To say Kendrick Nunn’s tenure in Los Angeles has been a disappointment would be a massive understatement. After not stepping onto the court in the regular season last year, Nunn has been woeful this season and has been a healthy DNP-CD at times this year.
The three-level scorer that could be a secondary ballhandler and, in theory, a nice fit alongside either LeBron James or Russell Westbrook that Nunn was supposed to be has never appeared. Instead, what has emerged is a player who has struggled to score anywhere on the court and has done more harm than good in the majority of his appearances.
But don’t tell Nunn any of that.
After scoring 15 points on 6-of-13 shooting in a mostly forgettable night in Toronto, Nunn insisted: “I’ve been ready. I just need to be out there.”
Yes, Nunn did just say he needs to play more. To some extent, that excuse could have flown early in the season when he was shaking off the rust of missing out on last year. But 26 games into the season, Nunn is shooting 35.7% from the field and 26.6% from the 3-point line.
He is playing just 12.9 minutes per game and hasn’t even played all his games. But, again, he’s had stretches where he hasn’t impressed. Through the first five games of the season, Nunn made regular appearances and shot 32.1% from the field and 23.8% from range.
After exiting the rotation for a small handful of games, he returned to play in 12 of the next 13 games, averaging a tick over 14 minutes per contest and shot marginally better from the field but still averaged 5.8 points per game. He’s only scored in double figures five times this year while failing to score in eight appearances.
Anyone who has watched the games this season, though, did not need three paragraphs of explanation to know that Nunn has struggled. He hasn’t looked like a threatening player at virtually any point this season, even in the games he’s excelled statistically.
A change of scenery is what’s needed. Perhaps there he can play more minutes and revitalize his career. But that ship has sailed in Los Angeles and the minutes almost assuredly aren’t coming.