Projecting the statistics for the Lakers backups:
PG: Gabe Vincent
PROJECTED STATLINE: 19 MPG | 7 PPG | 1.5 RPG | 2.5 APG | 1 SPG | 0 BPG | 45/36/84%
Vincent proved more than capable of his ability as a secondary scorer/playmaker in last season’s postseason, but that is not what he was primarily signed for. Similar to Vanderbilt, the numbers may not be too gigantic this year for him.
However, his point-of-attack defense should be crucial after the loss of Dennis Schroder this summer. Plus, he is a much steadier shooter and much less erratic with the ball in his hands than Dennis the Menace. He should prove to be a very valuable addition to the team, even if his numbers do not leap off the page.
G: Max Christie
PROJECTED STATLINE: 15 MPG | 5.5 PPG | 2 RPG | 1 APG | 1 SPG | 1 BPG | 44/37/82%
Christie owned his opponents in this year’s annual Summer League. While that dominance (and his overall demeanor as a Rookie last season) offer a lot of promise for his NBA future, he is now part of a very crowded depth chart at the wing spots. He may not score a ton of points in 2023-2024 but do not let that contain your excitement about what he can become beyond this season. This year, he will join Gabe Vincent, Cam Reddish, and Taurean Prince to offer a formidable corps of wing defenders off the pine.
F: Taurean Prince
PROJECTED STATLINE: 14 MPG | 5 PPG | 2.5 RPG | 1 APG | 0.5 SPG | 0.5 BPG | 49/40/83%
Sticking to the trend of low numbers/high-impact players, Taurean Prince comes over from Minnesota as what should be one of the better lowkey signings of the NBA offseason. His overall numbers will not show it, but expect Prince to play a prominent role as a veteran presence for his coaches and teammates to turn to when faced with adversity.
F: Rui Hachimura
PROJECTED STATLINE: 25 MPG | 12 PPG | 5 RPG | 1 APG | 0.5 SPG | 0.5 BPG | 45/35/74%
Flipping from defense to the offensive sparks off the bench this season, Rui Hachimura could very easily find himself starting next to LeBron and AD in the frontcourt. But after the success that the outlined starting 5 showcased after last season’s trade deadline, why would the coaching staff re-invent a perfectly stable wheel?
And with so much defensive versatility already available to check in for the starters, Rui will be tasked with feasting offensively against opposing 2nd units. He will probably receive much more freedom to look for his shot this season, which could lead to a decrease in his overall shooting percentages. But after the confidence that he exuded with his outside shot in last season’s playoffs, expect a bit of a bump in his 3-point percentage this year.
C: Christian Wood
PROJECTED STATLINE: 18 MPG | 10 PPG | 4.5 RPG | 1 APG | 0 SPG | 1 BPG | 53/39/70%
Just like Hachimura, Wood could definitely find himself in the starting lineup to begin the season. But also just like Hachimura, he would seem to be better cast as an offensive microwave off the bench for this particular team. His minutes could stand to increase if he is fully engaged defensively from season’s start to finish, but just like everyone else he is going to have to sacrifice court time for the chance at a championship.