Report: Lakers tinker with crunch-time lineup of LeBron James at 1, Anthony Davis at 5

The Los Angeles Lakers shipped out nearly everything of value that wasn’t nailed down to pair LeBron James and Anthony Davis on the same team. That could mean an interesting look for its new roster.

The Lakers practiced with a crunch-time lineup of James playing point guard and David playing center during training camp, according to ESPN’s Dave McMenamin. The scene reportedly consisted of head coach Frank Vogel putting two minutes on the clock with a score of 99-96 against the James-Davis side.

Between the two superstars were Alex Caruso, Kentavious Caldwell-Pope and Avery Bradley. Opposing them were Danny Green, Rajon Rondo, Dwight Howard, Troy Daniels and Devontae Cacok.

The “game” reportedly ended with James hitting a deep three-pointer to tie the game with six seconds left, then fouling Rondo and losing on the subsequent free throws. As everyone in the Lakers organization will tell you, it’s all a work in progress.

James’ outlook, via ESPN:

"I mean, we have so many different lineup packages that we can probably go to throughout the course of the season," James said Thursday. "So we're just trying out a few things now in practice -- going with smaller lineups, going with bigger lineups, going with quicker lineups, going with slower lineups. But that's the luxury of having our personnel, we have the ability to do multiple things. So, that's what practice is all about, being able to work on those things."

The plan of James seeing significant time at point guard was reported by Yahoo Sports senior NBA insider Chris Haynes in July, so seeing the former MVP at that position was pretty much a given in crunch time. Davis playing center is another matter, as he has long preferred playing at power forward.

Davis said as much during the offseason, publicly telling Vogel that he doesn’t like playing the five. However, he also added if Vogel needs him to play there, he will play there. That might end up being the case often, as the Lakers’ two rotation centers right now are JaVale McGee and Dwight Howard.

LeBron James (L) and Anthony Davis of the Los Angeles Lakers arrive for a photo shoot during Lakers Media day in El Segundo, California on September 27, 2019. (Photo by Frederic J. BROWN / AFP)        (Photo credit should read FREDERIC J. BROWN/AFP/Getty Images)
The Lakers have plenty of options when it comes to their closing lineups. (FREDERIC J. BROWN/AFP/Getty Images)

As for the other three spots in the crunch-time lineup, don’t expect to see Caruso, Caldwell-Pope and Bradley all in there. Green is a natural complement as a three-point specialist working off James and Davis dominating the interior. Kyle Kuzma is still healing from a foot injury and should be another option when he gets back.

The rest could decided by what the team wants to do and who they’re playing, because plenty is still up in the air with this Lakers team.

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