One of the Los Angeles Lakers’ biggest offseason signings was bringing in point guard Gabe Vincent. After a strong postseason showing with the Miami Heat last season, Vincent was expected to give head coach Darvin Ham a battle-tested guard who can defend and shoot at a high level.
Unfortunately, a knee issue has taken Vincent out before he could really get started. Vincent played in four games before the injury kept him out for nearly two months. And after just one game back, the swelling returned and Vincent has now undergone surgery to fix the issue.
While Ham knows Vincent’s absence will impact the team, he is still choosing to take a positive outlook on the situation as a whole.
“It’s definitely impactful,” Ham said after practice on Wednesday. “But on the flip side of that, we’re pleased that now there’s gonna be a huge light at the end of the tunnel in terms of getting his stuff cleaned up. We’re gonna check on him, nurse him back to health and get ready for a big contribution once he’s cleared.”
Vincent is expected to be re-evaluated in eight weeks, which would allow for him to get back in the groove going into the playoffs should things go right. Vincent is surely frustrated at how things have gone, but Ham feels that surgery, and completely putting this issue behind him, is a good thing overall.
“Yeah, I told him in OKC, you got to do what you got to do so you can put this behind you,” the Lakers coach added. “That’s the biggest thing. Trying to manage it and do different things, have these little micro-setbacks, it’s too much. So the fact that we could go ahead and get it alleviated and put it behind us is great for him and great for us.”
With it being early enough in the season for Vincent to ultimately return later, the decision was really a no-brainer. Choosing another option had the potential to just make things worse, but this move should benefit both Vincent and the Lakers in the long run.
Lakers prioritizing ‘speed and athleticism’ at trade deadline
Regardless of whether Vincent is available, the Lakers know they need to make some improvements to the roster and it’s not just specific players, but the types of players they are targeting.
Recent rumors suggest the Lakers are prioritizing speed and athleticism at the deadline, which makes sense considering the identity of this team. Ham prioritizes defense and wants to get out in transition on offense, so getting players who fit that mold should be top priority.
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