The Los Angeles Lakers are ready to start their new season with a lot of enthusiasm and determination. Moreover, in the offseason, the team upgraded their roster, signing quality players like Taurean Prince, Gabe Vincent, and Christian Wood. Hence, the LA side has balance and depth in their roster. Hence, Darvin Ham, as the Head Coach, has a nice problem to deal with, and that’s the rotation. What’s it going to look like?
As per Darvin Ham, the Lakers will tinker with their rotation in the training camp. But their coach is sure about what the top four look like in the starting lineup. There will be LeBron James, Anthony Davis, Austin Reaves, and D’Angelo Russell in the starting lineup. But Russell’s inclusion as the shooting guard was a bit surprising when the Lakers had Gabe Vincent on their roster. However, after the first four are inevitable, the question is, who’s going to be the fifth starter?
Who’ll Be The Fifth Starter For The Lakers This Time?
The Lakers have three different options in Rui Hachimura, Jarred Vanderbilt, and Taurean Prince. As per The Athletic’s Jovan Buha, after the training camp, the biggest question for the team is who they will select as the fifth starter. Darvin Ham and the team have not yet confirmed anything about the fifth starter yet. Jovan Buha states that the Lakers are experimenting with their small forward position. In the training camp, they kept changing with different players in scrimmages. According to Buha, Jarred Vanderbilt was the primary option for the fifth starter on Day 1.
Later on Day 2, the Lakers saw Taurean Prince as the fifth starter for a while. But Rui Hachimura has been the favorite to play that role. As per Jovan Buha, Hachimura will get a serious shot in the training camp. Moreover, the team resigned Hachimura in the offseason for another three years with a contract extension worth $51 million. Later, Rui Hachimura trained all summer with LeBron James as his understudy. Hence, the Lakers have a lot of faith in the Gonzaga kid. They might give Rui Hachimura the role of the fifth starter.
Lakers Have Faith In The Balance And Depth Of Their Roster
However, the Lakers have enough options on the roster. They have Christian Wood, Cam Reddish, Gabe Vincent, Jaxson Hayes, and more whom they can give the role of the small forward. Hence, prior to the final confirmation, there will be speculations regarding the fifth starter. But the top contenders for that role are Hachimura, Vanderbilt, and Prince. Now, only time can answer that question. Moreover, the last season did not end the way they would have liked.
But they gained a lot of self-belief from last season as they turned things around miraculously. For the LA side, reaching the playoffs was a big deal. It is because they had not made the previous postseason, and they were in no position to make the 2022-23 postseason either. But the mid-season trades and the leadership of Anthony Davis helped the LA side make the playoffs and even reach the Western Conference Finals.