Now that the Los Angeles Lakers have been officially eliminated from playoff contention, the team can be open about what they are focused on for the rest of the season. With only 18 games left in the season, the team is obviously looking ahead to the future.
Head coach Byron Scott confirmed that, saying that 90 percent of his job right now is evaluating the young prospects for next season according to Lakers Nation reporter Serena Winters:
Byron Scott said majority of what he's doing right now with the Lakers ("90%" in fact) is evaluating young guys & talent for next season.
— Serena Winters (@SerenaWinters) March 13, 2015
The summer will also be huge for the Lakers, and according to Mark Medina of the Los Angeles Daily News, Scott says that the draft and free agency are equally important for the Lakers rebuild:
Byron Scott said he puts draft picks and free agents of equal importance in expediting rebuild
— Mark Medina (@MarkG_Medina) March 13, 2015
With Scott saying that he is focused on the young players, fans should expect to see Jordan Clarkson, Tarik Black, Ryan Kelly, and Ed Davis get substantial minutes. Players like Jeremy Lin and Carlos Boozer may be better now, but the Lakers must see the potential of their young prospects.
Assuming the Lakers have a couple of keepers, adding to them this summer will be of utmost importance. The Lakers will likely have multiple draft picks, and enough cap room to offer a maximum deal in free agency. The Lakers have said they are focused on building for the long-term so it will be interesting to see what the off-season brings.[divide]
Lakers Byron Scott On The Stamp He Wants To Leave On Franchise