The Los Angeles Lakers’ season ended on Wednesday. Despite missing the playoffs for the fifth straight year, the season ended on a high note with the hope of a more promising future behind the growth of a talented young core.
That hope, however, is, at least in part, dependent on the coming offseason, potentially a key time in the Lakers’ development. With promises of big-money signings and hints from prominent players, the Lakers have placed a lot of capital in being able to sign star free agents with Paul George and LeBron James the most often named targets.
On Thursday, Lakers players spoke to the media at their annual exit interviews and free agency was a common theme for all players involved.
Lakers point guard Lonzo Ball spoke about the hype surrounding him and how that could play into recruiting free agents this July.
Lonzo Ball on his role in attracting free agents: "I just did what I could to help my team. So whether it be LeBron, Paul George or whoever, if they liked it they liked it. If they didn’t, they didn’t. I can’t do anything about it now."
— Bill Oram (@billoram) April 12, 2018
Kyle Kuzma had a similar response, claiming that the young Lakers would work well with a star free agent but that they also feel comfortable moving forward on their own:
Kyle Kuzma thinks the young Lakers have shown themselves to be legit moving forward: “If guys want to come here, they come, but if not, we’re not depending on that. We want to be those great players, max level guys. We just think about how can we make the team better.”
— Mike Trudell (@LakersReporter) April 12, 2018
Josh Hart echoed that sentiment:
Josh Hart on young guys’ approach to offseason re: free agency: "We’re gonna work as hard as we can as if nobody is coming. If we work out butts off and get better and (if we’re) able to add great players, that makes this team that much more dangerous."
— Mike Trudell (@LakersReporter) April 13, 2018
Brandon Ingram had a more specific answer regarding his fit with the potential Lakers targets:
“I think I fit in fine” Ingram said smiling when asked about fitting in with big name free agents.
— Silver Screen & Roll (@LakersSBN) April 12, 2018
Free agency will be huge for the Lakers, from hoping to sign a star to potentially re-signing Julius Randle. The young Lakers seem to know that.