The Los Angeles Lakers' 2021-22 season gets underway Tuesday. And they almost have everything in place for opening night.
On Friday, the Lakers announced that they had waived four players: Joel Ayayi, Chaundee Brown Jr., Cameron Oliver and Trevelin Queen. That dropped Los Angeles' roster to 15 players, which means the team is ready to go for the regular season.
However, the Lakers haven't made every necessary decision yet. They will also need to figure out what the starting lineup will look like for their game against the Golden State Warriors at Staples Center on Tuesday night.
Clearly, the trio of LeBron James, Anthony Davis and Russell Westbrook will be among Los Angeles' starting five. But who will fill out the rest of the lineup? And how do the Lakers plan to rotate in the host of role players they brought in during the offseason?
According to James Worthy of Spectrum SportsNet, there had been talk of guard Kendrick Nunn getting a spot in the starting lineup, partially because of his "strong upper body." Nunn, who signed with Los Angeles in August, spent the past two seasons in a starting role with the Miami Heat.
However, Worthy believes the Lakers may go a different route by putting Kent Bazemore in the starting five.
"I think Bazemore has proven, not only this preseason but with Golden State and the first time he was with the Lakers, he didn't have that maturity as he wanted yet," Worthy recently said on Spectrum SportsNet. "I think he's totally capable of being that starter. If I had to bet right now, with the injuries that they have, I would bet he'd probably start."
Bazemore signed with Los Angeles in August, marking the start of his second stint with the team. He played 23 games for the Lakers during the 2013-14 season. The 32-year-old guard has played for five teams over his nine-year NBA career.
Los Angeles' starting lineup could look different as the team gets healthier. It will be without Trevor Ariza and Talen Horton-Tucker to open the year, both of whom were expected to serve in key roles for the Lakers this season.
Another decision that Los Angeles will have to make is how to utilize Davis. He can play both power forward and center, so the Lakers will again have flexibility thanks to the eight-time All-Star.
On the Laker Film Room podcast earlier in October, Lakers reporter Mike Trudell shared that Davis may not always be the starter at center.
"We're not only going to see AD start at the five," Trudell said (h/t Jacob Rude of Silver Screen & Roll). "There's going to be plenty of times where Dwight [Howard] and DeAndre [Jordan] do start. ... I know that there are plenty of people internally that still like starting a classic big."
It's an 82-game season, so the Lakers will almost certainly make changes as the year progresses.