The Los Angeles Lakers will be short-handed for their opening-night matchup against the Golden State Warriors on Tuesday.
Lakers head coach Frank Vogel told reporters Monday that Wayne Ellington is set to miss the season opener because of a hamstring injury. Los Angeles will also be without young rotation player Talen Horton-Tucker and veteran Trevor Ariza. Lakers guard Malik Monk is considered probable, while Kendrick Nunn is questionable.
Ellington signed with the Lakers this past offseason. It will be his second run with Los Angeles after playing for the team in 2014-15.
The 6'5" shooting guard played for the Detroit Pistons last season and shot 42.2 percent from three-point range and a career-high 44.1 percent from the field. In four preseason games prior to his injury, Ellington averaged 5.5 points in 21.4 minutes. The Lakers went 0-6 in the 2021 preseason.
A 13-year NBA veteran out of North Carolina, Ellington has played for nine different teams in his career. He helped lead the Tar Heels to the national championship in 2009 and was named the tournament's Most Outstanding Player.
The Lakers are expected to be in contention for their second NBA championship in the past three years. Los Angeles acquired 2017 NBA MVP Russell Westbrook from the Washington Wizards to form a Big Three with LeBron James and Anthony Davis.
But the team is still learning how to integrate Westbrook into the offense. In four preseason games, he averaged more turnovers (5.8) than assists (5.0) and shot just 35.0 percent from the field. Also concerning was the play of Davis, who averaged 14.6 points but shot 38.7 percent from the field in five games.
The Lakers are hoping to be at full strength by the postseason. Early-season woes and injuries are to be expected, but Los Angeles is more concerned about being ready for a playoff run.