The Los Angeles Lakers had minimal salary cap to work with when they traded for Russell Westbrook this offseason. After the team signed Talen Horton-Tucker to a new deal, Rob Pelinka only had a mid-level exception contract and veteran minimum contracts to work with to build a roster around THT, Westbrook, Anthony Davis, and LeBron James. That mid-level exception was used on Kendrick Nunn, who is still yet to play in a regular-season game for the team this season.
He’s been seen many times getting in individual workouts before Lakers games in recent weeks, including this video below of him before their Jan. 28th game against the Hornets. The LA Times’ Dan Woike took the video, also noting that head coach Frank Vogel indicated Nunn was still “not close” despite the on-court work.
Frank Vogel said Nunn is still "not close" https://t.co/XkLk2TdNwz
— Dan Woike (@DanWoikeSports) January 29, 2022
Before the team’s game against the Trail Blazers on Wednesday, Vogel gave another update to reporters saying Nunn told him he “felt good” after his workout that day. Vogel also noted the following, per Silver Screen & Roll’s Austin Green:
“He’s just in that process of monitoring how he feels day to day,” Vogel said before the Lakers’ game on Wednesday.
Vogel added that Nunn has also not yet done a full-contact practice, a key step before he is cleared to take the court again.
It’s starting to seem uncertain if we will ever see Nunn play in a Lakers regular season game, as his name has reported in various trade packages the team may be offering, with his name right next to Horton-Tucker’s in those rumors. However, it seems as if teams are not too enticed with that trade package, even if the Lakers’ 2027 first-round pick is also being included.
That means we may see Nunn this season, and if the recent, optimistic news regarding LeBron James’ knee are wrong, the Lakers may need his type of off-the-dribble scoring threat.
We’ll see how Vogel’s updates continue, but either way, hopefully Nunn is past any further setbacks with the bone bruise in his knee.