Even though the Los Angeles Lakers have failed to make the playoffs in each of the past five seasons, one thing they have done is assemble and develop a core of talented young players.
That began to really show itself this past season as the likes of Brandon Ingram, Kyle Kuzma, Lonzo Ball and Josh Hart all showed flashes of promise.
Despite injury problems throughout season, the Lakers made a leap to 35 wins even though they heavily relied on players with little or no NBA experience. Their talent and drive made an impact on veteran Channing Frye during his short time with the team.
Frye is no longer with the Lakers, returning to the Cleveland Cavaliers this summer as a free agent, but in an interview with Erik Gunderson of USA Today, he offered high praise for the young Lakers:
“I’ll tell you this: they’re arguably the most talented group in the NBA. And I mean talented in terms of experience, years playing in the Western Conference and they’re overall position.”
Some fans in Boston and Philadelphia may want to argue Frye’s point, but there is no doubt that the Lakers are in the conversation. Now with LeBron James and a host of other veterans on the roster, the pressure will be high and adjusments will need to be made.
It’s a challenge Frye has previously noted, but the Lakers players sound ready to handle everything. Kuzma, identified by Frye as his favorite of the young core, has spoken confidently about the upcoming season and even believes people are underestimating what the Lakers can accomplish.
What ultimately happens this season remains to be seen, but with the best player in the NBA, and one of the best collections of young talent, the Lakers will definitely be entertaining to watch.
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