With the starter of the NBA season just around the corner, the Los Angeles Lakers had one big looming question. Would it be Lonzo Ball or Rajon Rondo starting at point guard alongside LeBron James to begin the year?
One big issue was Ball’s offseason knee injury, which wound up playing a role in Rajon Rondo being named the day one starter. Lakers coach Luke Walton broke the news to ESPN’s Dave McMenamin (via ESPN’s Ohm Youngmisuk) at the team’s media day. Since that news is now known, let’s take a look at how the Lakers’ starting lineup and roster will look with Rondo running the point.
*Note: Players bolded with an asterisk are the projected starters.
- Point guard: Rajon Rondo*, Lonzo Ball (likely out), Alex Caruso, Isaac Bonga
- Shooting guard: Kentavious Caldwell-Pope*, Josh Hart, Lance Stephenson
- Small forward: LeBron James*, Kyle Kuzma, Sviatoslav Mykhailiuk
- Power forward: Brandon Ingram*, Michael Beasley, Moritz Wagner, Travis Wear
- Center: JaVale McGee*, Ivica Zubac
Figuring out the Lakers Rotation
When Ball returns from his offseason knee surgery, there’s a chance he could wind up taking over as the starter at point guard. Regardless, both he and Rondo will play big roles and the final call will likely come down to how the two mesh playing alongside James. It’s unlikely Alex Caruso and Isaac Bonga carve out much of a role this year.
All three players listed at shooting guard will see extended run, while Lance Stephenson could also wind up playing small forward at times. One big question is how much playing time rookie Sviatoslav Mykhailiuk will get with the depth on the Lakers’ roster, but I wouldn’t expect much.
Michael Beasley will likely be one of the first big men off the bench, while it’s likely JaVale McGee plays a similar role to the one he did with the Golden State Warriors. The Lakers would, in turn, play more small ball lineups featuring James, Beasley and Brandon Ingram.