The Los Angeles Lakers are less than one month away from their preseason opener and barely a month removed from their Oct. 18 regular-season opener against the Golden State Warriors.
In other words, no matter what you’ve felt about the NBA offseason—excited about the Lakers’ injection of youth, unnerved by the lack of a Russell Westbrook deal—it’s more or less finished.
So, assuming this is the group L.A. will carry into the regular campaign, let’s rank all 16 players (not including training camp invitees or those with exhibit 10 pacts) based on their ability, projected production and importance to the team.


Max Christie
L.A.’s lone pull from the 2022 draft (No. 35 pick), Christie pairs intriguing three-and-D potential with plenty of work to be done on the developmental front.

12. Wenyen Gabriel
Gabriel isn’t the most skilled player on the roster (as this ranking indicates), but the former five-star recruit offers a helpful blend of size, energy and athleticism.

11. Kendrick Nunn
A healthy Nunn can heat up in a hurry, but his ranking is hurt by the fact that he lost the entire 2021-22 season to a knee injury he may not be over.

10. Troy Brown Jr.
The No. 15 pick in 2018, Brown remains in search of his offensive niche. However, he shot a career-high 35.3 percent from three, creates some havoc defensively and offers a decent amount of playmaking for a 6’6″ swingman.

9. Damian Jones
A Laker for the second time, Jones fits the classic rim-running role as a 6’11”, 245-pounder who can protect the paint, rebound and finish from close range.

8. Thomas Bryant
Another big man about to start his second stint in L.A., Bryant has had his injury issues, but when he’s healthy, he’s a big body (6’10”, 248 lbs) who can space the floor (career 35 percent from three) and block shots.


Juan Toscano-Anderson
Plucked away from the NBA champion Warriors, Toscano-Anderson is an energizer in transition (as a finisher and playmaker) and extremely versatile on defense.

6. Lonnie Walker IV
The No. 18 pick in 2018, Walker pairs explosive athleticism with a fiery (though streaky) outside shot. He might be the favorite to spawn the most conversations between Lakers fans of their non-stars, since his highlights are loud but his inconsistency can be maddening.


Austin Reaves
Reaves has good instincts, a (mostly) there-when-he-needs-it three-ball and seemingly limitless supplies of energy. He arrived last summer as an undrafted player on a two-way pact and had his contract converted to a big league deal before the season tipped.

4. Russell Westbrook
Westbrook is overpaid, on the trade block and very much an awkward fit for this roster, but he’s still a steady source of volume-category production. Last season was among the worst of his career, and he was still one of only five players to average 18 points, seven assists and seven rebounds.

3. Patrick Beverley
Beverley probably won’t post the third-best numbers on the Lakers—he was last a double-digit scorer in 2017-18—but he claims the No. 3 spot for what appears to be a seamless fit with L.A.’s biggest stars. He is a ferocious defender the full length of the floor (Mr. 94 Feet) and an accurate shooter from outside (career 37.8 percent).

2. Anthony Davis
Davis has encountered a slew of injury woes in recent seasons, but his seat as co-star of this club remains untested. He only made it through 40 games last season, but when he was out there, he was the Association’s only player to average 23 points, nine rebounds, three assists and two blocks.

1. LeBron James
King James still sits atop his throne, even with his 37th birthday behind him. Theoretically, he should be showing his age by now, but he just averaged the second-most points of his career (30.3) while shooting 52.4 percent from the field and rounding out his stat line with 8.2 rebounds, 6.2 assists, 1.3 steals and 1.1 blocks.

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