The Los Angeles Lakers have dealt with injury problems all season, kicking off with a handful of injuries sustained in the preseason that saw a few players miss the first week or so. Those players included Talen Horton-Tucker, Wayne Ellington, and Trevor Ariza, with all of those three finally making their debuts sporadically over the past few months. However, there was another player who missed the season opener and still remains out to this day, and that’s Kendrick Nunn.
Coming out of preseason, it was deemed an ankle injury. However, as the missed games built up for Kendrick Nunn, it was later reported that the ankle had turned into a bone bruise injury in his knee. Our most recent update on his debut came in the form of head coach Frank Vogel saying January 2022 would be when we would see him, with that seeming ever more likely based on Vogel’s comments on Monday (h/t Cooper Halpern of Silver Screen & Roll).
— Harrison Faigen (@hmfaigen) January 3, 2022
Although he will surely have a period of getting his conditioning where it needs to be to start, Nunn will almost certainly be a factor in the rotation upon his return. He is the 5th-highest player on this team filled with veteran minimum contracts, as the Lakers saw him as more important than the rest of the team (not named LeBron James, Anthony Davis, Russell Westbrook, or Talen Horton-Tucker) evidenced via the taxpayer’s mid-level exception that gave him a two-year, $10 million deal with the team.
It’ll be interesting to see Nunn re-inserted into this team’s rotation after only four preseason games under his belt while wearing the purple-and-gold. The team has a deep roster of guards, so if he is to take a decent amount of minutes, that means someone is going to lose some minutes. Nunn could end up taking THT’s minutes as THT has struggled as of late, however, the team has a large rooting interest in THT when it comes to his career development but also in his trade value as he has easily the most tradeable contract on the team.
Well, it’s one of the only tradeable contracts on a team full of veteran minimum guys, with Nunn’s contract serving as the lone other contract that’s not a minimum one or one belonging to the Big Three.
It’ll be interesting to see what develops over the next few weeks with his return and the trade deadline looming on February 10th. But either way, it’ll finally be good to see him play in some meaningful games to see what he’s got for us.