Darvin Ham provides best update yet on Gabe Vincent’s injury recovery

Peter Dewey
3 Min Read
Gary A. Vasquez-USA TODAY Sports

Los Angeles Lakers guard Gabe Vincent has been cleared for non-contact activity, according to Lakers head coach Darvin Ham.

It is a great sign for the Lakers guard’s chances of returning to the lineup soon, especially since it was reported on Monday that he could return as early as next week.

Vincent has been sidelined for the majority of the 2023-24 season due to a knee injury. After trying to rehab the injury to return to action, he opted for arthroscopic knee surgery.

The knee injury has limited Vincent to just five games this season. He’s averaging 5.4 points, 1.0 rebound and 3.0 assists per game while shooting 37.5 percent from the field and 11.8 percent from beyond the arc for the Lakers.

Los Angeles signed Vincent to a three-year, $33 million deal this past offseason, prying him away from the Miami 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 against the Denver Nuggets.

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.

The Lakers would love to see Vincent back in their rotation, although the team does have some more guard depth since adding Spencer Dinwiddie in the buyout market. Even when Vincent returns to action, it’s unclear what his role will be in Ham’s rotation.

Dinwiddie has played a lot since coming to Los Angeles, although he has seen a reduced role compared to his time in Brooklyn. He is playing mainly off the bench (one start in 12 games) and averaging 24.1 minutes per game.

The veteran guard is averaging 4.9 points and 3.1 assists per game as a Laker on just 4.8 shot attempts per game. For Brooklyn this season, Dinwiddie attempted 10.4 shots per game.

It’s possible that Vincent eats into Dinwiddie’s workload once he’s cleared to play, but it’s hard to see him playing over Austin Reaves and D’Angelo Russell, who have been the Lakers’ starting backcourt for a good chunk of the 2023-24 season.

Still, getting Vincent back would be a boost for Los Angeles’ depth as it looks to navigate the final weeks of the regular season and make the playoffs.

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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.