Darvin Ham Sheds Light on Injured Lakers’ Statuses Amid Conflicting Reports

Darvin Ham, Los Angeles Lakers

Getty Head coach Darvin Ham of the Los Angeles Lakers.

Los Angeles Lakers head coach Darvin Ham did not get specific in addressing the trio of injured rotation players: Cam Reddish, Jarred Vanderbilt, and Gabe Vincent.

With all three missing significant portions of the season, Ham’s words were measured.

“[Vincent]’s doing his individual process. It’s ongoing, but it’s ongoing in a really positive way. Same for Vando,” Ham told reporters on March 20. “Cam was able to participate today, and we look forward to seeing him play on [March 21].”

Reddish has missed the last four games and seven of the last 29 contests.

He worked his way into a key contributor after injuries thrust him into the starting lineup. Injuries have been an issue throughout his career, and this season is no different.

The Lakers wing is averaging 7.3 points, 2.5 rebounds, and 1.5 assists while knocking down 37.7% of his looks from beyond the arc in 26 starts this season. His availability is a step in the right direction for the Lakers in an injury-plagued season.

Conflicting Reports Emerge on Lakers’ Injuries

This all comes on the heels of a report from CBS Sports’ Bill Reiter that all three players would be out for the season

“Sources tell @CBSSports that Los Angeles Lakers players Christian Wood, Jarred Vanderbilt and Gabe Vincent will miss the rest of the season,” Reiter posted on X on March 19. “While Vanderbilt still could return, sources say, the expectation is that will not happen. @espn first reported the news on Wood.”

ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski reported on Wood’s surgery.

What Wojanrowski doesn’t say in that report, is that Wood would for certain miss the rest of the season. Neither Ham nor the Lakers have suggested as much at this point either.

“ESPN Sources with [Dave McMenamin]: Los Angeles Lakers F Christian Wood will undergo an arthroscopic procedure on his left knee and is expected to be sidelined for several weeks,” Wojnarowski reported in a post on X on March 18.

The Stein Line’s Marc Stein also offered a report regarding Vincent that contradicted Reiter’s.

“Lakers G Gabe Vincent is nearing a return and intends to play again this season barring any setbacks, league sources tell @TheSteinLine,” Stein reported on X on March 19. “Vincent has played in just 5 games as a Laker and underwent arthroscopic surgery (left knee) in late December.”

Darvin Ham’s Rotations Finally a Non-Topic for Lakers

Vanderbilt (29 games) has played more than Vincent (five games) this season. But neither player has made the impact the Lakers anticipated coming into the season.

All three of Reddish, Vanderbilt, and Vincent are under contract for next season. Perhaps the Lakers take a cautious approach with them considering how long they’ve been out. The team’s rotations are clearer without them at this point.

Ham took criticism, some internal, about his rotations earlier in the season.

Injuries to Vanderbilt and Vincent played a role in Ham’s decision-making. They forced him to try different combinations to figure out what worked.

As they come down the stretch, their rotations figure to shorten anyway. Even if all three players return to active status for the Lakers, working them back into shape and integrating them into the game plan could prove challenging for Ham.