Kendrick Nunn has missed the entirety of his first season with the Lakers so far after being diagnosed with a bone bruise on Oct. 21, but while the team still hasn’t given an exact timetable for his return, it sounds like he’s a lot closer than he was the last time they gave an update.
“He’s making progress. He’s doing more on the court,” Lakers head coach Frank Vogel said after the team’s 11th practice of the season on Monday.
Vogel added that he had just finished to talking to one of the assistant coaches who worked with Nunn, and added that Nunn “definitely looks like he’s getting closer to where we need him” to be before returning to the floor.
“We still don’t have a timetable on it other than to say he’s getting close,” Vogel added.
The Lakers’ mid-level exception signing this summer, Nunn was expected to be a fairly major addition to the team. He was the only non-minimum contract free agency addition they made this offseason, and is one of just five players on the roster not making the veteran’s minimum this year.
That financial faith makes it clear that the Lakers had real plans for Nunn to make an impact, but Vogel demurred when asked about how the team would use Nunn when he does eventually get on the floor.
“We’ve got to throw him into the mix and see what he looks like in our system before we can make any real determinations of what his role is going to be,” Vogel said. “But we love what his game is. To shoot the three, to playmake in the pick-and-roll game, and also to be a second-side attacker when you’ve got Bron, Russ and AD with the basketball. He’s a talented young man, and somebody we really think can help us.”
When Nunn will get that opportunity is still unknown, but the tone and tenor of Vogel’s latest update makes it seem like that date is closer than its ever been.
For more Lakers talk, subscribe to the Silver Screen and Roll podcast feed on iTunes, Spotify, Stitcher or Google Podcasts. You can follow Harrison on Twitter at @hmfaigen.