Lakers News: LeBron James Not On Minutes ‘Restriction,’ But Will Have Playing Time Monitored By Luke Walton; Plan For Back-To-Back Games Still Undecided
Robert Hanashiro-USA TODAY Sports

As the Los Angeles Lakers have slipped further out of the Western Conference playoff picture since the All-Star break, some of the discussion has shifted to potentially resting LeBron James and invariably improving the team’s odds in the 2019 NBA Draft.

On the heels of head coach Luke Walton conceding ‘goals could change’ over the final 17 games of the regular season, came a report of the Lakers intending to limit James’ minutes. Although some of it may be semantics, Walton pushed back on the idea of a ‘restriction’ or hard cap being in place.

“I’m going to continue to monitor them and play him where I want,” Walton explained. “It won’t be a restriction as far as what his max minutes are. If there’s games where I feel like playing him more minutes, I’ll play him more. But I will keep a closer eye on how much I’m playing him.

“Just make sure we keep him healthy to finish the season. He’s still got a little bit lingering from the (groin) injury, there’s always compensation, and with the amount of miles he’s put on those tires, anything we can do to keep him as fresh as possible, we’re going to try to do that.”

And with the report suggesting James would sit one game in a back-to-back scenario, which the Lakers have three of, Walton indicated a decision has not yet been made on such. “Those are still up for discussion with the staff,” he said.

Although he was amenable to scaling back his minutes, James previously made it clear it would take plenty of convincing from the front office to convince him to sit games out. In light of where the situation now stands, Walton said there wasn’t any pushback from James.

“He understands. Obviously he’s a competitor and wants to be out there competing, but he also sees the big picture,” Walton said.

You May Also Like

Lakers News: Jordan Clarkson Explains ‘Free Flowing’ Offense

The Los Angeles Lakers have had their share of struggles on the offensive end of the floor this season, and a lot of…

Lakers Draft News: L.A. Interviewed Brandon Ingram At Combine

The Los Angeles Lakers have their full front office contingent in Chicago for the NBA Pre-Draft Combine where they will be looking at nearly every top player available in this year’s upcoming draft…

Steve Nash Says Lakers Need To ‘Embrace’ Challenge Of Improving

Before Steve Nash made his return to the floor against the Golden…

Shaquille O’Neal Gets Statue at Former College LSU

Former LSU Tiger and Los Angeles Lakers center Shaquille O’Neal has had…