A week shy of the start of training camp, the Los Angeles Lakers revealed their 2017-18 training camp roster, which hints heavily at the final team roster.
Technically, the Lakers have 14 of their 15 roster spots filled with one full-time spot up for grabs. In reality, one of those non-guaranteed contracts belongs to Andrew Bogut, whose signing the team made official ahead of the press release announcing the attendees of Luke Walton's second annual boot camp.
Walton, who is in his sophomore season as head coach of the Lakers, previously has a relationship with Bogut from the coach's time as an assistant with the Golden State Warriors from 2014 to 2016. The strong feeling is that Bogut has that final spot barring an injury, even if the team may not openly admit it.
At an ESPNLA interview event on Tuesday evening, Walton all but confirmed that Lonzo Ball would be a starter by calling the rookie the best point guard on the roster. However, the coach remained coy on who his other starters would be in an attempt to promote competition.
The combinations and lineups tested during the preseason will ultimately determine the rotations, but one would expect that Ball will look to build chemistry with Kentavious Caldwell-Pope, Brandon Ingram, Julius Randle and Brook Lopez, as all five appear to be clear starters. Larry Nance Jr. may challenge Randle should he fit in better with Ball and the starters, but all five of those spots seem secure on the eve of training camp.
In all, the Lakers have 20 players coming to camp with one full time roster spot and one two-way contract up for grabs. The two-way contract allows teams to take on two extra part-time players that are also assigned to the team's minor league affiliate, the South Bay Lakers.
Under new NBA rules, each team is allowed to sign two extra players to two-way contracts. After a strong Summer League, point guard Alex Caruso claimed one of those highly coveted two-way contracts, and the likes of Briante Weber, Stephen Zimmerman and V.J. Beachem face an uphill climb to beat out Vander Blue for that second two-way contract.
Blue is the reigning MVP of the NBA Development League, which re-branded to the G-League after earning a sponsorship from Gatorade. So, the guard is the favorite to secure that extra contract, and Blue's strong play in a championship winning campaign in the 2017 Summer League surely helped the cause for third-year guard out of Marquette.
With Gunnar Peterson hired as Director of Strength and Endurance Training for the team, the trainer to the stars likely has a few new drills to contribute to the four-days of stamina building exercises that include two workouts a day on the first three days of camp.
Peterson recently added Josh Wright and Adi Vase as assistants to his staff, and the team hired Kristen Andrews as a new manager of Nutrition and Wellness. Andrews was previously the Sports Performance Dietitian for the LA Galaxy.
The coaching staff has one minor edit from Walton's first season on the bench. Brian Shaw retains his position as the Associate Head Coach with assistants Mark Madsen, Brian Keefe, Jesse Mermuys and 2017 Summer League champioin Jud Buechler all returning. Assistant Theo Robertson is no longer with the team, and Miles Simon, another former University of Arizona Wildcat, comes in to join fellow former Tucsan residents Mermuys, Buechler and Walton.
Of course, none of this is earth shattering news, but now, it's official.
The Lakers have their athletic staff, coaching staff and training camp rosters all set. Next, Monday is Media Day, Tuesday is the start of camp, and the Lakers host the Minnesota Timberwolves on Saturday, Sept. 30th in Anaheim to tip-off preseason.
The announcement of the 2017-18 Los Angeles Lakers training camp roster is only the beginning.