Your Los Angeles Lakers are going to be somewhat short-handed when they tip off against the Minnesota Timberwolves tonight for their third preseason game of 2022.
As head coach Darvin Ham hinted last night, he is going to sit veteran Los Angeles stars LeBron James, Anthony Davis, and Russell Westbrook for tonight's Las Vegas-set contest against the Minnesota Timberwolves, Mike Trudell of Spectrum SportsNet reports. Given that this will be the second night on a back-to-back schedule of preseason games, the decision is quite reasonable. Why risk injury in games that don't actually wind up in your squad's win-loss column? Ham previously hinted that another old head, guard Patrick Beverley, may also be sat tonight. Trudell notes that additional players may not suit up, though that information has yet to be divulged as of this writing.
6'4" shooting guard Lonnie Walker IV, who signed with L.A. over the summer via the team's mid-level exception, will finally play his first actual game for the Lakers, Trudell adds. He was dealing with an ankle injury throughout the team's training camp, and it kept him sidelined through L.A.'s initial two preseason bouts.
Point guard Dennis Schroder remains away from the team as he works out a visa issue from his native journey. Wing Troy Brown Jr. is still recuperating from a back issue that has forced him to miss all his preseason games with the Lakers to this point.
How will Ham approach the team's starting lineup, with his three priciest players outside of the rotation? We're about to find out.
Trudell adds that All-Star Timberwolves power forward/center Karl-Anthony Towns, who continues to recover from a non-COVID-19 illness, will not take the floor for Minnesota tonight. New center Rudy Gobert will make his Timberwolves debut, while point guard D'Angelo Russell (a former Laker) will also be available, per Kyle Theige of SKOR North.