The Los Angeles Lakers will open as co-favorites to win the Summer League circuit that is played in Las Vegas. With the young talent that the Lakers possess, it is easy to see why and anything less than that Summer League title should be viewed as a disappointment.
The Lakers summer league team will consist of a mixture of rookies, second-year players and G-League hopefuls that are looking for a shot in the NBA. Lonzo Ball and Brandon Ingram will be pairing up for the first time this summer, and hopefully these two can lead the Lakers to a very successful summer.
Let us take a look at the projected starters this summer.
Point Guard: Lonzo Ball
Lonzo Ball will be looking to silence all of his critics with an impressive summer league performance. Ball will be handed the keys to the Lakers offense, and it will be up to his up-tempo style of play to bring the Lakers back to the Showtime era. The main areas in which Ball will be judged this summer will be his ability to hit shots from the three-point area, his ability to set other players up to score and how well he can defend.
Shooting Guard: David Nwaba
The Los Angeles Lakers recently picked up the team option for David Nwaba, meaning Nwaba will be a member of the team for another year. During the second half of the season last year, Nwaba was able to impress the coaching staff and front office with his tremendous work ethic and his amazing defense. Look for Nwaba to try and score more on offense this summer to prove that he should be given more minutes when the regular season rolls around.
Small Forward: Brandon Ingram
With Brandon Ingram being selected to the NBA All-Rookie Second Team, look for Ingram to play with a chip on his shoulder. He finished the second half of last season with some impressive basketball and look for him to continue that great stretch of basketball headed into this summer. Ingram, along with Lonzo, will be the leaders of this summer league team so the pressure will be on them to deliver a title to this team.
Power Forward: Kyle Kuzma
For many Lakers fans, this will be the first time that they will get the chance to see this very talented player out of the University of Utah. Kuzma is a talented big who plays with a ton of speed and has worked on developing his three-point shot. With the Lakers currently log-jammed at the power forward position, this will be Kuzma’s chance to impress his coaching staff to try and get minutes for the upcoming season.
Center: Ivica Zubac
Ivica Zubac is itching to get back on the basketball court after an ankle sprain kept him off the court the last month of the season. However while on the court, Zubac was able to play some amazing basketball showcasing his offensive skillset and rejecting shots at the rim on the defensive side. Look for Zubac to use this summer as his chance to work on his low-post moves and just to get more game experience.
Prediction: Los Angeles Lakers Summer League Champs
With the firepower that the Lakers will have in their starting rotation, and players such as Josh Hart, Vander Blue and Thomas Bryant coming off the bench, the Lakers should easily run opposing teams off the floor and win the Las Vegas title. This would be the first of many steps that the Lakers will need to take to turn the franchise around.