The Lakers’ offseason is probably unfinished, and for the sake of every one of the team’s fans, let’s hope that’s the case. But they also have 14 players under contract, plus a couple of two-ways, and with the current lull in trade negotiations, it’s not a bad time to take stock of what exactly the Lakers could look like on the court in the 2022-23 season.
Now, because this is “I Love Basketball,” and Raj and Sabreena are not martyrs, they decided to swap out Russell Westbrook for a theoretical shooter — let’s call him Buddy Hield. The goal of this exercise was to create a workable rotation for the Lakers using those 14 guys by getting into the mind of Darvin Ham as he finesses a competent defense and a team that can score just enough with the players he has available.
However, the task proved more complicated than expected. For starters, well, there aren’t enough NBA starters.
The Lakers don’t have a ton of talent beyond their top two. That was understood going in. The challenge came in trying to differentiate between all the remaining players. There are so many question marks among the returning Lakers (what are Kendrick Nunn and THT even capable of this point, for one) and what the new crew of free-agent signings can provide, and it’s hard to see how all of them will get a chance to prove themselves in a nine or 10-man rotation.
Raj and Sabreena talked through what combinations make the most sense as well as what groupings the Lakers should avoid at all costs and developed a lot of sympathy for Ham in the process.
If you think you have an idea for an opening night rotation, share it in the comments.
And for a short-form recap pod, check out Lakers Lowdown, in which Anthony Irwin recaps the previous day’s news and gets you ready for the day ahead in LakerLand, every weekday morning on the Silver Screen & Roll Podcast feed.