ON the eve of their first preseason game in the post-Kobe Bryant era, the Los Angeles Lakers have yet to decide on their starting five.
With less than 24 hours before the tip-off against the Sacramento Kings, new Lakers coach Luke Walton admitted as much according to ESPN.com's Jovan Buha on Monday (Tuesday, Manila time).
"I don't know. We'll figure it out before gametime," said Walton, who went on to share that all positions are open at this point when pressed for more details.
"We don't know our starters yet. We'll figure it out later today," he added.
Walton said he has an idea of who the frontrunners but has yet to sit down with the team when it comes to announcing his picks.
Based on the Lakers training camp, observers believe the team will go with the young core of D'Angelo Russell and Jordan Clarkson in the backcourt, newly-hired veteran Luol Deng will partner with power forward Julius Randle at the forward positions while center and free agency acquisition Timofey Mozgov will hold the middle.
The 36-year old coach earlier said Brandon Ingram, the Lakers' top pick in the 2016 NBA Draft, will come off the bench during the regular season.
According to Walton, a place in the starting lineup and the rotation will not be judged solely on talent, but how the players can play well together. He bared his intent to experiment with several lineups during the preseason as there are currently 20 players vying for 15 roster spots.
"We're going to try different lineups out together. See if we can find a small lineup that works well together or find a big lineup that can switch everything. It'll be more just getting to know the team," said Walton.