When the Los Angeles Lakers added seasoned point guard Gabe Vincent to their roster this offseason, it was hailed as a promising move. Despite their focus on maintaining continuity among core players from the previous season, the Lakers made strategic enhancements around the fringes of their lineup.
Vincent’s arrival marked the departure of former Laker Dennis Schroder from the rotation. Vincent brings a much-needed dose of tenacity to the team, and his proficiency as a three-point shooter is noteworthy. However, his signing raised questions about the future of guard D’Angelo Russell. While Russell made a solid return to Los Angeles, he encountered significant struggles during the Western Conference Finals against the Denver Nuggets.
Speculation emerged that Vincent could step into Russell’s shoes, particularly in critical late-game scenarios. The latest intel from Lakers insider Jovan Buha of The Athletic suggests that Vincent might indeed become the go-to player for closing games this season.
“Vincent, whose theoretical role should be similar to the departed Dennis Schröder, is a legitimate threat to at least steal closing minutes.”
For the time being, Russell is expected to retain his starting guard position. Nevertheless, if Russell encounters difficulties, Vincent stands prepared to step into the spotlight. Last season, Russell started games for the Lakers, but when it came time to seal the deal, Dennis Schroder was often on the floor. This season, a similar scenario could unfold with Gabe Vincent taking the reins.
“The bet here is Russell starts and plays slightly more, but Vincent replaces Schröder as a Darvin Ham favorite and closes games more often than not.”
This development presents a positive conundrum for the Lakers, one that demands vigilant monitoring. As the Lakers embark on the new season with aspirations of securing their 18th NBA title, the potential impact of Gabe Vincent in closing games cannot be underestimated.