Jarred Vanderbilt Lakers
Jarred Vanderbilt Lakers Sources: Sportscasting

The Los Angeles Lakers have a very deep and balanced roster. That’s why they are among the favorites to win the title next season. Indeed, the front office of the LA side has been terrific. They managed to execute their plans to perfection. Moreover, the 17-time champions extended the contracts of Jarred Vanderbilt, Austin Reaves, Rui Hachimura, and D’Angelo Russell. On top of that, Anthony Davis became eligible for a contract extension last August. And the LA side did not waste any time to extend AD’s stay for another three years.

Clearly, they want Anthony Davis to commit as the leader of the Lakers for the next three years. As it seems AD would love to play the role of the leader of the roster of the 17-time champions. After retaining the players they wanted, the Lakers have a lot of options to try from their roster. Moreover, there is tough competition for finding a place in the starting lineup. But who’s going to be the fifth starter for the Lakers? There has been confusion regarding Rui Hachimura and Jarred Vanderbilt.


Is Vanderbilt A Possible Fifth Starter For Ham’s Side?

Jarred Vanderbilt Lakers
Jarred Vanderbilt Lakers Sources: Yardbarker

However, Darvin Ham used Jarred Vanderbilt in the starting lineup of the first practice during the Training camp on Tuesday. Albeit, the Lakers have not yet confirmed anything about who’s the fifth starter. But it seems Jarred Vanderbilt has more chances to get that role than Hachimura or, Jaxson Hayes, and Christian Wood. But Darvin Ham mentioned during the news conference with Rob Pelinka that they plan to tinker with the rotation. Hence, it won’t be surprising if Ham gives Hachimura a chance in the lineup.

However, Jarred Vanderbilt is the best defender on the team after Anthony Davis. Moreover, the combination of AD and JV is not that bad. After all, the athleticism and length of Anthony Davis and Jarred Vanderbilt can always provide trouble for opponents. However, the understudy of the King is a big man himself. Moreover, Wood and Hayes are both solid, big men on the LA side. But Ham would keep changing the rotations until he finds the perfect lineup moving forward. 

Lakers Still Have Faith In D’Angelo Russell

Rui Hachimura D'Angelo Russell Lakers
Rui Hachimura D’Angelo Russell Lakers Source: Basketball Network

Throughout the summer, the Gonzaga kid trained with LeBron James. Moreover, LeBron James claimed he is “Dr. Miyagi” and Rui Hachimura is his “Daniel-San.” Apparently, the whole team has high hopes for Rui Hachimura. But the question remains the same: Who’ll join AD, LeBron James, and Austin Reaves in the starting lineup? Lately, Darvin Ham said during a news conference that he would try D’Lo Russell as the fourth player in the starting lineup.

He has faith in D’Lo Russell even after the debacle of the last season. D’Lo disappointed everybody in the playoffs, especially in the conference finals. But Russell was superb in the regular season for the Lakers after he came in right before the trade deadline in February. That’s what the Lakers coach would hope Russell to deliver next season. Hence, the top four players in the starting lineup are more or less certain.