Despite a report earlier this summer that Los Angeles Lakers guard Gabe Vincent had a “legitimate chance” to steal the starting point guard spot from D’Angelo Russell, head coach Darvin Ham confirmed the latter will be the team’s starting floor general.
Vincent recently gave an unbothered message about Russell getting named the team’s starting point guard.
“That’s something for D Ham to worry about,” Vincent told Sportskeeda. “I’m not the coach. I don’t set lineups. I just go out there and do my job. I’ll do whatever I can to help this team win games.”
Russell was selected with the No. 2 overall pick in the 2015 NBA Draft after spending one season playing college basketball at Ohio State University. He averaged 19.3 points, 5.7 rebounds and 5.0 assists per game in 35 games played with the Buckeyes during the 2014-15 season.
The 27-year-old point guard has played for four teams — the Minnesota Timberwolves, Lakers, Brooklyn Nets and Golden State Warriors — across his eight seasons in the NBA. He averaged 17.8 points, 3.0 rebounds and 6.2 assists per game in 71 games played with the Timberwolves and Lakers during the 2022-23 regular season.
The Lakers acquired Russell back in February of 2023 as part of a three-team trade that sent point guard Russell Westbrook to the Utah Jazz and Mike Conley to the Timberwolves.
Russell averaged 17.4 points and 6.1 assists per game with the Lakers during the 2022-23 regular season and shot 48.4 percent from the field and 41.4 percent from behind the three-point arc.
The floor general was inconsistent for the Lakers during the 2023 playoffs, however. He averaged 14-plus points in each of the team’s first two playoff series against the Memphis Grizzlies and Warriors but really struggled against Nikola Jokic and the Denver Nuggets in the Western Conference Finals. Russell averaged just 6.3 points per game for the series and converted 32.3 percent of his field-goal attempts.
Nuggets point guard Jamal Murray thoroughly outplayed him, and Denver swept the Lakers in the Western Conference Finals.
It makes sense that Ham is rolling with Russell as the team’s starting point guard to begin the 2023-24 regular season, considering he’s more familiar with the team’s style of play than Vincent. Vincent could very well earn himself the starting point guard spot at some point during the 2023-24 season, though.