The Lakers’ offseason promises to be a mostly quiet one. They will likely add two more young players through the 2017 NBA Draft but the front office has indicated that they are not looking to make a big splash in free agency this summer, instead opting to wait until 2018.
That means next year’s focus will once again be on the development of a large core of young, talented players on the roster. That’s what head coach Luke Walton is preparing for and he seems more than content, praising the players for their work ethic.
Following transcribed from Walton’s appearance on the Full 48 podcast with Bleacher Report’s Howard Beck:
“It’s a lot of fun, it really is. There’s obviously a lot of stress and frustration that can come with losing when you’re caught up in the moment, but we have a great group of young players and I don’t just mean that by like a great group of talented players. I mean like actual people and who they are and the way they work makes coaching so much fun because they’re coming in, we still have the playoffs going on and we’ve had six or seven guys in here pretty much every day Monday through Friday from May 15 until right now.
They want to get better, they work hard, they’re fun to be around. Even with the amount of losing that we did last year and, for a lot of these guys, the amount of losing they’ve done for the last couple years, there wasn’t ever any quit in them which, as coaches, we just love. They keep fighting, they want to be better and they enjoy playing basketball. That leads me to believe if we keep putting in the work and the time with these young guys that as they grow older and mature with those type of attitudes and those type of work habits they’re putting in…we’re going to have a successful future.”
We’ve seen a lot of behind-the-scenes photos and videos confirming what Walton says: the Lakers’ young players have been active in getting to the gym and working on their crafts. Walton’s seeing the development and wants to keep nurturing it.
We still don’t know just how good the team’s young players are or if any one of them is the superstar that the franchise wants leading them forward. But it is promising to know that they’re at least working with the mentality of becoming that, whether on an individual or team basis.