Although much has been said regarding the age of the new roster for the Los Angeles Lakers, Kendrick Nunn is one of the few additions still entering his prime years.
The 26-year-old emerged as an integral part of the Miami Heat’s starting rotation during his first two years in the league. Although he was slated for a big payday in free agency, he ultimately opted to make less money to compete for a championship with the Purple and Gold.
Nunn will be tasked with providing quality depth to this thin backcourt in L.A. But, of course, there is still plenty of speculation surrounding how Frank Vogel will put it all together.
Nunn checks some much-needed boxes for the Lakers when it comes to shooting and defense. He feels his skill set as a combo guard will allow him to contribute wherever he is needed.
“I’m a point guard; a combo guard; however, you want to call it in today’s game… This game is a lot of positions, to be honest, and I just bring my strengths to the game, whether that’s at the one or the two; on the ball or off the ball; playing tough on both sides of the floor, and bringing my strengths which is scoring obviously, playmaking, getting my teammates involved and getting out there defensively,” Nunn explained. “I’m real tenacious on the defensive end. I take pride in playing defense, so that’s something I pride myself on and do very well.”
It is encouraging to see that defense appears to be a common theme for most of the new additions. While most of the attention has been fixed on how the offense will look, any hope of playing fast-paced will need to begin on the defensive end.
Nunn is among those tasked with making it come to fruition with the style of play he displayed in Miami. He averaged 15.0 points while shooting at a 36.4 percent clip from deep during his first two seasons.
Even if it remains to be seen how the starting lineup will look outside of LeBron James, Russell Westbrook and Anthony Davis, Nunn is once again slated to play a major part in potentially securing a ring so early in his career.
Kendrick Nunn feels taking less with Lakers was not hard decision to make
The Lakers were well aware that they would need to fill out the roster with players on veteran minimums once they made the trade for Westbrook. Despite the allure of playing in L.A. and the opportunities that come with it, it was still surprising to see a young player like Nunn sign a two-year deal for less money to compete for a championship.
Most players early in their careers are searching for a big payday, and he was certainly deserving after two promising years with the Heat. However, he had no problem making the sacrifice to win.
“It wasn’t that hard, to be honest,” Nunn said. “I’m a guy that knows how to sacrifice for the better of the team,” Nunn said in a recent press conference. “I know how to do that, and I’m willing to do that. It’s not about myself. It’s a team sport and I want to win. That’s what I play this game for: to win.”