The Los Angeles Lakers may have to play some of their preseason games without projected starting center Brook Lopez. Bill Oram of the Orange County Register recently reported that Lopez is dealing with "back issues" this offseason. The team's preseason campaign begins with a home game versus the Minnesota Timberwolves on September 30. Following this, the purple and gold will take on the Denver Nuggets (October 2 and 4), Sacramento Kings (October 8), Utah Jazz (October 10), and the Los Angeles Clippers (October 13).

As of the moment, it is uncertain when Lopez can join the Lakers during the preseason.

Many are waiting for him to hit the court since he is one of the organization's biggest acquisitions this offseason. The Lakers gave up D'Angelo Russell and Timofey Mozgov to the Brooklyn Nets in July just to add him. Aside from Lopez, the Lakers received the 27th pick in the 2017 NBA draft which they used to select Kyle Kuzma.

Time to shine

There is a silver lining for the Lakers in Lopez's potential absence during the preseason. Besides from it just being the preseason, head coach Luke Walton can use this as a chance to let the younger centers on the roster take center stage. It will be helpful for their growth and is going to allow them to prepare for a grueling 82-game season. The developing big men currently in Los Angeles are Ivica Zubac and Thomas Bryant.

Zubac is entering his second year in the NBA, while Bryant will play his first season.

Andrew Bogut coming to Los Angeles

In other Lakers news involving centers, Andrew Bogut agreed to a one-year deal (veteran's minimum) with the franchise. Bogut last suited up for the Cleveland Cavaliers. Sadly, his time in Cleveland ended immediately, when he sustained a leg injury just 58 seconds into his debut with the team.

Before joining the Lakers, there was a report in the previous week that four teams targeted Bogut. These were the Boston Celtics, Milwaukee Bucks, San Antonio Spurs, and the Utah Jazz. All four squads were playoff contenders last season. Despite this, the 32-year-old chose to be with a rebuilding franchise. The Vertical's Shams Charania mentioned that the reason to this is the Aussie's desire to reunite with Walton.

Bogut and Walton have worked together in Oakland. Bogut was the starting center for the Golden State Warriors from 2012 to 2016. Walton was an assistant coach for the Dubs in the 2014-15 and 2015-16 seasons.