Currently, the Lakers starting roster lists Mozgov (who just injured himself), Randle, Deng, Russel and Clarkson. Most probably, the Lakers’ second line would be Tarik Black for Mozgov, Larry Nance, Jr. for Randle, Ingram for Deng and Calderon or Huertas for Russel, at point guard. This leaves Lou Williams, who is the only other shooting guard on the LA roster, to backup Clarkson. But this also leaves room for the Lakers to experiment with the shooting guard position this season.
Though Lou Williams is the obvious and most direct choice, the Lakers roster may still have more to offer than just TWO players who can play shooting guard. Rookie Brandon Ingram, for one, is yet to secure his place in the LA squad. The team surely did not pick the player just to let him sit on the bench and watch.
So as Hannah Kulik of lakersnation.com suggested, maybe (just maybe), putting Ingram at reserve shooting the guard to back up Clarkson (or small forward to back up Deng) can be an option the Lakers may consider. Clarkson, with all his improvements, cannot put out 48 minutes each night, nor will he be able to dish out 20 plus points every night.
Even with Ingram’s not-so-shooting-guard like features, being 6’9” and with a 7’3” wingspan, the rookie has already impressed at the Rookie Transition Program (RTP), displaying his skills, shooting from outside. Plus, don’t forget that there was a Laker great who stood 6’9” and played point guard for the team (and won five rings)- Magic Johnson.
These days, guys at small forward and shooting guard have also become interchangeable, acting as wingmen for their team. Kawhi Leonard, who is 6’8”, and Paul George, who is 6’9” have shifted easily into shooting guard position when needed. Kobe Bryant, in his last season, became a small forward after perennially playing at shooting guard for the Lakers.
With Lou Williams is also coming from a ‘meh’ season, with a 0.413 shooting percentage and .342 three-point percentage, it seems that fate will really require the Lakers to experiment with the shooting guard position this season. With a young and dynamic squad, options may actually be limitless for Luke Walton, who has a chance to bring the team back to its former days of glory.
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