We interrupt free agency to inform you the Lakers have announced their Summer League roster:
First off, the names I think most are looking forward to watching most are D’Angelo Russell, Larry Nance Jr., and Brandon Ingram. These three are key pieces of the Lakers’ young core and it will be interesting to see how they have progressed (Russell, Nance) from last year and adapt (Ingram) to this environment. Summer League is not really “NBA” basketball, but it’s good competition for young players.
Another name worth watching, for me at least, is rookie big man Ivica Zubac. Summer league is not a great environment for bigs to truly showcase their full skill set (it is, truly, a guard dominated league), but I am interested in seeing the little things with him — how he does on the glass, how he moves defensively, whether he can establish deep offensive position, and how he protects the rim. Can he run the floor? Can he finish inside? I think he’ll get good minutes and want to see how he does.
Also of note is that neither Julius Randle nor Jordan Clarkson are listed here. We noted earlier in the summer they were not expected to compete in Vegas, but this pretty much confirms it. I don’t think fans should be overly concerned here, either. As 3rd year players, these guys getting a bit of rest while continuing to work on their individual games is probably more useful than getting floor time in these types of games.
Lastly, I thought Luke Walton might actually coach this team but assistant coach Jesse Mermuys will pace the sidelines instead. Mermuys was just introduced Friday as an assistant and has history coaching young players from his recent stint as Toronto’s D-League coach. I am hopeful he can bring some of that experience to LA’s summer sidelines.