The 2021-22 season has not started off on a great foot for the Los Angeles Lakers. While a 5-5 record is not terrible and is certainly manageable, the Lakers have had a really easy schedule to start the season and could have racked up wins to this point.
Part of the reason why the Lakers have struggled out of the gates is injuries. LeBron James missing games is the headlining story but the Lakers are thin even win LeBron is playing. The Lakers have missed four legitimate rotation players since the start of the season. Of course, a team is going to be thin when over a quarter of its rotation is hurt.
All four players will play legitimate roles on the team and probably average around 20 minutes per game. The Lakers’ rotation is going to look much different when these four return.
But which of the four will have the biggest impact? That is what we are here to decide.
Ranking the injured Los Angeles Lakers rotation players by impact when they return:
4. Wayne Ellington
On paper, Wayne Ellington is an excellent fit on this Los Angeles Lakers team because of his ability to shoot the three-ball. Ellington had a career year shooting the ball last season and when he is at his best is legitimately one of the 10-15 best shooters in the league.
The flip side of that coin is that Ellington is not always consistent shooting the three-ball. More importantly, Ellington is not very good on defense, which is going to limit his impact.
The Lakers’ shooting has been fine thus far this season and Ellington is not really going to add much more than the team already has in that regard. He will obviously give the team more shooting depth, but with his defense, it is hard to say that he will have a bigger impact than the other injured rotation players.