Darvin Ham to consider 3-guard lineups with Spencer Dinwiddie, Austin Reaves and D’Angelo Russell

Peter Dewey
3 Min Read
Darren Yamashita-USA TODAY Sports

Los Angeles Lakers head coach Darvin Ham revealed that he will consider using three-guard lineups that feature D’Angelo Russell, Spencer Dinwiddie and Austin Reaves this season.

Ham pointed to Dinwiddie’s ability as an on-ball defender as a key reason why the group could play together in closing lineups.

Dinwiddie certainly gives the Lakers a new element on the roster, as he’s another ball-handler that can fit alongside Russell and Reaves if an opponent of the Lakers decides to go small.

With Gabe Vincent still out of the lineup and missing most of the 2023-24 season to date with a knee injury, the Lakers haven’t really had that luxury.

This season, Dinwiddie appeared in 48 games for the Brooklyn Nets prior to being traded to the Toronto Raptors in a deal that sent Dennis Schroder and Thaddeus Young to Brooklyn. Schroder spent last season with the Lakers.

Dinwiddie averaged 12.6 points, 3.3 rebounds and 6.0 assists per game for the Nets while shooting 39.1 percent from the field and 32.0 percent from beyond the arc.

Toronto ended up buying out Dinwiddie’s deal, allowing him to become a free agent and sign with the Lakers.

Having flexibility in the rotation, especially late in games, could be key for Ham as the Lakers look to make a late-season run up the Western Conference standings. Los Angeles improved after the trade deadline last season, and it’s possible that the addition of Dinwiddie could be just what the team needs right now.

A veteran guard with playoff experience, Dinwiddie has clearly excited Ham with his on-ball defense. The Lakers may need more help on that end of the floor with forward Jarred Vanderbilt – arguably the team’s best wing defender – currently out of the lineup with an injury.

The Lakers are currently 28-26 and hold the No. 9 seed in the Western Conference. The team would love to get into the top six seeds in the West, as it would avoid the league’s play-in tournament this season that way.

Los Angeles was in the play-in tournament last season and earned the No. 7 seed. The Lakers are just 3.5 games back of the No. 6-seeded New Orleans Pelicans with the All-Star break nearing.

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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.