August 20, 2022

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Last season didn’t go as planned for the Los Angeles Lakers. They spent the first few months around .500, before the bill for injuries and poor roster construction finally paid off. After the All-Star break, they went 6-18 and didn’t even qualify for the play-in tournament.

Their ability to avoid a repeat next season will largely depend on their ability to complete a trade between Russell Westbrook and Kyrie Irving – something they have discussed with the Brooklyn Nets, but a deal will be difficult to close. The former was a terrible slump from day one of his arrival in Los Angeles, and trading players and solid rotation picks for him never made sense. By blind luck, however, the Lakers could be bailed out now that the Nets’ situation has imploded.

While the front office continues to work behind the scenes to find a possible solution to Westbrook’s situation, the coaching staff and player development staff have already returned to the field for the Summer League. Although the Lakers didn’t have a first-round pick this year, you never know who might surprise this summer — just look at Austin Reaves.

The Lakers are participating in the California Classic and Las Vegas summer leagues this year. Here is an overview of everything you need to know:

Lakers Summer League Schedule

All games on NBA TV, ESPN and ESPN 2 can be streamed live on fuboTV (try for free).

California classic

Vegas

Listing

Parisian bass

Forward

26

Not drafted

Vitto Brown

Forward

26

Not drafted

Max Christi

Guardian

19

2022: 35 overall

RJ Cole

Guardian

22

Not drafted

Jay Huff

Center

23

Not drafted

mason jones

Guardian

23

Not drafted

Mac McClung

Guardian

23

Not drafted

Javante McCoy

Guardian

24

Not drafted

Shareef O’Neal

Forward

22

Not drafted

Nate Pierre Louis

Guardian

23

Not drafted

Scotty Pippen Jr.

Guardian

21

Not drafted

cole swider

Forward

23

Not drafted

Fabian White

Forward

23

Not drafted

Players to watch

  • Max Christy: The Lakers didn’t have a first-round pick this year, but they traded for a second-round pick and used it to kick Christie out of Michigan State. He was a former five-star recruit, but struggled at times during his only season in college. The tools are there for him to be a potential 3-D guy, which the Lakers could really use, but he’s probably too much of a draft to be a serious contributor in the upcoming season.
  • Scotty Pippen Jr.: Yes, he is the son of former Chicago Bulls legend Scottie Pippen. After a few years in college at Vanderbilt, the younger Pippen was not drafted this year but soon signed a two-way deal with the Lakers, suggesting they have real hopes for him. He’s a versatile guard who can create his own shot and has good defensive instincts, but he’s a bit undersized at just 6-foot-1.
  • Cole Swider: Swider played sparingly in his first three collegiate seasons at Villanova and moved to Syracuse for his senior season in search of a bigger role. It turned out to be a wise move, as he impressed enough to earn a two-way contract with the Lakers despite not being drafted. He’s a 6-foot-9 forward who can really shoot the ball (41.1% on six attempts per game as a senior) and has played well in his first two games in the California Classic. While he may not have a famous name, he has NBA-ready skills and is one to watch this summer.
  • Mac McClung: After being drafted in 2021, McClung spent time with the Bulls and Lakers on 10-day contracts but only made two NBA appearances. He was brilliant in the G League last season, winning the G League Rookie of the Year after averaging 21.6 points, 6.6 rebounds and 7.6 assists, while shooting 37.7% from 3 points. That honor isn’t necessarily a guarantee of NBA success, but it’s more than enough to earn him another look.
  • Shareef O’Neal: We have to mention that Shaquille O’Neal’s son plays for the Lakers Summer League team, but the truth is, it’s hard to imagine him making a list. He received a DNP – Coach’s Decision in Game 2 of the California Classic.