The Los Angeles Lakers have superstars at the top of their lineup, but they have some impressive supporting players as well, and four of them reportedly are making an impression during training camp scrimmages.
Rui Hachimura, Christian Wood, D’Angelo Russell and Jalen Hood-Schifino have been standouts so far, highlighting the Lakers’ quality depth.
“Hachimura, who rejected the assumption that he had lost weight this summer, has been one of the standouts in scrimmages, along with Russell, Wood and Hood-Schifino, according to team sources,” wrote Jovan Buha of The Athletic.
Hachimura, who is listed at 230 pounds, is about to begin his first full season with Los Angeles after arriving in a trade from the Washington Wizards during the 2022-23 season. The 25-year-old was a key component of the Lakers’ late push and subsequent run through the playoffs, which ended with a loss to the eventual NBA champion Denver Nuggets in the 2023 Western Conference Finals.
Wood recently joined the team, and the 28-year-old will be on his eighth NBA team in his eighth season in the league after playing last season for the Dallas Mavericks.
Russell’s return to the Lakers was somewhat in doubt early in the offseason, but the 27-year-old re-signed and reportedly will have a spot in the starting lineup along with LeBron James, Anthony Davis, Austin Reaves and a fifth player yet to be determined.
Hood-Schifino is starting to make a name for himself after the 20-year-old was the No. 17 overall pick in the 2023 NBA Draft.
In addition to the four standouts, early reports from Lakers training camp have been very positive. James is showing his familiar athleticism and burst after the 38-year-old recovered from a foot injury that hindered him late last season. Davis reportedly is in excellent shape and hopeful he can be part of the MVP conversation this season.
The Lakers have had one of the better offseasons in the NBA this summer and remain among the contenders for the championship. The regular season begins Oct. 24 with a highly anticipated opener against the Nuggets, with Reaves saying there’s added motivation based on last season’s playoff result and the chirping that came from Denver afterwards.
To get ready for that matchup, the Lakers will be doing everything they can to continue the positive momentum they have created this summer and in the early days of training camp.