Kobe Bryant's departure from the NBA and the Los Angeles Lakers has left a very big void in the team. It also raised a very important question about who would be the next best player of the team.
From the early years of the NBA, the Lakers have been known as a team with a standout player. This includes George Mikan, Jerry West, Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, Magic Johnson and Shaquille O'Neal.
Of course, when O'Neal retired, Bryant was left as the main best player of the Los Angeles organization. But now that he has ended his career, the Lakers were left with an empty throne.
Fortunately for Lakers fans, there's still a big chance that another player will be able to fill Bryant's shoes especially given the team's current lineup. Of course, this doesn't include Nick Young. As noted by SB Nation, Young is the least valuable player on the team. Aside from his low productivity, his off-court antics and immaturity get in the way of path to becoming an NBA superstar.
As to who could be the next best player on the team, the staff members of Fan Sided have narrowed it down to three players. These are Jordan Clarkson, D'Angelo Russell and veteran Luol Deng.
Clarkson and Russell seem like the obvious choices because aside from their talent, they're both very young. That means there's a chance that they'll get even better as they grow older with the team.
During the summer league, these two have shown that they have what it takes to carry the team even without Bryant.
Deng, on the other hand, is already 31 years old. But, at this age, Deng has gained important experience in the NBA. With his veteran status, he can certainly stand out as the leader of the team. Although he probably can't out-shoot Russell and Clarkson, he's still a very reliable player and an effective defender.
Although any of these three can easily take the title of best Lakers player, they could soon be dethroned by No. 2 pick Brandon Ingram. According to the Lakers Nation, Ingram, who is used to playing small forward, could be the team's backup shooting guard in the upcoming season. According to the site, Ingram will play both positions by serving as backups for Deng and Clarkson.