D’Angelo Russell looking forward to co-existing, not competing with Gabe Vincent on Lakers

Peter Dewey
3 Min Read

Los Angeles Lakers guard D’Angelo Russell had nothing but good things to say about his new teammate Gabe Vincent.

Russell believes that he can play with Vincent, who was brought in by the Lakers this offseason to help replace the loss of guard Dennis Schroder (who signed a deal with the Toronto Raptors in free agency).

Vincent signed a three-year, $33 million deal with the Lakers this offseason after beginning his NBA career with the Heat. A former undrafted free agent, Vincent played a major role for Miami in the 2022-23 season, helping the team reach the NBA Finals.

It had been rumored that Vincent could steal the Lakers’ starting point guard job away from Russell, but that clearly hasn’t bothered the former No. 2 overall pick. He just seems focused on playing alongside a key new teammate.

The Lakers are certainly a deeper team at the guard position than they were entering last season, and Vincent is a big reason why.

The defensive-minded point guard averaged 9.4 points, 2.1 rebounds and 2.5 assists per game while shooting 40.2 percent from the field and 33.4 percent from beyond the arc for the Heat last season.

He should slide into the rotation at the guard spots with Russell, Austin Reaves and potentially youngsters like Max Christie and rookie Jalen Hood-Schifino. The Lakers also added two wings in Taurean Prince and Cam Reddish that could end up playing the shooting guard spot at times if the team wants to go big.

Russell returned to the Lakers this offseason on a two-year deal, with the second season being a player option. He’s hoping to build on a strong 2022-23 season, even though he ended up struggling in the Western Conference Finals against the Denver Nuggets.

During the 2022-23 regular season, Russell averaged 17.8 points, 3.0 rebounds and 6.2 assists per game while shooting 46.9 percent from the field and 39.6 percent from beyond the arc while playing for the Lakers and Minnesota Timberwolves.

Lakers fans have to love seeing the lefty guard embracing his new teammate, as the Lakers will need both players on top of their game to make a deep playoff run this season. It’s also quite possible that Vincent is used alongside Russell at times in Darvin Ham’s rotation because of his defensive prowess.

It should be interesting to see how Ham delegates minutes at the guard spots this season.

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Peter is a graduate of Quinnipiac University where he covered the MAAC and college basketball for three years. He has worked for NBC Sports, the Connecticut Sun and the Meriden Record-Journal covering basketball and other major sports. Follow him on Twitter @peterdewey2.