To make the playoffs, the Lakers need to be better than seven teams in the Western Conference.
Are the Lakers better than the Utah Jazz?
Trey Burke was a force at Michigan but he needs to prove he's ready to play at the NBA level over an 82-game season. The rookie should get major minutes for the rebuilding Jazz.
Behind Burke is John Lucas III, who will be asked to pick up the slack when Burke goes through any growing pains.
The Lakers have a much stronger, more experienced crew at the position with Steve Nash, Steve Blake and Jordan Farmar.
The Jazz rotation isn't quite clear. Gordon Hayward could start at shooting guard or small forward.
Hayward is gradually developing into a very solid NBA player. He shoots well, defends with effort. He's just not at Kobe Bryant's level -- assuming Bryant makes his way back successfully from Achilles surgery.
Behind Bryant, the Lakers boast a long list of players who will fight for minutes, including Jodie Meeks, Nick Young, Wesley Johnson, Xavier Henry (a camp invite who still has to make the team) and even point guards Blake and Farmar.
The Jazz picked up Brandon Rush from the Golden State Warriors. Recovering from a torn ACL, Rush is an above-average defender and shooter.
If the starter isn't Hayward or Rush, Alec Burks may get the call. Utah also has Ian Clark and Jerel McNeal.
The starter at small forward for the Jazz could be Hayward, Rush or Burks.
Marvin Williams is recovering from his own torn Achilles. He is also an option as starter, although not initially.
The Jazz are relatively solid at the swing positions with Jeremy Evans and Richard Jefferson also available.
The Lakers may start offensive-minded Nick Young with Wesley Johnson backing him up as the stronger defender.
Shawne Williams and Marcus Landry, both fighting to make the final roster, bring shooting and toughness to the position. Bryant may also play some small forward.
The Jazz are on par with the Lakers at small forward.