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Troy Brown Jr. is ‘a few weeks away’ from debuting for the Lakers

Troy Brown Jr. missed all of preseason with a back issue and isn’t yet close to returning.

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Los Angeles Lakers Media Day Photo by Ronald Martinez/Getty Images

As the Lakers navigate their guard depth with the latest injuries to Russel Westbrook (hamstring) and Dennis Schröder (thumb), their wing rotation has taken an unexpected hit as well.

Troy Brown Jr., who was projected to play meaningful minutes at small forward after signing with the Lakers during the offseason, is reportedly “a few weeks away” from making his Lakers debut, though Mike Trudell did say that Brown was making progress.

To recap the timeline with Brown:

The Lakers have been testing out their small lineup despite the diminished wing depth, and they’ve experienced the challenges of playing three smaller guards next to LeBron James and Anthony Davis. Brown was supposed to slot as a forward into those smaller lineups, not unlike Trevor Ariza a year ago, and we all saw how that turned out.

At the risk of going full doomsday by comparing Brown to a player who didn’t suit up during the entire regular season and another who was so disappointing he was cut before the end of the year, there is concern about how sustainable Davis-at-center lineups are if the Lakers can’t surround him with big guards and wings. Fortunately, Brown is much younger than Ariza, so the prospect of him hitting the ground running when he returns is much more feasible.

That’s the hope because the Lakers need Brown, and they need good injury mojo. And right now, they have neither.

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