So much for a healthy start to the season. With less than a week until their season opener against the Golden State Warriors, the Los Angeles Lakers have five names on their injury report: Trevor Ariza (right ankle surgery), Talen Horton-Tucker (right thumb surgery), Malik Monk (right groin strain), Kendrick Nunn (right ankle sprain) and Wayne Ellington, who was a late addition to Tuesday’s injury report due to soreness in his left hamstring.
While Vogel said he’s remained “hopeful” that Nunn and Monk will be available on Opening Night, he revealed that Ellington’s injury may keep him sidelined.
“Wayne, actually, his MRI revealed a strain in his hamstring as well,” Vogel said at practice on Tuesday. “Grade 1, still will be re-evaluated in a week. It’s still possible to dress Opening Night but he could potentially not be in there. We’ll have to see all three of those guys progress over the next week.”
Ellington got a decent amount of run for the Lakers in the preseason, but he struggled with the opportunities he was given. Through four games, the veteran shooting guard averaged 5.5 points on 28.6% shooting from the field and 25% shooting from behind the arc.
Still, Ellington’s career numbers suggest that those numbers will steadily rise as he gets more reps. Last season, Ellington shot 42.2% from 3-point range on 6.0 attempts per game and for his career, he’s a 38.2% 3-point shooter. It’s safe to assume the Lakers would like to have him back as soon as possible so that he can get into that shooting rhythm.
In the meantime, the Lakers will have the option to lean on someone who did stand out in the preseason, Austin Reaves. In his four preseason appearances for the Lakers, Reaves has averaged 8 points per game on 44.4% shooting from the field and 42.9% from deep. The only player on the team shooting a higher percentage on more attempts is Monk, who’s averaging 47.1% from 3-point range on 5.7 attempts per game.
Obviously it’s disappointing that the Lakers won’t start the season fully healthy, especially given the construction of their roster, but the hope is that this is the worst of their luck with injuries.