Lakers Rumors: LeBron, Lineup, Ball, Randle

While LeBron James is – of course – a lock to open the season in the Lakers‘ starting lineup, the team isn’t ready to pencil in the rest of its starting five quite yet, general manager Rob Pelinka said today. As Ohm Youngmisuk of (Twitter link) relays, Pelinka told reporters that the other four spots in the Lakers’ lineup will be up for grabs. That includes the point guard position, where Rajon Rondo and Lonzo Ball are expected to engage in open competition.

Here are a few more Lakers-related notes and updates:

  • Lonzo Ball and his management group are evaluating options for his injured knee, according to Pelinka (Twitter link via Mike Bresnahan of Spectrum SportsNet). None of the options being considered would involve a long-term recovery though, so Pelinka expects the second-year point guard to be “100% available for training camp.”
  • Asked if the Lakers considered signing Julius Randle to a long-term deal this offseason, Pelinka pointed out that the team didn’t give multiple years to anyone except LeBron, tweets Tania Ganguli of The Los Angeles Times. “We did identify going into this offseason to keep cap flexibility going into 2019,” Pelinka said.
  • ESPN’s Zach Lowe and Ohm Youngmisuk pass along some Lakers contract details, with Lowe tweeting that James’ new four-year contract includes a 15% trade kicker, while Youngmisuk writes that Sviatoslav Mykhailiuk‘s 2018/19 salary of $1.5MM is guaranteed, but his second and third years are non-guaranteed. It looks like L.A. gave Mykhailiuk a larger-than-usual first-year salary in exchange for allowing the team to maximize its 2019 flexibility.
  • Ramona Shelburne of and Lee Jenkins of both published excellent, in-depth looks at LeBron’s free agent decision. Each piece is packed with interesting tidbits and is worth checking out in full.
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26 thoughts on “Lakers Rumors: LeBron, Lineup, Ball, Randle

  1. Fbravo63

    I say mix both lineups with vets and rooks.
    Ball, Stephenson, James, Kuzma, mcgee

    second unit is Rondo, KCP, ingram, wagner, zubac
    Need to mix em I think that would work out great not exactly those lineups but get a mix

    • acarneglia

      I agree with those units, I think Wagner and Deng could split time at PF though if Deng is still there opening night

    • Chris

      KCP will start over Lance. Hart is a better player. But Lance is a great player to have off the bench.

    • oriolesravenstimberwolves04

      Honestly I might be tempted to start Wagner to maximize floor spacing.

  2. Kenleyfornia74

    I hope the Lakers use Deng if he is still with the team. They had him at his weaker position small forward in 2016-17. Think he can be a productive player at PF off the bench

    • formerlyz

      Its amazing how they watched him struggle offensively the way he did in Miami at the 3, before he moved to the 4/5 and exploded, which got him paid by them, and then thought he should only play the 3 2 years later. Genius use of that deal. And Luol Deng is such a good dude, and hard worker. He deserves better than getting trashed for not even getting the opportunity he thought he was getting when he signed that deal. The money is obviously nice, but everyone hates him for the Lakers inability to know who he even is. Not his fault they never used him right

      • padam

        You realize he made his name by playing the three. Was a solid two-way player in college and Chicago before moving to the Heat.

        • formerlyz

          Right and time goes by, and if its proven over 3 years he cant play the 3 anymore, and is amazing at the 4/5, I think the writing would obviously be on the wall that he cant play the 3 anymore, especially not exclusively

  3. cesc

    Totally agree if you have Deng by opening day, why wouldn’t you play him, of course he isn’t the player once was, but he was an all-star, he was pretty good.

    • Chris

      I really have no idea why they didn’t try to integrate Deng into their lineups more last year though Randle and Kuzma made the most of those minutes. If the Lakers don’t sign another Center they will be playing a lot of small ball

  4. formerlyz

    Rondo, KCP, Ingram, LeBron, Zubac. Kuzma, Hart, Lance, Javale, Ball off the bench. Add a depth piece or 2, maybe someone that can play with toughness in the front court, and the 2 shooters they drafted (Wagner and Mykhailiuk) pretty much round out the roster, and that looks pretty good assuming health, although it remains to be seen what they get out of the 5 other than Javale. Wagner looks better than I thought he would. He has been surprisingly good on defense, in my opinion. I could see them giving him a long look in the rotation. I just assumed they’d add another piece there.

    LeBron makes them a contender by himself. They can also potentially make additions during the season, and they’re set up for next year to possibly add 1, or even 2 more high end players

  5. Dark14ry

    LeBron does not make them a contender. LeBron makes them a playoff team. They will fight for the 6-8 spot and will go out in the 1st round.
    I cant wait for the chaos when Ball is sitting and Rondo is starting.
    The fit papa bell will throw is gonna be epic!

    • Kenleyfornia74

      Keep telling yourself that. Lakers will fight for the 3-5 seed. Go in the playoffs til they play GSW. An 8 seed with Lebron lol

      • supermusicgenius

        You’re an idiot to even think that the Lakers will fight for the 3-5 seed. The West is too loaded. Yes, LeBron will make them a lot better but it’s not going to make them sudden contenders for the West championship. I do not agree that they will be the 8th seed but there is better chances of them being 6-8 than 3-5. Top 2 will remain between Houston and Golden State without a doubt. If Thunder can get passed their issues, they will be top 4.

        Rondo will most likely start over Ball which means his dad will throw a fit. It is what it is. The best rookie on the team last year without a doubt was Kyle Kuzma. The Ball family didn’t get their wish of signing the other Ball brother so that’s a MAJOR WIN for the Lakers.

        • x%sure

          Ball can throw a fit if he wants, but if the media ignores him so what. & So what anyway.

      • Claude Rains

        Your on drugs right? Not saying the Lakers make the top 4 seeds in the West but 5th or 6th for sure at least!

  6. Clyde Be

    Whatever team has Kawhi, Kawhi will nullify James, and then what do you have, a floundering team potentially.

      • supermusicgenius

        Remember when LeBron was there in Cleveland? He was the only star player and he bolted for Miami because he couldn’t win a championship with them. It’s the same now. No star player but him, he won’t succeed. Wait for 2019…

  7. Claude Rains

    Lakers need a legitimate young big man and I don’t care what anyone says Jahlil Okafor is definitely worth a shot here because the kid is still loaded with talent he has been in the league for 3 years and that’s with the Wolves and Nets! Not much of a shot to say the least. I think the Lakers could stretch the floor and there will be a ton of opportunities for a big man to log points and I still believe this kid could be a good player. People are talking about Luol Deng!!! Really Luol Deng? C’mon the guy was washed up 3 years ago and I doubt he will even get a chance to play this year and Wagner is not going to do much of nothing so like it or not Jahlil Okafor makes sense here.

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