D’Angelo Russell credits Gabe Vincent’s ‘very high IQ’ after preseason game vs. Warriors

Mary Raleigh

Lakers fans got their first look at Gabe Vincent on Saturday and D’Angelo Russell is impressed with his new teammate so far this preseason.

Gabe Vincent’s signing with the Lakers after helping the Heat to the NBA Finals was an unexpected one. It was one not rumored nor was it necessary an area of need.

However, that doesn’t mean it’s a signing that didn’t make sense or have merit. Vincent is a proven winner and someone who can play multiple positions and next to stars effectively.

More than anything, he’s an intelligent player, as new teammate D’Angelo Russell pointed out after Saturday’s preseason game. Vincent played 20 minutes and scored seven points with four assists.

“He’s very high IQ,” Russell said. “He’s a professional. You add a guy like that to any team, the value’s very high. It’s appreciated with the league being so young, you have a lot of guys straddling that line of vet, experience, things like that and he has a lot of experience coming off the season he just had. He’s just a professional. I can play with a lot of different lineups but I feel like my strength, when I play great, is when I have another point guard next to me.

“I like to play the game at a high IQ level pace and usually when you don’t have another point guard, you’re the only point guard out there, guys don’t get you the ball when you’re open, you backdoor cut, you set a flare, things like that.”

For this Lakers team, Vincent’s flexibility in the backcourt will make him even more valuable. The trio of Russell, Vincent and Austin Reaves can all play both guard positions. As D’Lo noted, having multiple ballhandlers on the court makes the offense more dynamic.

The Lakers suffered a notable loss in Dennis Schröder departing for Toronto. Vincent isn’t a like-for-like replacement. But he does bring experience and that’s vital for a team fighting for a title.

Statistically, Vincent might not have the most impressive resume. But he could be a key contributor to the Lakers this season and big in their title challenge.

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