Lakers Veteran Trevor Ariza Expected to Miss Significant Time

Getty Images Lakers teammates Russell Westbrook, Trevor Ariza and LeBron James.

The Los Angeles Lakers are expected to be without Trevor Ariza for at least the next two months as he recovers from a procedure on his ankle.

The Lakers announced the update on Ariza in a release following the team’s second preseason game.

Lakers forward Trevor Ariza had an arthroscopic debridement procedure performed on his right ankle on Wednesday. He is expected to make a full and complete recovery. Team doctors will reevaluate Ariza in approximately 8 weeks, and an update will be provided at that time

Ariza has been out for the majority of training camp and now his debut date with the team is uncertain. The Lakers will open their regular season schedule in less than two weeks against the Golden State Warriors.

The Lakers are still figuring out their rotation, which Ariza was anticipated to play a key part of as a rangy, perimeter defender. Ariza played in 30 games last season with the Heat — 27 of those starts — averaging 9.4 points and 4.8 rebounds.

It’s unknown if Ariza would have wrangled a starting role with the Lakers, but like many others on the team, the veteran was focused simply on winning.

“When you’re trying to win a championship, the only thing that matters is the success of the team,” Ariza told reporters after signing with LA. “The idea is for everybody to make each other better every day, and to cheer for your teammates’ success.”

Frank Vogel Doesn’t Want to Mix Up Rotations

Frank Vogel evaluates potential lineups for the first road trip of the year | Lakers PracticeSubscribe for the latest Lakers' content: Follow us on Facebook: Follow us on Instagram: Follow us on Twitter: Get the Lakers app:…2021-10-05T21:57:09Z

The Lakers had a busy offseason and are rebuilding the rotation, nearly from scratch. One big decision the Lakers have to make is how their big man minutes will be spread, with Anthony Davis expected to start at center and Dwight Howard and DeAndre Jordan waiting in the wings.

“It’s been different every day,” head coach Frank Vogel said after practice on Tuesday, October 6. “We’re trying to play those three guys as much as possible early in camp while they haven’t been playing the games. Just trying to get as many minutes together as we can with that. We look at a different combination every day. There’s a lot to learn about every group that you see whether we’re playing a big alongside AD or playing AD at the five.”

Vogel doesn’t want to do a lot of tinkering during the season, although he’ll have to once Ariza is ready to roll.

“I don’t want to get into a situation where we’re changing lineups on a regular basis,” Vogel said. “I think hopefully when we start the season we can settle into our base look and audible time-to-time if needed, but I don’t want to be changing every other game.”

Carmelo Anthony Impresses in Preseason Debut

A Lakers veteran that is looking spry is Carmelo Anthony, who made his preseason debut in a 117-105 loss to the Suns on Wednesday. Anthony scored 8 points in 17 minutes, showing that he can be a unique weapon playing alongside.

“We brought him here for a reason,” Vogel said. “He’s attacking the right match-ups. He’s going to have the green light. He’s going to help us in that regard, too. Obviously, he’ll be a floor-spacer as well when the ball’s in Russ and LeBron’s hands, a lot. That’s what we love about Melo is he’s got that versatility.”

Anthony got his feet wet but he knows both he and the team have a long way to go.

“At this point in the season, it’s about figuring it out and getting the kinks out and trying to get everybody back on the court at one time,” Anthony told reporters on Wednesday. “So, different lineups, different style of play with the personnel that’s out there. We’re just getting through it, man. It’s the second preseason game. We haven’t even two weeks to do training camp and preseason so we’ll be alright. We’ll figure it out.”

The Lakers’ next preseason game is on Friday against Golden State.

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