Frank Vogel undecided on center rotation, says Harrell, Gasol are “starter-level players”

Frank Vogel
LOS ANGELES, CA – NOVEMBER 10: Head Coach, Frank Vogel of the Los Angeles Lakers shares a conversation with player, Anthony Davis #3 during the game against the Toronto Raptors on November 10, 2019 at STAPLES Center in Los Angeles, California. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and/or using this Photograph, user is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement. Mandatory Copyright Notice: Copyright 2019 NBAE (Photo by Andrew D. Bernstein/NBAE via Getty Images)

The Los Angeles Lakers have made major changes to their frontcourt this offseason. They are returning All-NBA big man Anthony Davis and Markieff Morris but have replaced the center duo of JaVale McGee and Dwight Howard with Montrezl Harrell and Marc Gasol.

On paper, it looks as though the Lakers’ frontcourt depth will be even better. Harrell is the reigning Sixth Man of the Year while Gasol is one of the more accomplished big men in the league. The Lakers will once again be starting a center alongside Davis to allow him some rest against bigger bodies throughout the regular season. But who that starter will be is yet to be determined, according to head coach Frank Vogel:

On paper, Gasol seems like the obvious fit to start alongside Davis, allowing the latter to operate down low on offense while taking the bigger defensive assignment. Still, Vogel has always shown flexibility with his lineups. He’s not afraid to zig when others expect him to zag.

What is clear is that the Lakers will have various combinations they can play in the frontcourt depending on what they need. Gasol provides smart defense, stellar passing, and deep shooting. Harrell has an edge, intensity, and energy and is an elite rim-runner. Morris gives you toughness, defensive versatility, and elite shooting. And we all know what Davis can do.

Vogel has a good problem on his hands and, as he said, it’s up to him to figure out what roles get the best out of his players.

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