FanPost

Which Role Player Will Have the Biggest Impact in 21-22?

The candidates:

Talen Horton-Tucker: Now one of the longest tenured players on the roster, THT could find himself struggling for minutes behind proven veterans Kendrick Nunn and Wayne Ellington and hot-shooting youngster Malik Monk (see below). Range, defense, and decision-making are still areas where THT needs improvement - if he can take care of the first two, the last one should take care of itself.

Malik Monk: This high-flying scorer in college has struggled to find his place in the NBA so far. Still, if he can replicate last year's .401 from beyond the arc (on an impressive 5 fga/game) he may well slide into the starting role, where he will have the enviable task of knocking down all the open looks created by LBJ and Westbrook.

Kendrick Nunn: As the Lakers 3rd ball handler playing behind two ball-dominant players, Nunn may not see much action beyond the second unit. That said, Nunn has proven he can score at this level, and as captain of a second unit that successfully protects leads or even extends them, his value could extend far beyond the box scores. If he can play off Westbrook, he could make a case for himself as the starting SG. Still, it's probably more likely that he comes off the bench to provide ball handling when either Lebron or Westbrook sits.

Carmelo Anthony: Melo is primed to play the role of bench (and possibly 4th leading) scorer. While he's getting a lot older in the tooth, there's no reason to think he can't perform that role at a better-than-average level for 20-25 mpg...Lakers shouldn't need him for much more than that. Defense - or lack thereof - could limit his effectiveness.

Wayne Ellington: Ellington seems to be the favorite for the starting SG spot going into camp. A seasoned veteran and career .382 shooter from beyond the arc, Ellington is a perfect choice to provide spacing for the starters. As with Melo, however, defense could be Ellington's undoing, balancing out what he brings on the offensive side.

Dwight Howard: Dwight was a pleasant surprise and half of an effective center tandem for the 2019-20 championship team and hopes to reprise that role (or at least the latter part) in this, his second stint with the team. Like Melo, Dwight knows his role and, like Melo, should be able to perform it at a high level in limited minutes. Only question for Howard is whether or not those minutes will be so limited that other guys will have a greater impact.

Other: DJ? Bazemore? Playoff Rondo? Make your case in the comments