Lakers projected lineup and rotations heading into 2023-24 season

LeBron James, Anthony Davis, Los Angeles Lakers (Mandatory Credit: Cary Edmondson-USA TODAY Sports)
LeBron James, Anthony Davis, Los Angeles Lakers (Mandatory Credit: Cary Edmondson-USA TODAY Sports) /
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Anthony Davis, Stephen A. Smith
DENVER, COLORADO – MAY 16: Anthony Davis #3 of the Los Angeles Lakers looks on during the second quarter against the Denver Nuggets in game one of the Western Conference Finals at Ball Arena on May 16, 2023 in Denver, Colorado. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and or using this photograph, User is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement. (Photo by Matthew Stockman/Getty Images) /

Los Angeles Lakers starting center: Anthony Davis

The starting center for the Lakers is also obvious as it will be Anthony Davis. Last season, Davis averaged 25.9 points, 12.5 rebounds, 2.5 assist, 1.0 steal and 2.0 blocks on 56 percent shooting from the field.

Davis is going to have to take on the responsibility of being the best player on this team for the majority of the regular season. In the postseason, the games that the Lakers won were the ones where Davis was extraordinary. As the team’s best defender, the defensive tone will fall in line right behind him and Jarred Vanderbilt.

Withy Davis as the starting center, the Lakers will have the same starting lineup that used for the postseason last year. LA should run it back with that starting lineup to begin the season as all five of those players have great chemistry with one another and was their best lineup statistically.

Primary backup center: Jaxson Hayes

The Lakers have lacked a solid backup center for the last three seasons, but they finally got one in Jaxson Hayes. Last season for the Pelicans, he averaged 5.0 points and 2.8 rebounds on 55 percent shooting from the field.

Hayes will bring size and athleticism to the Lakers as he is great in transition and a high-flyer. In the Lakers half-court offense, he will primarily be used as a screen setter and lob threat. He will also bring solid defense which the Lakers have lacked at.

Other players who could see minutes at center: Wenyen Gabriel

The Lakers other center off the bench is Wenyen Gabriel. As long as Davis and Hayes stay healthy, Gabriel will not see the court that often. As a 6-foot-9 center, Gabriel’s main role will be to stay on the bench and be ready. When he does play he’ll provide a few great hustle plays but won’t see the court that much unless someones is hurt.

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