In the loss to the Oklahoma City Thunder to begin their five-game road trip, the Los Angeles Lakers debuted a new starting lineup which featured Jeremy Lin at shooting guard and Ryan Kelly at the power forward. With the new lineup changes, Carlos Boozer and Jordan Hill both received DNPs.
Following the loss, Boozer revealed head coach Byron Scott informed both players that they would not likely play during the road trip according to Mark Medina of the Los Angeles Daily News:
Pressey would not say whether Ryan Kelly (16 points), Tarik Black (nine points) or Robert Sacre (zero points) would play over Boozer and Hill when the Lakers (18-51) visit the Minnesota Timberwolves (16-54) today at Target Center. But Boozer revealed that Scott alerted both him and Hill before the trip they would sit “in the next four or five games.”
The Lakers are currently evaluating which players to bring back next season and the 12-year veteran has an understanding of the situation, via Medina:
“It makes sense for the future,” said Boozer, a 12-year veteran who lost his starting spot after 20 games and received another DNP earlier this season. “They’re trying to figure out and evaluate which guys to bring back.”
Despite missing the playoffs for the second consecutive season, Hill and Boozer have been the most consistent Lakers this season. While some were unsure of the contract he received in the off-season, Hill has proved his worth averaging 12.3 points and 8.0 rebounds while adding a jump shot to his offensive game.
With 12 games remaining in the season, young prospects like Jordan Clarkson and Tarik Black are expected to receive major minutes. While the Lakers have been out of playoff contention, the development of the young prospects and this upcoming off-season will determine if the franchise is able to accelerate the rebuilding process.