One of the Los Angeles Lakers‘ top players recently teased fans with his explosive potential in a viral workout clip.
Guard Kendrick Nunn, who missed the entire 2021-22 season due to a bone bruise in his right knee, looked sharp while working on his game with fellow NBA players. ClutchPoints tweeted the video on August 15.
Nunn picked up his $5.3 million player option with the Lakers for next season. The Chicago native has career averages of 15.0 points, 2.9 rebounds and 3.0 assists in 123 regular-season games with the Miami Heat.
Nunn, 27, is expected to be Russell Westbrook’s backup next season.
Nunn Wants to Bring Consistency to Lakers
During a July 26 interview with Spectrum SportsNet’s Chris Geeter McGee, Nunn said he wanted to bring “consistency” to the Lakers, who missed the playoffs last season despite having future Hall of Famers LeBron James, Anthony Davis, Carmelo Anthony, Dwight Howard and Westbrook.
Los Angeles went 33-49 and didn’t even qualify for the play-in tournament.
“They should expect consistency,” Nunn told McGee. “That’s my number one thing. Coming in, night in, night out, and being consistent on both ends of the floor.”
Last season, the Lakers ranked 22nd in the NBA in 3-point shooting, hitting just 34.7% of their team attempts. Nunn is a career 36.4% shooter from beyond the arc, so he projects to fit well next to James and Davis.
A left-handed player, Nunn averaged 14.6 points, 3.2 rebounds and 2.6 assists for the Heat during the 2020-21 season while shooting 38.1% from 3-point range. If Nunn is healthy, the Lakers could be more dynamic on offense next season.
Bleacher Report Thinks Nunn Should Play over Westbrook in Small-Ball Lineup
In an August 16 piece titled “The Small-Ball Lineup Every NBA Team Needs to Showcase In 2022-23,” Bleacher Report’s Andy Bailey wrote that the Lakers’ small-ball lineup shouldn’t include Westbrook. Bailey had Nunn in his lineup over Westbrook.
“There’s a temptation to go with a Russ-LeBron James-Anthony Davis trio here, but having Westbrook and AD in the same lineup is just begging the opposition to pack the paint. Instead, we’ll suggest something the Lakers started to embrace last season: point center LeBron,” Bailey wrote. “In 2021-22, James logged roughly half his minutes at the 5. And though L.A. had a negative point differential with those lineups, it was still better than when he played the 3 or the 4.
“The current Lakers roster doesn’t have the ideal pieces to surround LeBron at the 5. But if they tried to squeeze as much shooting as possible into the other four spots, this lineup could at least be interesting. None of Kendrick Nunn, Austin Reaves, Talen Horton-Tucker and Stanley Johnson are proven shooters (with the possible exception of Nunn), but they’ve shown flashes. Horton-Tucker and Johnson both have hints of secondary playmaking potential, too.”
Nunn is a better fit next to James due to his ability to shoot from the perimeter. Westbrook shot only 29.8% from beyond the arc last season. The one-time MVP had the sixth-worst effective field goal percentage in the league, and among 46 players to take at least 1,000 shots, Westbrook ranked 42nd in true shooting percentage.