After Monday’s practice, Los Angeles Lakers head coach Frank Vogel announced that Wayne Ellington has been ruled out for Opening Night against the Golden State Warriors while Kendrick Nunn is questionable and Malik Monk is probable.
Ellington missed the Lakers’ last few preseason games with a hamstring injury although it was not believed to be serious. Even though Ellington is missing the Lakers’ first game of the season, he likely won’t be out much longer.
Given the Lakers are short on guard depth, Nunn being able to play despite the questionable tag would be big news. He impressed to start the preseason before going down with an ankle issue. He has been able to participate in practice though, which bodes well for his potential ability to play.
Monk is the most likely to play of the bunch despite dealing with a groin injury. Similar to Monk, he showed what he is capable of to start the preseason and should be a key scoring guard for L.A. off the bench this season.
If Nunn and Monk are unable to go then the Lakers would have just nine players on the roster suit up, with that number potentially going to 11 if their two-way players are active. Avery Bradley, who was recently claimed off waivers, could also suit up if he makes it to L.A. in time.
That means that the trio of stars in LeBron James, Anthony Davis and Russell Westbrook will likely play heavy minutes against a tough Warriors team that has Stephen Curry, of course.
It seems like Monk is going to play but if Nunn doesn’t, then Rajon Rondo and undrafted rookie Austin Reaves could both see playing time.
Horton-Tucker and Ariza also out
The Lakers will also be without Talen Horton-Tucker and Trevor Ariza in the season opener, although that doesn’t come as a surprise.
Horton-Tucker is set to be evaluated in four weeks after undergoing surgery to repair a torn ligament in his thumb, while Ariza will be evaluated eight weeks after undergoing ankle surgery.
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