Lakers Star Hasn’t Progressed to Playing 5-on-5 Yet: Report


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One of the Los Angeles Lakers‘ best players hasn’t progressed to playing five-on-five yet.

According to an August 3 report from Jovan Buha of The Athletic, Kendrick Nunn hasn’t resumed five-on-five play. The guard missed the entire 2021-22 season due to a bone bruise in his right knee.

“Nunn recently spoke with Spectrum SportsNet about his health and said he feels 100 percent. He has been training with the younger Lakers – Reaves, Johnson, Wenyen Gabriel, Talen Horton-Tucker, and Mason Jones – during their Monday through Thursday offseason workouts. He hasn’t resumed five-on-five play yet, which is the next big hurdle. It seems like he should be ready to go by the start of training camp, but recovery isn’t always linear,” Buha wrote.

Nunn picked up his $5.3 million player option 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 Looking 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, Russell Westbrook, Carmelo Anthony and Dwight Howard.

“They should expect consistency,” Nunn said. “That’s my number one thing. Coming in, night in, night out, and being consistent on both ends of the floor.”

Nunn is a career 36.4% shooter from beyond the arc, so he projects to fit well next to James and Davis. Last season, the Lakers ranked 22nd in the league in 3-point shootinghitting only 34.7% of their team attempts.

If Nunn is healthy, Los Angeles could be more dynamic on offense next season.

Nunn Could Be Included in a Westbrook Trade

According to Buha, Nunn could be included in a Westbrook trade. The Lakers are actively trying to trade Westbrook, who was second in the NBA in turnovers last season.

“Nunn technically wasn’t signed this summer, but he’s essentially an offseason addition. He may end up being the best player the Lakers ‘add,’ unless they make a trade,” Buha wrote. “In the scenario that Westbrook is traded and the Lakers don’t get a lead ballhandler back, Nunn’s role could significantly increase, as would Reaves’ and Horton-Tucker’s – though there’s also a chance Nunn or Horton-Tucker is included in a Westbrook deal given their tradable salaries.”

Shams Charania of The Athletic reported on July 25 that the Utah Jazz, New York Knicks and Indiana Pacers are among the teams who have discussed deals with the Lakers involving Westbrook and draft picks. However, no exchanges appear to be looming in those conversations.

Meanwhile, Bob Kravitz of The Athletic reported on July 22 that a package that would have seen the Lakers trade Westbrook and a first-round pick to the Pacers for big man Myles Turner and shooting guard Buddy Hield is “currently dead.” Indiana wants a second first-round pick added to the deal and Los Angeles doesn’t want to part ways with more than one draft pick.

Westbrook, the NBA’s all-time leader in triple-doubles, started 78 games for the Lakers last season. The nine-time All-Star and two-time scoring champion averaged 18.5 points, 7.4 rebounds and 7.1 assists.

Nunn, 27, has been mentioned in several Westbrook trade proposals due to his tradable salary.

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