Bryant could also play some small forward, although in general, the Clippers have the advantage.
Blake Griffin is one of the best power forwards in the league. Athletically, he's unmatched. While he needs to refine his game with a more consistent jump shot, truer fundamental and stronger defense -- he's still at least in the top few players at his position.
If the Lakers start Pau Gasol at four, the Lakers have the advantage in size and skill. Gasol is coming off an injury-plagued season playing a secondary role in the post to the departed Dwight Howard.
For the Lakers, Jordan Hill could start with Gasol moving to center. If not, Hill adds athleticism, rebounding and shot-blocking to the team's bench.
Elias Harris and Ryan Kelly are young reserves for the Lakers at power forward, with both fighting to make the team. Small forwards Williams and Landry can also play at the four.
The Clippers have the edge at power forward but not by much if Gasol has a resurgent season.
DeAndre Jordan might be the key to the Clippers' season. The team is reliant on him as their defensive anchor but Jordan shot less than 40% from the free-throw line last year.
At his best, Jordan is a talented shot-blocker and athletic dunker. Will teams counter that by sending him to the line repeatedly?
Behind Jordan, the Clippers have another athletic center in Ryan Hollins. In addition to regular foul trouble, Hollins isn't much of an offensive threat. Mullens can shoot and score but isn't as strong a defender.
Griffin may play minutes at center for the Clippers. If the team does sign Amundson, he too could play a role at the five.
The Lakers may start former Clipper Chris Kaman, who is far more skilled offensively than Jordan, although he's not nearly as athletic.
Gasol could start with Kaman off the bench but either way, both will play significant minutes at center. Hill can also play five along with Robert Sacre. The Lakers have also invited Eric Boateng to camp, although he'll have to show a lot very quickly to make the team.
The Lakers are more reliable at center and thus have the advantage.
Who is Better?
Last season the Clippers won 56 games, the Lakers 45.
A strong season will see the Clippers win between 55 and 60 games. The Lakers may be hard pressed to exceed or match 45.
If Bryant returns quickly and to his norm, and if both Gasol and Nash stay healthy, the Lakers may be an underrated team in the West.
A lot has to go right, but even at their best, the Lakers are unlikely to catch the Clippers in both the Pacific Division and Western Conference.