New Lakers coach Frank Vogel has a pointed response about LeBron James playing point guard in 2019-20: Pump the brakes.
Appearing on ESPN2 at halftime of the Lakers’ Las Vegas Summer League game Wednesday night, Vogel refuted a Yahoo Sports report this week that LeBron will run the point.
“There’s no decisions made on our starting lineup, no imminent plan to start LeBron at the point guard spot,” Vogel said (via MSN.com). “A lot of different lineups and combinations have been discussed, but it’s really way too early for any of that.”
If anything there has to be a grain of truth to what Vogel says if only because the Lakers have only in recent days put most of the finishing touches on their roster for next season. Discussions about who will play where and when are still to come. There’s also this: The roster is dotted with versatile players, so Vogel will have plenty of rotation options, including using James alongside Danny Green in the backcourt.
Truth be told, the true point guards listed on most unofficial depth charts — Rajon Rondo, Alex Caruso and Quinn Cook — hardly inspire confidence.
At 6 feet 8, James has incredible court vision and has served as the primary ball-handler and distributor numerous times throughout his career as a so-called “point forward.”
“He’ll be a primary ball-handler in our system, the same way he has been his entire career,” Vogel said. “But we certainly aren’t going to ask him to do anything he hasn’t done his entire career.”
James, at 34, is entering his 17th NBA season and is 10th all-time with 8,662 career assists. Only Chris Paul (9,181) has more assists than James among active players.
This might be Vogel quibbling over what exactly the Lakers will call the person who handles and distributes the ball. James will do plenty of both, regardless of whether he is called a point guard or not.