With 13 games remaining in the 2015-16 season, the Los Angeles Lakers are focusing on Kobe Bryant’s farewell tour and the young core’s development. While D’Angelo Russell, Julius Randle and Jordan Clarkson have recently played poorly, they have all shown their potential and an exciting future awaits for the post-Kobe era.
For head coach Byron Scott, his future with the team is reportedly uncertain. While the Lakers do not have a playoff-caliber team, Scott has been criticized for how he has managed the young core’s development.
In a recent Q&A with Larry Burnett of VICE Sports, Scott believes the franchise is on the right path and discusses the importance of free agency:
Absolutely! I think we are on the right path. Obviously, this summer is very big for us when it comes to the free-agent market. This season has been big for us with those three young guys (Russell, Randle, and Clarkson) developing and we should not forget to mention Larry Nance in that same breath. That young man has developed into a basketball player and I think he is going to get better. Same thing for Anthony Brown. The foundation is there with the young people that we have. We just have to add a couple more veterans that we feel can come in and help us turn the corner.
Heading into the season, the ideal situation was for the young core to play well in hopes of landing a top-name in free agency. While Russell and Randle have been in and out of the starting lineup, they have been able to play major minutes since All-Star Weekend.
For the Lakers, they will be able to sign two free agents to max contracts. While all the attention will naturally be on Kevin Durant, there are players like Al Horford and Hassan Whiteside that could help the Lakers take the next step forward in their rebuilding process.