Lakers Rumors: Latest Buzz on Kendrick Nunn's Injury Return, Frank Vogel

Jake RillFeatured Columnist IIDecember 1, 2021

Los Angeles Lakers guard Kendrick Nunn looks to pass the ball against the Phoenix Suns during the first half of a preseason NBA basketball game Wednesday, Oct. 6, 2021, in Phoenix.(AP Photo/Ross D. Franklin)
Ross D. Franklin/Associated Press

If the Los Angeles Lakers are going to win their second NBA title in three seasons, they're going to have to overcome a slow start to the 2021-22 campaign. But they have the talent on their roster to get things on track later on.

The Lakers have already been playing better of late, as they've won four of their past six games to improve to 12-11. And they're still being impacted by injuries, having missed some players who were expected to have key roles for the team this season.

The regular season is 82 games, so there's a lot of basketball still to be played. If Los Angeles fares well over the next four-and-a-half months, nobody will remember its slow start.

Heading into December, here's some of the latest buzz surrounding the Lakers.


Nunn May Not be Getting Close to Lakers Debut

This past offseason, Kendrick Nunn signed a two-year, $10.25 million deal with the Lakers. The 26-year-old guard played well over his first two NBA seasons, both with the Miami Heat, and he was expected to become a key member of Los Angeles' rotation.

However, Nunn has yet to play this season due to a bone bruise in his knee. And it seems that he may not be joining the Lakers on the court anytime soon.

During a recent appearance on The Lowe Post podcast (h/t Harrison Faigen of Silver Screen & Roll), ESPN's Dave McMenamin shared the latest on what he's heard regarding Nunn's recovery. And he stated that he's been told "it's not close."

ESPN's Zach Lowe said on the podcast he's also heard Nunn's return isn't getting close. So it seems Nunn's Lakers debut may not be coming in the near future.

Whenever Nunn gets healthy, he could become a key contributor for Los Angeles. Over his two seasons with Miami, he averaged 15.0 points, 3.0 assists and 2.9 rebounds in 123 games, 111 of which were starts.

The Lakers have something to look forward to regarding Nunn's return. It just isn't yet clear when that will happen. Until then, Los Angeles will have to rely on its depth in the backcourt to help fill in for the production it had expected to get from Nunn.


Could There be Pressure Mounting on Vogel?

Alex Gallardo/Associated Press

It didn't take long for Frank Vogel to experience success after becoming the Lakers head coach. He led the team to an NBA title at the end of his first year at the helm in the 2019-20 season.

Although Los Angeles was eliminated in the first round of the playoffs last season, Vogel gained more head coaching experience as the Lakers also had their share of success. So it kept expectations high for the franchise heading into the 2021-22 campaign.

But when Los Angeles got off to a slow start, it didn't take long for Vogel's long-term status with the organization to be questioned.

According to NBA reporter Marc Stein, there had been "rising buzz in coaching circles about the pressure mounting on Frank Vogel" as the team struggled and because of his "lack of flexibility to make roster changes."

Of course, if the Lakers go on to play well for the majority of the season, it's possible nothing will materialize from this rumor. But it is something to think about, especially if Los Angeles can never get going and the season takes a more disappointing turn down the line.