The Los Angeles Lakers have spent the past couple of seasons building up their nucleus. The likes of Brandon Ingram, Lonzo Ball, Josh Hart and Kyle Kuzma made up a promising young core that gave fans a lot of hope at the end of last season.
Now, after signing LeBron James in free agency this summer, the trajectory of the franchise has dramatically changed.
The Lakers are looking to win a championship in the near future and for this season signed a number of veteranss with, what some would say questionable reputations, to one-year contracts.
One person who isn’t a fan of the strategy is Turner Sports analyst Charles Barkley. He believes the Lakers haven’t created a good environment for their young core, via Ben Golliver of Sports Illustrated:
“I don’t like what [the Lakers] are doing,” Barkley continued, during a promotional interview for his new deal with Panini America. “It’s going to take away from their young nucleus. They’ve got some good young players. You’re trying to set up Lonzo, Ingram, Kuzma. With all that other stuff going on, I don’t know if that’s a good environment for those kids.”
With Rajon Rondo, Lance Stephenson, JaVale McGee and Michael Beasley, the Lakers believe they have added toughness, strong defenders, and playmakers around James. They all could be a handful to deal with in the locker room however, especially if some aren’t getting the playing time they might feel they deserve.
Ingram, Lonzo, Kuzma and Hart all figure to play plenty of minutes this season, but some are worried these veterans could have a negative impact on their overall growth. Perhaps they would take away some much-needed developmental minutes, especially at the end of games, that could go to the younger members of the roster.
Head coach Luke Walton will have his hands full trying to juggle the rotation, especially on the wings as there is a logjam of worthy players. But what it has created is an environment of competition, which is something the Lakers cherish.