The Los Angeles Lakers are working on several system and roster changes, some of which started in recent weeks.
The Lakers traded Rajon Rondo to the Cleveland Cavaliers and brought Stanley Johnson back on another 10-day contract. They are also said to be shopping DeAndre Jordan and Kent Bazemore around to open up more roster spots.
Besides, Anthony Davis and Kendrick Nunn could come back from their injuries later this month. That, head coach Frank Vogel says, will have a significant impact on the team’s current rotation.
“Yeah, some guys are not going to play every night and part of our stretch, if we’re fully healthy, is that we’re going to have some rotational guys that might not be in the rotation that night or for that stretch of games,” Vogel said.
“Our guys all understand that. There’s definitely going to be some integration minutes with Trevor [Ariza] who you are seeing right now and with Kendrick [Nunn] when he comes back to make sure they learn their teammates, learn our system and show us what they can do.
“Obviously, you can’t play everybody, but everybody’s bought into the sacrifice necessary to accomplish our goals this year.”
Vogel previously said he expected Nunn to play heavy minutes upon his return. He also conceded the Lakers don’t have plenty of time to work out a stable 10-man rotation considering all the hurdles L.A. has had to deal with this year.
“I don’t think it’s going to be really as consistent as we’re working those guys back in,” Vogel said.
“Obviously, if you feel out your team’s immediate success, you’re winning games, you try not to touch it. But when you have to work guys in, you have to make some adjustments. So it’s just something we’ll evaluate throughout the course of the year.”
Dwight Howard opens up about challenges of unstable role
Dwight Howard has seen his minute average fluctuate throughout the season, playing significantly less since the Lakers started deploying LeBron James at the five.
The 36-year-old center admits to struggling in his ever-changing role at times.
“Can’t complain, especially out loud,” he said. “If you feel a certain way, just do it away from everyone and always keep a smile on your face and whenever you get that opportunity, just play as hard as you can.
“It can be tough for anyone, I know DJ, for me and him, it’s kind of like a roller coast all season so we just got to provide some type of energy and synergy between myself and him making sure our level of energy is pretty high whether we’re on the floor, on the bench, in the locker room. Just try to maintain a level of focus because it can be tough and it is tough at times.”
However, Howard says he reminds himself in those “tough” moments the Lakers’ “ultimate goal” is to win another championship, which helps him stay motivated and ready when his name is called.
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