Lakers Roster & Lineup vs. Timberwolves; Rajon Rondo Injury Status

Rajon Rondo

Getty Los Angeles Lakers guard Rajon Rondo

As the Los Angeles Lakers continue to push through while injuries impact the roster, there’s at least some positive news coming. Although forward LeBron James will not play on Thursday night against the Minnesota Timberwolves, there’s a chance point guard Rajon Rondo (finger) will suit up.

The potential Rondo return couldn’t come at a better time, as the Lakers are not only without James but also just lost Lonzo Ball to an ankle injury. Ball is expected to miss more than a month of time due to the setback and in turn, this should lead to big minutes for his veteran teammate.

The Lakers roster could look quite a bit different moving forward, especially with the return of Rondo, so we’re going to break it down while also evaluating the starting lineup.

Lakers Roster & Starting Lineup vs. Timberwolves

Position Expected Starter Backup
Center Tyson Chandler Ivica Zubac JaVale McGee
Power Forward Kyle Kuzma Michael Beasley Moritz Wagner
Small Forward Brandon Ingram Sviatoslav Mykhailiuk
Shooting Guard Kentavious Caldwell-Pope Josh Hart Alex Caruso
Point Guard Rajon Rondo (Q) Lance Stephenson Isaac Bonga

If Rondo returns, slating him into the starting lineup makes things look a whole lot better in terms of the Lakers’ depth. It creates a second unit spearheaded by Josh Hart, Lance Stephenson and Ivica Zubac, which should provide a solid scoring punch.

This would shift Brandon Ingram back to small forward, although he’d likely see minutes at point guard behind Rondo throughout the game. During the team’s loss to the Golden State Warriors on Monday when Ingram was the primary ballhandler, he scored 17 points with five rebounds and just three assists.

The potential return of Rondo and his ability as a facilitator should make the lives of each Lakers player a whole lot easier moving forward.

Latest on Rajon Rondo’s Injury Status

While the hope is that Rondo can return Thursday night, his status remains up in the air through the early part of the afternoon. With that said, Lakers coach Luke Walton detailed that if he plays that it’ll likely be as a starter, per ESPN’s Dave McMenamin. While Rondo has remained out since Christmas after undergoing surgery on his finger, it’s expected he will not have a minutes restriction.

Beyond that, one interesting comment stands out that Rondo made on Wednesday. As NBA on TNT’s Rosalyn Gold-Onwude revealed, the guard said if he has to play with support or tape on his hand, that he won’t suit up.

Obviously, there’s a good chance Rondo may get to make that call if his finger checks out fine with team doctors. Assuming that’s the case, things seem to be pointing toward his return against the Timberwolves.

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