Lakers 2022-23 preview: A closer look at the roster

Name, position, height, weight, school/country, age

PATRICK BEVERLEY, G, 6-2, 180, Arkansas, 34

After a disastrous year on defense, the Lakers traded for a veteran who brings urgency and energy on that side of the ball. They’ve been burned by players whose best days are behind them before, but the bet is that Beverley can rediscover the shooting range he had as a Clipper (39.5% on 3-point attempts) and provide a much-needed edge to get more stops.

TROY BROWN JR., F, 6-7, 215, Oregon, 23

Once touted as a prospect for his versatility, Brown has struggled to establish himself as more than a Master of None-type player. His shooting and defense improved in Chicago. Injuries kept him from showcasing his growth during the preseason, but the Lakers will need his skills on the wing.

THOMAS BRYANT, F, 6-10, 248, Indiana, 25

It’s a second stint with the Lakers for Bryant, who showed plenty of promise in Washington before getting derailed by injury. On certain nights, he can make an impact as an outside shooter and energy player, but it’s not certain just how committed the Lakers are to playing big.

MAX CHRISTIE, G, 6-5, 190, Michigan State, 19

For a team that wants to win now, Christie was a somewhat curious draft pick: The scrawny teenager might be years away from being a trusted rotation piece, even though the Lakers think he has a high upside. Could he surprise as a rookie the way  Austin Reaves did last season? His size gives him an edge.

ANTHONY DAVIS, F, 6-10, 253, Kentucky, 29

Since his explosive debut season in L.A., Davis’ hasn’t kept up that standard – especially when it comes to availability. After missing more than half of his games in the last two seasons, Davis needs to stay on the court to give the Lakers any kind of chance to compete, rediscover his post scoring, his ability to get to the free-throw line and the defensive prowess that put him in NBA Defensive Player of the Year conversations in past years.

WENYEN GABRIEL, F, 6-9, 205, Kentucky, 25

A rangy player whose best attribute is hustle, Gabriel returns after bringing a needed dose of energy last season. His defensive instincts and rebounding give him a straightforward role on the roster, but frequent foul trouble and a thin offense skill set limit his potential.

LeBRON JAMES, F, 6-9, 250, St. Vincent-St. Mary, 37

Even though he’s about to turn 38 in two months, James remains the fulcrum of the Lakers’ ambitions. He’ll have to defend more consistently than he did last season, and his long-range shooting adds to his bag of offensive tricks. But although he’s expected to chase down Kareem Abdul-Jabbar’s career scoring record this season, he’s going to have a shorter window to chase a fifth NBA championship.

DAMIAN JONES, C, 6-11, 245, Vanderbilt, 27

He became a fan favorite during a short stint with the team two seasons ago. Jones doesn’t play much outside the box as a rim-runner and shot-blocker. He needs to work on staying out of foul trouble and developing a more credible outside shot for a fit in the rotation.

KENDRICK NUNN, G, 6-2, 190, Oakland, 27

Nunn has been with the Lakers for a year, but he’s arguably their best offseason “addition” after missing all of last season with a knee injury. In the preseason, Nunn has shown a silky shot and smooth operation in pick-and-roll. He projects as a microwave bench scorer who could be promoted to a starter if needed.

SCOTTY PIPPEN JR.*, G, 6-1, 170, Vanderbilt, 21

This son of a Hall of Famer, the former Sierra Canyon High standout has some impressive instincts, but his game can fall victim to impulsivity. During Summer League and preseason games, Pippen has been plagued by turnovers and hero ball attempts. But there’s enough raw material that the Lakers hope to mold him through their G League affiliate.

AUSTIN REAVES, G, 6-5, 197, Oklahoma, 24

A year after being the feel-good story of an ugly season, Reaves is not going to take anyone by surprise anymore. The Lakers need his defensive versatility, and his playmaking feel has been impressive during preseason games. Adding consistency to his shot would go a long way to helping the Lakers’ spacing.

MATT RYAN, F, 6-6, 215, Chattanooga, 25

A longshot who once spent cold mornings working literal graveyard shifts, Ryan earned a roster spot because of his 3-point shooting. Can he do more than that? The Lakers need wing depth, and if Ryan can prove that he can really play, he might catch on.

DENNIS SCHRÖDER, G, 6-1, 172, Germany, 29

The return to L.A. (on a much smaller deal than once hoped) hasn’t gone well so far: After arriving late to camp because of visa delays, Schröder banged a thumb that will keep him out for several weeks. He might be better able to fill a more supporting role this time around, but he’s an obvious alternative if the Lakers eventually move on from Westbrook.

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COLE SWIDER*, F, 6-9, 220, Syracuse, 23

Another big man with a shooting stroke, the Lakers believe Swider can be an elite catch-and-shoot man from the wing, but they aren’t yet certain of what else he can do. Swider’s dream is to be the next Duncan Robinson – but to earn minutes, he has to be able to defend.

JUAN TOSCANO-ANDERSON, F, 6-6, 209, Marquette, 29

This Bay Area native exudes a team-first attitude that bleeds into his play: defending bigger opponents, gritting for rebounds and loose balls, and making cuts and screens. He can be a critical piece if he blends with L.A.’s stars, but the Lakers will also be asking a lot from him most nights.

LONNIE WALKER IV, G, 6-4, 204, Miami, 23

Walker’s acquisition with a midlevel exception was met with a tepid reaction: In San Antonio, he showed flashes of brilliance mixed with doldrums of somewhat invisible play. But Walker is as athletic as they come, and he’s declared his intention to stand out on defense. He has the tools and opportunity to succeed – but will he?


His second season in L.A. finds him in an uncomfortable spot: Westbrook might start the year coming off the bench, still struggling with wonky chemistry with two stars he once asked to pair up with. New coach Darvin Ham is giving Westbrook a chance to play with defense and off-ball actions, but sooner or later, it feels as though the Lakers will have to face that Westbrook isn’t that kind of player.

* = two-way contract player

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