Frank Vogel ‘Hopeful’ Kendrick Nunn Plays For Lakers During 2021-22 Season But Not Expected Back Before March
Kendrick Nunn, Lakers
Jim Dedmon-USA TODAY Sports

With the NBA’s annual trade deadline looming, the Los Angeles Lakers are in desperate need of a move to help them turn around a season where nearly everything has gone wrong.

For the second consecutive year, injuries have hit the Lakers’ roster hard. Players have constantly been in and out of the lineup and Los Angeles has yet to even see Kendrick Nunn suit up because of a lingering bone bruise in his knee.

The good news is that Nunn is apparently progressing and his follow-up exam did not reveal anything beyond the bruise, so head coach Frank Vogel thinks there is a shot he suits up some time this year.

“Anything’s possible,” Vogel said. “We are hopeful that he plays for us this year. He did have a follow-up exam recently. I’m not sure exactly which date and we are able to say now that he’s not going to be back before March, but we’re still optimistic that he plays for us this year.”

Without Nunn, Vogel has been unable to mix and match his rotations like he envisioned and he detailed how he planned on using the guard before the season.

“Obviously, Bron is a unique player. So calling him any type of position is, he plays all positions, but he’s a ballhandler. But Kendrick coming in to play backup point guard to Russ in terms of guarding the other team’s smallest player, handling some bringing it up in the open court if Bron is playing with the second unit, but also just being a backside shooter and playmaker similar to what Malik Monk has given us.

“It’s a similar type of role seeing the two of those guys together out there where Bron and Russ they can give the ball to Kendrick and create in the pick-and-roll game or off pindowns. He’s a dynamic basket attacker, but also when they have the ball, he’s a knock-down 3-point shooter as well.

“He’s one of those guys that can really play with and without the basketball and we did have him penciled in as a main rotational guy.”

It has been truly unfortunate to see Nunn rehab most of the season, and it comes as a sizable loss for the Lakers who were clearly planning on making him an integral part of the rotation. Hopefully he is able to get right soon and give the team a shot in the arm as they continue to figure things out as a group.

Frank Vogel offers up Lakers’ mindset during trade deadline week

For months, the Lakers have been linked to several players ahead of the trade deadline and Vogel noted that the roster understands how to handle the pressure of such a stressful time.

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