This isn’t a who is the best player rankings, this is who is performing the best for the Lakers within their role of the offense, and what players have contributed the most to the Lakers through 5 games this season.
- Kyle Kuzma
Reasoning: He has scored the most points in a Lakers uniform this season, but it unfortunately came in a loss in which he either didn’t take charge or the coaching chose to differ from the hot hand. He will be up and down for the Lakers most of this season especially as Brandon Ingram comes back from suspension but the Lakers (and Kuzma) have played well enough to warrant keeping their current starting unit. Kuzma’s defense has left something to be desired but he is going up against bigger more physically dominant opponents each night. He’d be higher on this list if they had won the game against the Spurs, but with only one major scoring effort this is about as high as you can rank the Flint Michigan native.
Stats: 16.4 PTS 45.2 FG% 36.0 3P% 4.4 Reb 1.4 Ast 0.4 Stl 1.0 Blk USG% 23.5
- Josh Hart
Reasoning: The biggest jump forward on the season and if this continues will have serious consideration for most improved player of they year. Summer League has helped make Josh Hart more aggressive and his performance through 5 games hasn’t missed a beat from this summer. He’d be higher on this list if it wasn’t or the overall performance of the Lakers team through 5 games, but he is turning into an MVP and serious threat before our very eyes. His defense and usage rate have also been phenomenal thus far meaning he is making the most of his opportunities with quick decision making while playing hard on both ends of the court.
Stats: 15.6 PTS 50.9 FG% 44.8 3P% 5.2 Reb 1.4 Ast 2.2 Stl 0.6 Blk USG% 17.5
- Lebron James
Reasoning: He has the best-looking stats of any of the Lakers players if you simply look at points, rebounds, and assists. However, these stats aren’t Lebron worth specifically his shooting clips early into this season. He has steals and the overall stats due to his high usage rate and the way Lebron teams have played defensive of late with him being some sort of defensive signal caller. With multiple defensive lapses and a 3-point stroke that has looked as bad as mine through 5 games I can’t rank Lebron any higher or lower than third on this list, that probably wouldn’t be the case if he had just made a pair of free throws to end that Spurs game. With Lebron playing on the West coast and inadvertently changing my sleep schedule during basketball season I have no choice but to be extra critical of my favorite player.
Stats: 25.8 PTS 47.9 FG% 17.2 3P% 8.6 Reb 9.2 Ast (2.8 TOPG) 2.0 Stl 0.4 Blk USG% 28.3
- Lonzo Ball
Reasoning: His stats don’t immediately scream MVP, but when you consider he is playing less minutes than last season and is on pace to have better stats this season assuming he keeps his starting job. Which brings me to the point Lonzo would be higher on this list if his minutes restriction or Luke’s coaching decision whichever it is; allowed for him to play. Lonzo should play no less than 35-38 minutes a night, his Usage rate, shooting clips, and overall defense has just been unmatched on the team thus far. He doesn’t require the ball to be successful and he may make the quickest decisions in the NBA, as you can see in the videos I tagged below. He may not end up being the Lakers MVP, but you need to start respecting the young King.
Stats: 11.8 PTS 48.9 FG% 40.7 3P% 5.8 Reb 5.0 Ast (1.4 TOPG) 1.8 Stl 0.8 Blk USG% 15.3%
What a sequence by Lonzo Ball here. First the perfect dish to LeBron, then gets the steal. This kid’s basketball IQ is off the charts. pic.twitter.com/8P3BzFpRrd— Hoop Central (@TheHoopCentral) October 26, 2018
LeBron times the screen with Lonzo perfectly— Sports ReUp (@SportsReUp) October 26, 2018
"Hold it, hold"
Dishes back to Lonzo
Kuzma hits the 3 at the buzzer 🚨 pic.twitter.com/s9llmkCsnu
- Javale McGee
Reasoning: Who would have thought when this picture was taken that McGee would be a Lakers MVP candidate after 5 games. He is no where near the best Laker however, but he not only is playing his role better than many expected, he now has me convinced this team was inadvertently built for him to have a career season if he stays healthy. He is scoring a career high and points while blocking shots at an amazing pace thus far the Lakers, providing them with constant effort and what seems to be the perfect pick and roll man for this Lakers unit. With so many playmakers and willing passers don’t expect his scoring to take much of a dip throughout the season, which should be enough to keep him in the upper echelon of Lakers MVP’s
Stats: 17.2 PTS 62.7 FG% 50.0 3P% 7.0 Reb 1.6 Ast 0.8 Stl 2.8 Blk USG% 20.7%
Honorable Mention: Lance Stephenson, Brandon Ingram, Rajon Rondo
Least Valuable Laker: Luke Walton’s Rotations