Kendrick Nunn delivered a message to Los Angeles Lakers fans via social media this week after it was announced that he suffered a setback in his rehab from injury.
Nunn took to Twitter with his message, which made a promise to Laker fans.
“Lake Show I promise I want to be out there helping my team. Stay patient with me,” Nunn tweeted. “This process has been just as frustrating for me. I’ll return as soon as I’m healthy! It’ll be worth the wait”
Nunn signed with the Lakers this offseason but has yet to play a game with the team, suffering the injury in the preseason. He was expected to be a significant part of the rotation.
He averaged 15.3 points, 3.2 rebounds and 2.6 assists in 67 starts with the Heat during his rookie season, landing on the All-Rookie team and finishing runner-up in Rookie of the Year voting. Last season he averaged 14.6 points, 3.2 rebounds and 2.6 assists.
Lakers head coach Frank Vogel revealed the setback in Nunn’s return earlier this month.
“Kendrick actually suffered a setback,” Vogel said, before catching himself and rephrasing. “Well, not necessarily a setback, but the ramped-up activity, his knee didn’t respond well to it.”
Malik Monk Steps Up in Nunn’s Absence
The Lakers were optimistic that Nunn would be returning soon and the team was planning to run him hard once he joined the lineup in an attempt to see how he meshed with the current starters, including LeBron James, Anthony Davis — who is now injured — and Russell Westbrook.
“I have an idea, but it still really is all to still be played out,” Vogel said earlier this month. “Kendrick is going to get a ton of minutes when he gets back healthy. It’s going to be at the expense of somebody else, at least for the time being, to see how he fits in our system alongside our stars, and all that stuff will play out. So I have a general idea, but all of that is still to be determined.”
While the Nunn signing obviously hasn’t played out as planned, the Lakers have been getting better production than expected out of Malik Monk. The former first-round pick is averaging 12.1 points and shooting better than 40 percent from 3-point range.
“What I love about Malik is that he is a guy who is very confident in himself, but he’s not over-confident, you know what I mean?” Vogel said. “He knows he can contribute, knows he can play the game at a very high level. And he knows where he fits in the hierarchy of our team. And has a great attitude, a great spirit.”
Nunn is Being Shopped Via Trade
There’s a chance Nunn is gone before he even plays a game with the Lakers. The 26-year-old guard is being shopped as the Lakers look to make a move before the deadline. While Nunn garners some interest for his talent, he’s an important chip for the Lakers because of his salary.
He signed the mid-level exception with the Lakers this offseason and has a salary of just over $5 million per season. That’s important with the Lakers looking to match salaries in significant deals and only having some bulky contracts and minimum deals to work with.
The Lakers included Nunn in a deal for Pistons forward Jerami Grant, per veteran NBA reporter Mark Stein.