The Los Angeles Lakers agreed to terms with seven new players during the first two days of free agency, reshuffling their roster and starting lineup heading into the 2021-22 season. Los Angeles also traded three players and allowed several others to walk in free agency. All that to say, Lakers fans may need a refresher on the updated Lakers roster and projected starting five.
Here is a look at our projections for the current Lakers depth chart but plenty can change based on how Frank Vogel opts to utilize the team’s new additions. The Lakers are still likely to make a few more signings as free agency continues.
Lakers Roster & Projected Starting Lineup 2021-22
C-Marc Gasol, Dwight Howard
PF- Anthony Davis, Carmelo Anthony
SF- LeBron James, Kent Bazemore, Trevor Ariza,
SG- Talen Horton-Tucker, Wayne Ellington, Malik Monk, Joel Ayayi*, Austin Reaves*
PG- Russell Westbrook, Kendrick Nunn
The Lakers have a few decisions to make beginning at center after Marc Gasol lost the starting job to Andre Drummond following his mid-season signing. Drummond is headed to the Sixers, and all indications are the big man was promised a starting gig before joining the Lakers. Dwight Howard will be in contention for this spot as well heading into training camp. It would not be a surprise if the Lakers’ next move is to add another veteran big man.
Los Angeles Times’ Brad Turner reported Anthony Davis told Russell Westbrook he is willing to play more center if it helps the team. Despite this concession, it would be an upset if Davis became the starting center, rather than simply being utilized in this role when needed during games.
Carmelo Is Expected to Play a Key Role on Lakers
With Davis, Westbrook and LeBron James eating up the team’s cap space, the Lakers need Talen Horton-Tucker to take a step forward next season. The Lakers made Horton-Tucker the team’s top priority over Alex Caruso or Dennis Schroder in terms of keeping their own free agents. Horton-Tucker starting allows Anthony to provide an offensive spark off the bench.
The Lakers ranked 23rd last season in three-point shooting and general manager Rob Pelinka made it a priority this offseason to surround James and Davis with shooters. Enter Wayne Ellington, Malik Monk, Kent Bazemore and Anthony who all can provide shooting off the bench.
Kendrick Nunn was a surprise signing as the Lakers added the former Heat starting guard with their tax-payer exception. Nunn slides into a sixth-man role with the Lakers aiming to provide offense when Westbrook comes off the court.
Lakers Summer League Roster 2021
|G||Joel Ayayi, Gonzaga|
|G||Austin Reaves, Oklahoma|
|G||Chaundee Brown, Michigan|
|F/C||Devontae Cook, Lakers|
|F||Yoeli Childs, Bayhawks|
|G||Jordan Floyd, Orlandina|
|C||Romaro Gill, Wellington|
|F||Alan Griffin, Syracuse|
|F||Vic Law, Brisbane|
|G||Mac McClung, Texas Tech|
|G||Trevelin Queen, RGV Vipers|
|G||Justin Robinson, Thunder|
|G||Zavier Simpson, OKC Blue|
|F||Tres Tinkle, Raptors 905|
Summer league players generally face an uphill battle to potentially make the team’s final roster. While the same is true for the Lakers, there is going to be an increased emphasis on the players that end up making their G-League roster.
The Lakers signed Gonzaga guard Joel Ayayi and Oklahoma swingman Austin Reaves to two-way deals as undrafted free agents. Given the age of the majority of Lakers players, the team is likely to rely on Ayayi, Reaves or other G-League players at some point during the season as injuries arise.