy will mix with Brown wanting to still ensure Bryant receives a high volume of shots in his sweet spots.
There's also one significant area that will determine Mike Brown's success on the Lakers, the team's bench. It's difficult to fully evaluate this issue because the Lakers' roster might be different when the 2011-12 season actually starts, if it starts at all. In light of an uncertain collective bargaining agreement and the Lakers' long-term deals to their core roster, both owner Jerry Buss and General Manager Mitch Kupchak have continuously said they want to make "tweaks" to the roster, a code word that acknowledges the Lakers' financial limitations and the likelihood that any changes will be made among the reserves rather than the starters.
And there's some uncertainty regarding who from the 2010-11 Lakers bench will return, including Lamar Odom (whose two-year, $17-million contract is an attractive option for other teams), Shannon Brown (who opted out of his $2.37-million contract), Derrick Caracter and Devin Ebanks (both of whom have team options for $788,872) and rookies Darius Morris, Andrew Goudelock and Ater Majok (each of which has received no guarantee from Kupchak that he will make the actual roster).
After the jump is my take on which of the Lakers reserves are likely to remain on the team and how they will fare under Brown.