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Augustin isn’t as strong as Felton, but is a better shooter _ when he’s not in a funk.

“He looks so much better physically,” Brown said of Augustin. “He’s got more muscle and less fat. His weight is pretty low and he seems much more confident.”

Confidence may be the key issue, however. The quiet 23-year-old New Orleans native needs to regain the swagger he had in college in Texas and as a rookie.

“He’s probably the best shooter we’ve got on our team,” Wallace said. “When he starts doubting himself it hurts him out on the court. Our main thing is to keep his head held high.

“It’s going to be a task for him. This is only his third year, so we can’t expect him to come out and perform like a veteran point guard. But us as veterans have got to help him get through these tough times.”

Brown suggested he might dump some of the ballhandling chores on Wallace, Stephen Jackson and Boris Diaw. That could allow Augustin, more of a scoring point guard than Felton, to thrive.

But it will only work if he’s confident.

“It’s definitely an opportunity,” Augustin said. “I’m going into this training camp not thinking I’m getting anything. I want to earn minutes and my teammates respect.”

Notes: Brown was pleased with the opening workout, saying Wallace, Jackson and Boris Diaw “made the practice” because they “led by example.” … Brown said he gave a “fat test” and Wallace, Livingston and Tyrus Thomas had the least body fat. … Reserve F Eduardo Najera won’t be able to practice for three weeks as he recovers from hernia surgery on Sept. 10. … F Darius Miles is being limited in workouts because of his chronic knee problems. … Former NBA head coaches Eddie Jordan and Mike Woodson took in the morning practice.