The NBA schedule is leaking out piece by piece and the Lakers continue to be a fixture on marquee dates, including on Opening Night.
Here’s a look at the latest reports and rumors.
Lakers, Warriors renewing rivalry early
Fans aren’t going to have to wait at all for the first LeBron James-Steph Curry matchup of the season. The two defining stars of their generation have long been tied to one another and LeBron’s move west has rekindled that rivalry.
The Lakers and Warriors will renew that rivalry from the get-go this season as the two teams will reportedly meet on Opening Night.
In their last meeting, LeBron dropped 56 points in a win over Golden State in early March. At the time, it felt like a win that could help propel the Lakers to the playoffs. In the end, though, the Warriors came away with an NBA title and got the last laugh.
As a result, the Warriors are going to be having their ring ceremony when they host the Lakers to open the year. In an ideal world, it would serve as some sort of motivation for the Lakers but the franchise has provided very little reason to have that type of faith.
The Lakers also had their first meeting with the Clippers revealed on Sunday per Shams Charania of The Athletic.
The first Lakers-Clippers game of the 2022-23 NBA season is scheduled for Oct. 20 at https://t.co/lur8Hbuv0r Arena, sources tell @TheAthletic @Stadium.— Shams Charania (@ShamsCharania) August 14, 2022
LeBron James-Anthony Davis vs. Kawhi Leonard-Paul George again for first time since Dec. 22, 2020.
Along with these two games being leaked, the Lakers will also reportedly meet the Mavs on Christmas Day.
More Russ trade options?
The Lakers have spent much of the offseason trying to figure out what to do with Russell Westbrook. Ultimately, it feels like the options have boiled down to only a few options, including the Nets, Pacers and potentially a three-team deal with the Jazz.
For now, so much of the movement around the NBA has come to a screeching halt until Kevin Durant has been dealt. But once that move comes, it could be a precursor for the Lakers to finally move Westbrook, according to Dan Woike of the LA Times.
If and when Kevin Durant and Donovan Mitchell get traded, the space to make a Westbrook trade probably opens a little wider with the costs getting cleared. Lakers sources insist they have options beyond the ones that have been reported (Irving, Buddy Hield, Myles Turner and others). Time should better reveal those once the bigger moves get made.
It feels like a bit of bluffing from the Lakers to say “Yeah, we have lots of deals. They’re just out of the frame.” But what does appear to be clear is that the odds of anything happening before Durant is dealt feels mighty unlikely.
THT takes part in Chicago Pro Am
Back in his hometown of Chicago, Talen Horton-Tucker took part in a pro-am over the weekend. There's little point in trying to actually extract anything from these games — he had a decent showing in last year’s pro-am as well — but here are the highlights of his performance.
Lakers' Talen Horton-Tucker Back Home in Chicago at Dreamville Chi League Pro Am pic.twitter.com/T21dFjcL6i— Ballislife.com (@Ballislife) August 14, 2022
Horton-Tucker is in line for a pivotal year in his career this season. After up-and-down seasons over the last two years, THT will have to establish himself as either a promising young player or one that is going to struggle to meet his potential.