Prior to this season, Kelly had started 59 games in his career. He knew coming into 2015 that the Lakers would have Julius Randle back from injury and his minutes would decline significantly. But he probably didn’t think he wouldn’t start at all this season.
Kelly managed to play in 39 games for the Lakers this season. He averaged a career-low 4.2 points per game, along with 3.4 rebounds and 0.6 assists. Part of the problem for Kelly was over-saturation at the four position.
The Lakers had Brandon Bass, Larry Nance Jr., and Randle all this season. It was tough for coach Byron Scott to split the playing time evenly and for most of the season it was Kelly getting the brunt of the bench time or having to spend his days down with the Los Angeles D-Fenders.
Kelly didn’t get traded even though it was brought up as a possibility. He did express his frustrations with Inside SoCal Sports back in January.
“It’s frustrating,” he said. “But that’s a huge part of this league. Huge part of it is opportunity.”
With the Lakers probably trying to get a free agent or two in the offseason, it will be interesting to see what they do with Kelly. They can’t keep him on the bench forever.