It has been a busy summer for the Los Angeles Lakers, who brought in a new head coach in Luke Walton, drafted two rookies in Brandon Ingram and Ivica Zubac, and have agreed to terms with Luol Deng, Timofey Mozgov, Jordan Clarkson, and Tarik Black in free agency.
After a franchise-worst 17-win season, it appears as though all of the changes have led to some optimism and excitement to Los Angeles. In particular, Walton’s desire to bring the Golden State Warriors offense to the Lakers has many players chomping at the bit to get the new season started.
Ingram is one of several players to express his excitement to play for Walton. When the newest Laker met the media at his introductory press conference he raved about his new coach, via Lakers reporter Mike Trudell:
Ingram on Walton after Day 1 of SL practice: "I really liked him – how he wants to push the ball, play a different style. He’s a great guy."
— Mike Trudell (@LakersReporter) July 5, 2016
Fans are also excited about what Walton’s Golden State-inspired system may bring. The Lakers feature a pair of dynamic young guards in Clarkson and D’Angelo Russell, and both of whom should have an easier time getting looks in an offense that prioritizes spacing. Ingram, who shot 41 percent from three in college, will also help in this regard. We should also see the Lakers get out and run more as they look to strike opponents before their defense is set.
The addition of Mozgov and return of Black gives Walton two players who can set tough screens up top and then roll hard to the basket, which is a must for a passer of Russell’s quality. We should see a lot more movement off the ball as well, with screens and cuts being made with the goal of creating open shots.
The Lakers certainly have their work cut out for them in a difficult Western Conference, but with Walton in town and a strong cast of talented young players, it does appear that things are looking up.