Each of the players the Los Angeles Lakers signed in free agency this year bring with them plenty of experience as a starter, which provides head coach Luke Walton both with a wealth of depth and challenge ahead.
Though, just like Lakers president of basketball operations Magic Johnson explained the benefits of it, Walton welcomes the abundance of options at his disposal. Ahead of the Lakers opening training camp, the third-year head coach said he’d begun piecing various rotations together.
“Even what they call the ‘small-ball lineup,’ within that there’s three or four different small-ball lineups I want to see,” Walton said.
Going small could entail LeBron James spending time at center or perhaps even Kyle Kuzma. Both players have expressed a willingness to do so if asked.
Meanwhile, the Lakers went into training camp with essentially an open competition to fill in the lineup around James. Walton later clarified it’s more so in theory than practicality, as how players fit together will factor heavily into a starting lineup and rotations.
It’s a process that Walton will not rush. “I’m not looking to find a starting five by Game 1 and keep it the rest of the year,” he said.
“We have a lot of new guys and a lot of it is feeling each other out, getting to know each other, getting to see who plays well together. I’m not desperate to find a set rotation.”