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The Lakers season begins tomorrow, but their overall health and player availability has been a key storyline over the last couple of days. While Lonzo Ball made it known he would he would play, Julius Randle’s intercostal strain and Andrew Bogut’s groin issues have made their status unknown.

That, though, is no longer true.

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Preseason is behind us. We’ve counted the stats and learned a few things in the process. But, come Thursday, the real games start. The question is, what will be the Lakers starting lineup? We still don’t know.

The question of who will start at power forward is still unknown. We have our opinions, but Luke Walton is still mum on who it will be. If I were a betting man, I’d lean towards Larry Nance who has been getting run with the first five and because Julius Randle still isn’t practicing fully (he did not scrimmage in Tuesday’s session).

The other question, though, has nothing to do with injury or a positional battle, but with a suspension. Kentavious Caldwell-Pope will miss the first two games of the regular season after pleading guilty to DUI charges while still a member of the Detroit Pistons. KCP’s suspension opens the door for another Lakers wing to join the starting group. Only, we don’t know who it will be.

And neither does Walton. Or at least he’s not saying even if he does.

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Lonzo Ball practiced fully, without limitations, on Monday and it was a welcomed sight to all. After missing the final four games of the preseason, he was back on the court with his teammates for all activities — including the team’s scrimmage which concluded the team’s work. After finally getting through an entire session, Ball cleared himself for Thursday’s season opener pretty definitively:

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lakers-power-forward-position-battle

If you ask Luke Walton he’ll tell you that the starter for the Lakers power forward position is yet to be determined. There are three candidates – Julius Randle, Larry Nance Jr., and Kyle Kuzma. Each offers specific skill sets that are varied and useful enough to be considered legitimate answers.

Walton, does seem to be leaning towards Randle or Nance, however:

Are either Randle or Nance the best answer? Is it actually Kuzma? While Walton and his staff will have the final say, we commissioned our writers to weigh in on the topic too. So, without further ado, here’s what the folks at FB&G think about it all…

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lakers-analysis-ten-takeaways-lakers-preseason

Lakers preseason is over and the regular season is around the corner. But before we close the chapter on the exhibition season, it’s good to take a look back and think about what we learned and how those games can inform our expectations for the real games. So, without further ado, here are ten takeaways from the Lakers preseason.

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lakers-waive-vander-blue-briante-weber-travis-wear

With the NBA season starting within the week, the Lakers waived Vander Blue, Briante Weber, and Travis Wear per a press release Saturday. The roster now stands at 16, with no other cuts expected (Alex Caruso, the 16th player on the roster is on a two-way contract and does not need to be cut). No additional Lakers roster moves are expected before the start of the season.

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It is the final Lakers preseason game before the regular season starts. If we’re tracking news, Lonzo Ball is out and Andrew Bogut is too — which should not be a surprise considering we were told this exact thing could happen. And, honestly, this is what I would have done too if the decision was up to me.

Look, I wish Lonzo could have played more this preseason. The Lakers need him; they depend on him. The fact that he didn’t play a single minute with Brook Lopez in an actual game situation isn’t ideal. The fact that, despite playing well in summer league, Lonzo hasn’t gotten much floor time to find his stride against better players is not good either. But, there’s nothing to do about that now. He’s out this game and will be thrown into the fire next week when the games “count”.

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The Lakers sign Travis Wear isn’t something I expected to hear today, but here we are. The team announced Wear’s signing via a press release today. Wear, who played for the Lakers summer league championship team, is a stretch PF who helped space the floor as both a 4 and, in some super small lineups, a 5 in Las Vegas.

If the timing of this deal seems strange, it kind of is. After all, the Lakers just released two players this week to bring their training camp roster down to 18. Wear’s signing, then, brings them back up to 19, and does so right before the last exhibition game and before additional cuts will need to be made.

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