The Los Angeles Lakers projected to have a deep backcourt rotation after their offseason. After trading for Russell Westbrook, the Lakers re-signed Talen Horton-Tucker and somehow managed to sign Malik Monk to a veteran minimum deal. However, the other surprise value signing was Kendrick Nunn, who agreed to come to L.A. for the mini mid-level exception.
Nunn flashed how he could help the Lakers in the preseason as a secondary ballhandler or off-ball shooter, but a bone bruise in his knee has prevented him from making his 2021-22 season debut. While it was rumored Nunn would return before the end of January, head coach Frank Vogel revealed that the guard did not respond well to his ramp-up period and his debut would have to wait.
“So Kendrick actually suffered a setback,” Vogel said before Monday’s game against the Utah Jazz. “Not necessarily a setback, but the ramped-up activity, his knee didn’t respond well to it with the bone bruise. Bone bruises are tricky and his timeline is delayed. We still don’t have no firm timeline on it, but he’s pulled back from his workload until it calms down.”
This has to be frustrating for the team and Nunn as it looked like he was finally ready to suit up for Los Angeles, but now there is no telling when or maybe if he will be able to play this year. Bone bruises are a particularly tricky injury to get a sense on because of how severe it can be, but Nunn having to scale back must mean it was perhaps worse than the Lakers originally let on.
While it is unfortunate that Los Angeles will need to wait for Nunn to get healthy, they still have enough pieces in place to right the ship despite their rough showings as of late. Hopefully, Nunn is able to come back sooner rather than later, but the truth of the matter is the Lakers have bigger issues to solve as the season churns on.
Stanley Johnson signs another 10-day contract
While L.A. has missed out on Nunn, they struck gold with Stanley Johnson, who has been the shot in the arm the team sorely needed midway through the season. Johnson originally signed with the Lakers via the NBA’s Hardship Exception, and his productivity earned himself a 10-day deal.
After his first 10-day contract ended, Los Angeles made the smart choice to sign him to another one.
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