The Los Angeles Lakers have most of their rotation figured out on paper as they continue their abbreviate preseason and training camp schedule.
Whatever combination of Brook Lopez, Andrew Bogut and Ivica Zubac are healthy at once appear set as the team’s center rotation, while Julius Randle, Larry Nance, Jr. and Kyle Kuzma will round out the power forward rotation. Brandon Ingram and Luol Deng project to play most of the team’s small forward minutes, while Jordan Clarkson and Kentavious Caldwell-Pope will likely fill the team’s minutes at shooting guard.
But while rookie point guard Lonzo Ball will in all likelihood get the majority of the team’s minutes at the one, who would back him up was somewhat of an open question entering camp. The Lakers re-signed Tyler Ennis over the summer while also bringing in Briante Weber to battle in training camp. The roster also features Alex Caruso on a two-way deal following his strong play in Las Vegas Summer League.
The latter two players looked set to at least challenge Ennis for the backup point guard role, but he appears set to seize the spot two games into the preseason after Lakers Head Coach Luke Walton raved about his camp following the Lakers’ 113-107 loss to the Denver Nuggets Tuesday (via Lakers Nation reporter Serena Winters):
Luke Walton was asked about what has been the biggest unexpected surprise for him: "As a whole, Tyler Ennis, he has had a very solid camp."
— Serena Winters (@SerenaWinters) October 3, 2017
Ennis has averaged 6.5 points and four assists while shooting 62.5 percent from the field in 14.5 minutes per game over the Lakers’ two preseason games so far, solid production for a backup floor general expected to take spot minutes when Ball needs a rest.
It remains to be seen if Ennis can keep up that sort of production as the preseason continues, but his familiarity with Walton’s playbook and the fact that he worked out with the rest of the Lakers’ young core throughout the offseason would seem to give him an edge in grabbing the backup point guard role when the Lakers’ roster is finalized.