Kendrick Nunn confirms he will pick up the opportunity, ready to return to court

It goes without saying that it was never expected last summer that Kendrick Nunn would miss the entire season. It should also go without saying that he is just as frustrated at not being able to play as Lakers fans were all season.

Nunn spoke to the media at his exit interview on Monday, explaining how the last six months have been as he has tried, and repeatedly failed, to get back on the field for the Lakers. But near the top of the list of things that should be a matter of course, Nunn also confirmed he would choose his player option for next season.

His rationale for that choice was pretty obvious, as he simply said out loud what most people probably thought in their heads.

“Knowing that I’ve just taken all this year off, it’s a hassle for me to sign up,” Nunn said.

Nunn’s player option is at $ 5.2 million next season, making him one of four players – LeBron James, Anthony Davis and Talen Horton-Tucker the others – who would be guaranteed contracts on the list next season. Russell Westbrook is likely to accept his player option and the team has options for Austin Reaves, Stanley Johnson and Wenyen Gabriel, all of whom could potentially result in their return.

After playing in the first four preseason games for the Lakers, Nunn missed the time with a sprained ankle. But that ankle injury turned into a bone blue mark on his knee, which turned into an entire season of starts and stops in his rehabilitation.

Nunn repeatedly tried to “increase” his activity – a phrase that had been attached to him all season – only to suffer a setback. Eventually after another setback in March, Nunn came to the harsh realization that this would be a lost year.

“Throughout the season,” said Nunn, “I’m pretty sure you’ve noticed that I’ve always tried to move up to dive back into the season, and there have been times when I – the beginning of January, tried to ramp it up, sit back. And then maybe like the beginning of March tried to screw up again to get ready to play and then another setback. So that was just to tell me, “It’s not healed yet and I’m not ready to play. So I just had to accept it and just take a step back and really sit back and let that thing heal.”

Updates on Nunn became more and more sparse as the season ended. Following reports that he could be back at the end of March, the reports disappeared for almost the entire month of March, until then-head coach Frank Vogel more or less confirmed that Nunn would not return this year.

One of the questions about Nunn’s injury is how a sprained ankle turned into a season-ending injury. Nunn noted that it was not any unique injury but consistent wear and tear throughout his career that culminated with the bone blue mark.

“I only felt it after I twisted my ankle,” Nunn said. “Just going back and thinking – I’ve had plenty of time to think about what actually caused the bone bruise – just over time, the amount of work I’ve put in, the recovery did not respond. All that impact and stress, overtraining and not getting enough recovery.You know what I mean to make ice after every workout, over the years and years that put up and it affects your legs and knees it shows.Wear and age is pretty much what (the cause) is. “

Frustrations and constant questions about when he would return during the season led Nunn to tweet an update that doubled as a call for patience from fans in late January.

On Monday, Nunn spoke about his mindset at the moment and what led to him sending out the tweet.

“I got a lot of feedback during the year, whether it was fans or peers, and asked when I would be back, just to speed up the process,” Nunn said. “And it’s one thing you can not and should not do. I can not rush my whole body faster than it naturally does, so I just had to accept it and be as patient as possible with it because it’s frustrating. It took longer than I expected (to heal) so I just had to be patient with it and leave it all in. And I wanted to send (a tweet to) the fans and everyone tell them I’m doing everything I can , and I’m waiting to get back as soon as I can. “

Unfortunately for all parties involved, patience never paid off in production this season. But Nunn will go into the offseason feeling healthy and looking to rebuild the fitness, strength and time he lost this season.

“It was extremely frustrating for me because I never saw it come where I have to take a whole year to get well,” Nunn said. “But I had to take that time and I’m feeling pretty good now.

“I will definitely take this summer to do my job and be prepared for next season.”

When he gets on the floor again, he will give the Lakers a weapon they literally did not have, which speaks for itself. A healthy summer and time to hopefully finally rise all the way would have him ready to make an impact for the Lakers next year and put an end to all the frustrations for him linked to the 2021-22 season and reward themselves and the Lakers for their patience in the process.

For more Lakers talk, subscribe to Silver Screen and Roll podcast feed on iTunes, Spotify, Stitcher or Google Podcasts. You can follow Jacob on Twitter at @JacobRude.

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