Small forward is not a clear strength for the Lakers. Coach Mike D'Antoni may start offensive-minded Young, with Johnson backing him up as the stronger defender.
Shawne Williams, Marcus Landry and Elias Harris, each fighting to make the final roster, bring shooting and toughness to the position. Harris still needs to develop his outside shot but brings versatility to the floor. Bryant may also play some small forward.
Prince is an NBA champion and is the most proven player at small forward but neither team is dominant at the position.
Power forward is somewhat up for grabs for the Lakers. The Lakers could start Pau Gasol, Jordan Hill, Chris Kaman, Shawne Williams or even Wesley Johnson. It's an area with which D'Antoni appears willing to experiment initially.
Zach Randolph is one of the stronger, tougher fours in the league. He uses his bulk in the paint to get his shot off and rebound the ball.
Though he's not necessarily a strong individual defender, the Grizzlies were able to use Randolph well under former coach Lionel Hollins.
The Grizzlies also have Ed Davis, Jon Leuer and Willie Reed. Marc Gasol can technically play power forward -- along with smaller options Prince and Pondexter.
Elias Harris, Ryan Kelly and Marcus Landry are young possibilities off the bench for the Lakers.
If Pau Gasol is the four against Randolph, the two teams are almost even. If Gasol is playing five, Randolph has a sizable advantage over whoever else D'Antoni plays at the position.
The Grizzlies acquired Marc Gasol in the deal that sent Pau to the Lakers. Last year, Marc was the better player.
The Lakers, who won two titles with their Gasol, have no buyer's remorse. If Pau is indeed the team's starting center, the Grizzlies have a slight advantage at the position with the tougher Gasol brother.
Marc was named defensive player of the year and helped the Grizzlies advance to the Western Conference finals. Pau struggled last year with knee and foot issues.
A rebound season from Pau would change the Lakers' fate dramatically.
The Grizzlies acquired a solid center from the Denver Nuggets in Kosta Koufos. Randolph and Davis can fill in at center if needed.
In addition to Gasol, the Lakers have Kaman, Hill, Robert Sacre and camp invitees Dan Gadzuric and Eric Boateng.
Who is better?
How important was Lionel Hollins to the Grizzlies last season? The team won 56 games, advanced to the conference finals and let Hollins leave without a contract.
Dave Joerger will get a chance as a rookie head coach, which could lead to a drop-off for the Grizzlies -- a team whose win range is probably 48-58 this season.
If the Lakers are fully healthy coming in, the difference between the two franchises is not significant.
The Grizzlies will be far, far better defensively. The Lakers, at full strength, will be better offensively.
The Lakers should finish in the 40-50 win range, perhaps matching last year's 45.
Heading into the season, the Grizzlies are the better team.