There is a lot of talent on the Los Angeles Lakers roster, so much so that some have called it the deepest roster in franchise history. One thing is for certain: this is the deepest roster that LeBron James has been a part of while in Los Angeles.
While having this much talent is a great thing, it can also make building out a rotation tough for a head coach. There are so many great options and someone will naturally get left out of the fold.
There are 240 rotation minutes that have to be balanced between the players on the active roster. The rotation is subject to change as the year goes along, especially if the Lakers make some kind of trade at the deadline.
But as it stands right now, here is our best guess for how the Lakers shake out entering the 2023-24 regular season.
Projected Lakers depth chart:
- PG: D’Angelo Russell, Gabe Vincent, Jalen Hood-Schifino
- SG: Austin Reaves, Max Christie
- SF: LeBron James, Rui Hachimura, Cam Reddish
- PF: Taurean Prince, Jarred Vanderbilt, Maxwell Lewis
- C: Anthony Davis, Christian Wood, Jaxson Hayes
The NBA is positionless so the small forward and power forward positions are interchangeable. LeBron James may technically be the starting small forward but he might play more like a power forward depending on who is on the floor. Anthony Davis will be the starting five but he will likely play some four with Christian Wood or Jaxson Hayes on the court.
The biggest question mark is who will get the starting nod between Taurean Prince and Jarred Vanderbilt. Prince has put together a very solid preseason while Vanderbilt is nursing an injury, so as it stands right now, he deserves the starting nod.
Now that we know the order of the players at every position, here is how we expect the 240 minutes to be divided by Darvin Ham (assuming everyone is healthy):
Projected Lakers rotation:
- D’Angelo Russell: 28 minutes
- Austin Reaves: 30 minutes
- LeBron James: 33 minutes
- Taurean Prince: 22 minutes
- Anthony Davis: 34 minutes
LeBron will see his minutes played continue to go down slightly to keep him fresh for the postseason while Davis will stay consistent as the team’s engine. Here is how the rest of the rotation would likely shake out in order of minutes played:
- Rui Hachimura: 25 minutes
- Gabe Vincent: 23 minutes
- Jarred Vanderbilt: 18 minutes
- Christian Wood: 14 minutes
- Max Christie: 13 minutes
That right there equals 240 minutes exactly. That won’t exactly be what the rotation is as Ham will give other players some run during the season just to keep his other guys fresh. But when the rotation is at full strength and isn’t extending itself, that is what it will likely look like.
The guys on the outside looking in are Cam Reddish, Jaxson Hayes, Jalen Hood-Schifino and Maxwell Lewis. Again, some of these guys will naturally get minutes in blowout situations or if someone is hurt. But in a theoretical must-win game, they would be left out of the standard Lakers rotation.