The Los Angeles Lakers guard rotation is now overflowing with talent, heaping pressure onto first-time head coach Darvin Ham to get creative with his rotations.
With Russell Westbrook, Patrick Beverley, Dennis Schroder, Austin Reaves, Kendrick Nunn, and Lonnie Walker IV all on the roster, managing minutes, and egos, is going to be a job unto itself.
However, according to long-time NBA scribe, Marc Stein, the Lakers will look to combat their overflow of guards by sliding some of them into a small forward role next season, as they look to balance the offensive and defensive talents they have available. As it would seem, Patrick Beverley could be the biggest beneficiary of this decision, as he will surely be the first small forward off the bench for the new-look Lakers.
The Sarver Situation latest, Dennis Schroder to the Lakers, Nets and Warriors scuttle and lots more … all via the latest This Week In Basketball column (International Edition) delivering you around-the-league NBA notes on a Sunday: https://t.co/tSIbSUcWW8
— Marc Stein (@TheSteinLine) September 18, 2022
“With Westbrook poised to remain a Laker when new coach Darvin Ham opens his first training camp as L.A.’s new coach, sources say Beverley is regarded internally by the club as a 3-and-D wing and not as a point guard at this stage of his career. The Lakers, in other words, see Westbrook and Schröder as their point guards as of Sept. 18 … and the likes of Beverley, Kendrick Nunn, Austin Reaves, and Lonnie Walker IV as 2s and 3s,” Stein wrote in his September 18 newsletter.
Seeing Beverley at the small forward position will be intriguing, as he’s never spent significant time in that position, and at six-foot-one, would be incredibly undersized – which means the Lakers are relying on his bulldog style of defense to help paper over any cracks that form due to his physical limitations.
Nick Wright Expects Beverley to be Traded
Not everybody believes in Patrick Beverley’s potential impact for the Lakers this season, as the outspoken guard is unproven on a championship-caliber team. Sure, Beverley helped set the tone for the Minnesota Timberwolves last season, but he was still sent out in the trade package to acquire Rudy Gobert.