Although the Los Angeles Lakers have had a solid offseason so far, there is still work to be done to get the roster to a level that feels championship-caliber.
Russell Westbrook’s name continues to show up in trade rumors, with the Lakers reportedly talking to the Utah Jazz, Indiana Pacer, and New York Knicks on potential deals. Any trade involving Westbrook would cost Los Angeles draft capital, but if it means offloading his $47 million deal and getting back multiple rotation-level players, then it would be worth it.
However, as things stand, head coach Darvin Ham will likely be looking at a starting five that includes Westbrook alongside LeBron James and Anthony Davis. As for who starts with the Big 3, it seems like Los Angeles will be looking for outside shooting and defense during training camp, via Jovan Buha of The Athletic:
The Lakers are looking to start whichever wing/guard can make 3s and defend at the point of attack at the highest level on the roster, according to league sources. The player that stands out in training camp and the preseason will be the favorite for the job.
This should hardly come as a surprise as the Lakers are short on true 3-and-D players on the roster. Rob Pelinka made it a priority to get younger and more athletic in the offseason, but L.A. was unfortunately priced out when it came to those kinds of players.
Austin Reaves seems like a logical option to start given his familiarity playing next to James, Davis and Westbrook as well as his ability to guard across multiple positions. Lonnie Walker IV also might have a case given the team invested their taxpayer mid-level on him but both his shooting and defensive acumen are questionable at best.
Perhaps the answer to who starts will make itself known if Westbrook is traded but until the Lakers and their fans will have to wait and see who separates themselves in training camp.
Lonnie Walker IV shows out at Hoopsville Pro-Am
Walker is the type of upside play L.A. is hoping to replicate after the year Malik Monk just turned in. The guard is known for his athleticism, but he showed off his scoring potential in a pro-am game earlier this summer.
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