The Los Angeles Lakers keep evaluating Wenyen Gabriel in the forward’s first weeks with the team, giving the 24-year-old solid rotation minutes over the last three games.
Gabriel clocked in 14.6 minutes on average against the Washington Wizards, Phoenix Suns, and Toronto Raptors — nearly double the 7.7 minutes he had recorded for the L.A. Clippers during a six-game stint earlier in 2021-22.
The forward struggled on offense in the 114-103 loss to the Raptors, missing all of his 3-point attempts and ending the night 1-for-8. But he made an impact on the glass, grabbing nine boards and getting a block in a 19-minute shift for L.A.
Even though Gabriel found it hard to make shots on Monday, head coach Frank Vogel found things he liked in the young forward’s performance.
“I like the energy that Wenyen brings to our team,” Vogel said. “He plays super hard and has a pure attitude and is long and athletic. We need that type of length and athleticism at the forward position.
“He’s a little bit green in terms of being a young player, but definitely love his energy even though he didn’t make shots tonight.”
Vogel explains what Gabriel can offer Lakers moving forward
Last week, Vogel said the Lakers were “intrigued” with Gabriel and his skill set. The head coach added the forward could make an impact both on offense and defense for L.A. this season.
“He’s got the ability to shoot the three, credit to him for having the guts to step up and make a big three [against Wizards] and obviously he can play as a roller and he’s got great length defensively that he can switch or play in coverage against the other team’s big so he’s interesting to us and we’re gonna spend some time here putting him in there and evaluating,” Vogel said.
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