Rob Pelinka Reiterates Lakers Will Hold Open Competition To Fill Out Starting Lineup Behind LeBron James
Gerald Herbert-AP Photo

With the additions of Rajon Rondo, JaVale McGee and Lance Stephenson to the young core of Brandon Ingram, Kyle Kuzma, Lonzo Ball and Josh Hart, the Los Angeles Lakers have a plethora of options to surround LeBron James this upcoming season.

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Fans and media alike have been trying to guess how the Lakers starting lineup will look this season. General manager Rob Pelinka said that will all be decided with open competitions in training camp.

“Obviously, LeBron James is going to be a starter. No breaking news there,” Pelinka said during his press conference. “But the other four spots, it’s going to be an open training camp decision.”

Pelinka believes that when players know they have a real chance to earn minutes, it will further motivate them. Additionally, he has already spoken with newcomers McGee and Stephenson about what the Lakers expect.

“I think that’s good for everyone on our team because it’s getting them in the mindset to train hard this summer,” Pelinka said. “I sat down with JaVale McGee and Lance Stephenson. Right away got into, we’re going to play fast. We put a very high priority here on taking care of your body. Coming into camp in the best shape you’ve ever been in. Eight percent body fat or lower.”

One thing Lakers president of basketball operations Magic Johnson and Pelinka have stressed since they took over in the front office is making sure players come in in shape. The Lakers want to run and push the pace at all times and that can’t happen if players get fatigued quickly.

There is versatility and playmaking throughout this roster and the Lakers have stressed positionless basketball. Something Pelinka believes the Lakers could very well achieve this year.

“You can imagine lineups on the court where everyone is 6’7,” 6’8″ or above. Brandon Ingram is almost a position-less player,” he said.

“LeBron is a position-less player. Kyle Kuzma plays two or three positions. I feel like you could go right down the roster. It’s really exciting to think about the length and the speed and the way we can play.”

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