At 33-years-old and heading into his 16th season, the reality is LeBron James does not need to play in preseason games.
However, with the Los Angeles Lakers having eight new players, James has participated in order to build chemistry. Through three out of the four games played, he is averaging 13.3 points, 3.0 rebounds and 3.3 assists in just 15.2 minutes.
As the Lakers have two games remaining in the preseason against the Golden State Warriors, James may play more minutes. “We might play him a little more, but we’ll see,” Walton said of Wednesday’s game.
“We still got practice [Tuesday] to figure out. There’s more pressing matters than the amount of minutes he’ll play. But we’ll probably push them up a little bit.”
With the Lakers releasing Joel Berry II and Jeffrey Carroll to trim the roster down to 17 players, the focus for Walton and his coaching staff is progress toward establishing a rotation.
As there is a possibility Lonzo Ball will make his preseason debut in Las Vegas, there are questions about the team’s starting lineup.
While the frontcourt of James, JaVale McGee, and Brandon Ingram appears set, there is still competition in the backcourt.
Since Ball is still getting in shape from offseason knee surgery, Rajon Rondo has not done anything to hurt his chances. In addition, Josh Hart may be the better fit alongside Rondo and the frontcourt despite re-signing Kentavious Caldwell-Pope in free agency.
However, Hart came out of Monday’s practice due to a tweaked hamstring.
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