The Los Angeles Lakers' coaching staff is still evaluating what the starting lineup will be to open the season, and head coach Byron Scott is weighing whether he'll continue playing D'Angelo Russell off the bench, reports Mark Medina of the Los Angeles Daily News. Russell started in his first two games with the Lakers, but an injury ended his second outing early. His lone game since returning was an impressive night as a reserve.
Jordan Clarkson, Roy Hibbert, Julius Randle and Kobe Bryant all look like locks in the starting five, while the final slot appears to still be in the air. Anthony Brown will play with the starting unit for the second straight game when the Lakers face the Sacramento Kings, and Nick Young also had a chance to work with the starting unit. Lou Williams' sixth man role also seems to be settled on, leaving it likely down to Brown, Russell and Young as the final piece of the starting lineup.
Russell playing off the bench could help the Lakers' lack of point guard depth, which was supposed to be boasted by the addition of Marcelo Huertas. Huertas' hamstring injury has kept him out of preseason action, taking away the opportunity to see the international veteran in actual game action thus far.
D'Angelo off the bench could allow for a more streamlined rotation with Russell controlling the second unit, but it sounds like Scott and the staff are simply keeping their options open while they get their first look at the talent they have for a new season. The final starting lineup for opening night seems to be very much in the air for the time being.