Lakers' Fans Finally Sneak a Peek at SF Christian Eyenga This Summer - Fan's Analysis

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Los Angeles Lakers fans like me saw precious little of Christian Eyenga after he was traded from the Cleveland Cavaliers to the Lakers in March of 2012.

Eyenga did not step onto the court for the Lakers until the team's final regular season game when coach Mike Brown decided to rest his starters against the San Antonio Spurs. Eyenga played fairly well against the Spurs - 19 minutes, eight points (3-6 FG), two rebounds, with an assist and a block.

The 6'7", 210 pound small forward also appeared in three postseason games, playing a total of nine minutes while scoring four points (2-3 FG), two boards, with an assist, steal, and a block.

So to summarize, here is all that Lakers fans had seen from Christian Eyenga since donning the purple and gold:

28 minutes, 12 points (5-9 FG), 4 rebounds, 2 assists, 1 steal, 2 blocks

This, my friends, is why the NBA Summer League was invented.

The Good From Christian Eyenga's Summer League

While Christian Eyenga was given very few minutes in the regular season and playoffs, he started all five of the Lakers' summer league games and finished second on the team in total minutes with 30.8 MPG. Here are Eyenga's stats from those five games:

12.6 PPG, 3.4 RPG, 0.2 APG, 1.4 SPG, 0.2 BPG, 40% FG, 9% 3PT, 54% FT

Eyenga finished second in scoring on the Lakers' squad behind Darius Morris' 15.2 PPG.

The 40% FG he produced may not look great on paper, but it was the highest field goal percentage among any of the Lakers' regular players this summer. As a team the Lakers shot a miserable 35% this summer.

Where Christian Eyenga stood out the most for the Lakers was - at least statistically speaking - in the steals department. Eyenga's seven steals (1.4 SPG) led the team by a wide margin.

The Bad From Christian Eyenga's Summer League

Let's see - a 6'7" small forward who averages 3.4 rebounds in 30-plus minutes against summer scrubs? Not good.

But this should not come as too big of a surprise because in his three-year NBA career he has played in 51 games, averaging 20-plus minutes and just 2.7 RPG. Eyenga needs to improve as a rebounder from the wing, and he did not do so this summer.

He should also avoid the 3-point line at all costs. In the summer league Eyenga shot just 9% from downtown.

No - that's not a typo. Nine percent. As in, oh-niner, after going just 1-11 from 3-point range. On his career he is shooting just 26-94 (28%) from downtown.

Eyenga's 2013 Prospects

While Christian Eyenga was one of the better Lakers this summer, he did not stand out, which is unfortunate for Lakers fans like me because the team desperately needs a young, solid small forward.

Incumbents Metta World Peace and Matt Barnes, both age 32, are serviceable, but the small forward spot is clearly the weakest on the Lakers' roster. Plus, both World Peace and Barnes get involved in distracting, embarrassing off-court issues as most recently highlighted by Matt Barnes' arrest.

The door is wide open for a productive young wing player to get significant playing time with the Lakers next year.

Based on his 2012 summer league play, it does not look like Christian Eyenga is even close to walking through that door.

Andrew Sweat is a die-hard Lakers fan. For more from this author, visit Andrew's archive or check these out articles:

Summer Bummer: Lakers' Andrew Goudelock Struggles with his Shot

Mr. Irrelevant Robert Sacre Not So Irrelevant After All

Darius Morris the Lone Bright Spot in the Lakers' Summer League
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