3 Lakers training camp battles that fans should keep an eye on

Rui Hachimura and Jarred Vanderbilt (Photo by Will Newton/Getty Images)
Rui Hachimura and Jarred Vanderbilt (Photo by Will Newton/Getty Images) /
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D'Angelo Russell Lakers
(Photo by Ronald Martinez/Getty Images) /

Lakers starting point guard: D’Angelo Russell vs Gabe Vincent

If you have paid attention to the articles regarding each in recent memory, you would probably think Gabe Vincent is the likelier candidate to start next to Austin Reaves in the Lakers’ backcourt. D’Lo has received a surplus of slander after vanishing against the Nuggets in the Western Conference Finals.

Gabe Vincent has received heaps of praise for his ways as an unsung hero for the Miami Heat last postseason. D’Lo is a former number 2 overall pick, while Vincent was an undrafted free agent. If you are rooting for the underdog, you are rooting for Gabe Vincent in this battle.

However, Russell looked like an excellent complement to LeBron and AD. His savviness in the pick and roll is smooth, and his jump shot from all levels is silky. His defense can be shaky at times, but his creativity as a secondary playmaker can take a lot of pressure off of the superstars. Furthermore, Russell and Austin Reaves simply looked too good next to each other last season to punt on so quickly.

Unless Vincent comes out and absolutely blows everyone away, this spot should be Russell’s to lose. That is by no means a knock on Vincent, who is a worthy candidate for the position. Either way, these two guys offer a nice mix of skillsets from the guard spot.

And with the team planning to put the ball in Reaves’ hands more frequently this season, this is not necessarily a competition for the starting point guard spot. The two starting Laker guards, whether it be Reaves-Russell or Reaves-Vincent, will essentially split point guard duties (along with LeBron).