Lakers Media Day set to kick off this coming Monday, September 26th. Under new head coach Darvin Ham, the team is scheduled to start official team-sanctioned practices next week. But, as is typical for LeBron James-fronted clubs, L.A. wanted to get a jump start on the proceedings this morning. Your Los Angeles Lakers convened somewhere in San Diego, about 120 miles south of the team’s El Segundo practice facility, the UCLA Health Training Center, to embark on a brief players-only minicamp, led by James.
So just which Lakers showed up in San Diego this morning, given all the rumblings about potential Russell Westbrook trades and Brodie’s well-publicized prior beefs with James and new teammate Patrick Beverley?
ESPN’s L.A.-based correspondent Dave McMenamin indicates that another veteran point guard on the roster, Dennis Schröder, was the only player to not join the club in San Diego for the first day of the minicamp, due to logistical reasons:
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When McMenamin claims that “every player on the roster is present,” does that just extend to the 14 players signed to guaranteed and partially guaranteed deals on the team’s standard roster, does it also include both of the team’s rookie two-way players Scotty Pippen Jr. and Cole Swider, or does it include all of the above as well as the team’s three training camp invitees (Fabian White, Javante McCoy, Jay Huff)?
The attendance of those fringe players is unclear, but the fact that Westbrook, Beverley, and Kendrick Nunn will be joining the team in San Diego is a little surprising. This does point to some sense of team unity being cultivated amongst these disparate parts, even though they will ostensibly all be competing for a finite amount of backcourt minutes.
Recent reports have indicated that Los Angeles intends to shift Beverley and Nunn to shooting guard, perhaps in an effort to placate everybody, but of course that could force a minutes squeeze of $6.5 million addition Lonnie Walker IV, upstart second-year guard Austin Reaves, and maybe even rookie second-round pick Max Christie. Should L.A. opt to play the 6’4″ Walker and the 6’5″ string bean Reaves up a position to small forward, they would also be competing for minutes behind James with new signings Troy Brown Jr. and Juan Toscano-Anderson. The 6’6″, 209-pound JTA could possibly have his minutes toggled between either forward spot.
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