Los Angeles Lakers guard Kendrick Nunn reportedly has not been cleared to participate in five-on-five play yet this offseason.
Nunn missed the entire 2021-22 season with a bone bruise in his knee, and while he is making strides in his recovery, it appears he still has hurdles to clear ahead of the start of the 2022-23 season.
“Nunn recently spoke with Spectrum SportsNet about his health and said he feels 100 percent,” The Athletic’s Jovan Buha wrote. “He has been training with the younger Lakers – [Austin] Reaves, [Stanley] Johnson, Wenyen Gabriel, Talen Horton-Tucker, and Mason Jones – during their Monday through Thursday offseason workouts. He hasn’t resumed five-on-five play yet, which is the next big hurdle. It seems like he should be ready to go by the start of training camp, but recovery isn’t always linear.”
Nunn picked up his player option with the Lakers for the 2022-23 season this offseason. The Lakers certainly would love for him to join the rotation, as he was expected to have a big role for the team last season.
After losing guard Alex Caruso in free agency last offseason, the Lakers hoped Nunn would help mitigate that loss, but he was unable to suit up at all in the 2021-22 campaign.
Nunn last played for the Miami Heat during the 2020-21 season, and he was a productive member of their rotation for multiple playoff runs. Nunn averaged 14.6 points, 3.2 rebounds and 2.6 assists per game while shooting 48.5 percent from the field and 38.1 percent from beyond the arc in the 2020-21 campaign with the Heat.
With Malik Monk leaving the Lakers this offseason, the team could use Nunn to help add a scoring punch in the team’s backcourt.
Even though he may feel 100 percent, Nunn still has to prove he can hold up in game action. Lakers fans certainly hope he can clear this next hurdle to return to the court and potentially back up Russell Westbrook in the 2022-23 season.