With several different options at his disposal, Los Angeles Lakers head coach Darvin Ham is using training camp to evaluate who should start alongside his Big 3 of LeBron James, Anthony Davis and Russell Westbrook.
Reports surfaced that Kendrick Nunn and Damian Jones have gotten run alongside the stars, a sign that Ham is looking to replicate some of the schemes he saw success with during his tenure with the Milwaukee Bucks. Jones is an intriguing fit next to Davis in the frontcourt because of his ability to block shots and space the floor vertically, but last year he also showed a burgeoning 3-point shot.
In fact, Ham has given Jones the greenlight to shoot 3s during the season, via Jovan Buha of The Athletic:
“There’s some underneath out-of-bounds (sets) and some sets and some running habits that’s going to allow him to be able to take that shot,” Ham said. “And I have all the trust in the world in it. The way he’s shot the ball since we’ve been working out and different shooting drills, he’s capable of making that shot — more than capable. I know, no disrespect (to) Robin, but if I have Robin Lopez making 3s, I’m sure I can get Damian Jones to make 3s.”
Ham added while laughing: “I love Robin. Miss you too, Brook (Lopez).”
The young big man is best known as a lob threat offensively, but he acknowledged he’s going to let it fly when he has opportunities:
“If I’m open and I’m in the corner and they pass it to me, I’m shooting it,” Jones said. “I’m comfortable shooting there. I’ve been getting a lot of reps in. Throughout the years, my percentages have been getting better as I’m shooting them. So, it’s good.”
Ham wanted to have a “four-out, one-in” style offense and if Jones is going to be shooting more 3s then his inclusion in the starting lineup makes sense. Of course, things can change between now and the start of the 2022-23 season but the starting group of Nunn and Jones will be something to watch out for when preseason starts on Monday against the Sacramento Kings.
Damian Jones and Thomas Bryant not concerned about who starts games
Aside from Jones, the Los Angeles Lakers also have Thomas Bryant as an option at the five. Both young centers are capable starters who are competing against each other in camp, but both aren’t concerned about who starts over the course of the year.
Have you subscribed to our YouTube channel? It’s the best way to watch player interviews, exclusive coverage from events, participate in live shows, and more!