The Los Angeles Lakers revealed a bit of good news as the team’s newest guard Ben McLemore will be available to make his debut on Thursday, April 8th against the Heat. Lakers head coach Frank Vogel also confirmed that starting center Andre Drummond will be back on the court when the team takes on the Heat.
“He [McLemore] is available. … If we have the opportunity to get him in there, we’ll get him in there,” Vogel noted on the morning of the team’s matchup against the Heat, per Lakers Nation’s Ryan Ward.
McLemore met with the media for the first time since joining the Lakers. As evidenced by his recent Instagram post, McLemore is thrilled to be teaming up with LeBron James and Anthony Davis in Los Angeles after being released by Houston.
“I think McLemore used the word ‘happy’ approximately 40 times in like 4 minutes, and he wraps up by saying it again,” Silver Screen and Roll’s Harrison Faigen noted on Twitter. “‘I’m just happy. I’m excited to get started.'”
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Drummond Hinted at His Return on Instagram
Vogel confirmed what many expected in regards to Drummond’s status as the Lakers center hinted to playing in a recent Instagram post. Drummond only played 14 minutes in his Lakers’ debut before leaving the game against the Bucks with a toe injury. The big man joked that he is still without a toenail.
“Still missing a toenail but tomorrow night we’re lit 😂💜💛,” Drummond joked on Instagram.
Vogel Remained Vague on Whether McLemore Will Play vs. Heat
There is a difference in being available to play versus actually taking the court. It will be interesting to see if Vogel plays McLemore in his first opportunity in a Lakers uniform. Given the ongoing Lakers’ injuries, it would not be a surprise if McLemore plays sooner rather than later. Vogel praised McLemore as an “elite” shooter after the signing was made official.
“He’s a guy that we had to know where he was at all times in that Houston series [during the 2020 playoffs] because he’s such an elite shooter,” Vogel said after the Lakers’ win over the Raptors. “Like I said, we’re trying to win a championship here. So, as much firepower as we can get, as many weapons as we can get we’re going to try to get. Ben instantly elevates our ability to knock down threes on the backside when double teams come and to play the drive and kick game that the modern NBA is made on. So, we’re thrilled about his addition and looking forward to getting him into some minutes and into our program.”
The Lakers did not provide a new update on LeBron James or Anthony Davis as the team’s top two players continue to recover from injuries. Vogel recently indicated that the team plans to be cautious with both players and avoid rushing them onto the court before they are ready.