The Los Angeles Lakers brought in some new blood this season with the addition of three rookies. Although D’Angelo Russell stole all the headlines after being taken with the second overall pick by the Lakers back in June, Larry Nance Jr. and Anthony Brown have proven to be a valuable asset to the team.
At this point, Nance has made the biggest impact among the rookies not named Russell. Nance has earned a starting role on the squad and appears to have a bright future ahead. Even though Nance seems to have made an impression, Brown is showing signs that he may also be in Los Angeles for quite some time.
Brown has two things going for him moving forward. One, the Stanford product can be a force from beyond the arc, and two, he’s arguably one of the best defenders on the squad. Apparently, Brown has some added motivation to excel on the defensive end with Kobe Bryant giving the rookie some advice via Mark Medina of the Los Angeles Daily News:
“‘If you can defend, you’ll have a job,” Brown recalled Bryant saying. “‘Everything else from there, it’ll come. But defend first.’”
The Lakers have only won nine games so far this season and appear to be headed for the NBA Draft Lottery once again, but the team’s young players have shown there may be a bright future ahead in Los Angeles.
Jordan Clarkson, Julius Randle, and Russell have gotten all the headlines among the team’s young core this season. That likely won’t change with the fans and the coaching staff wanting these three players to be the future of the franchise, but Brown and Nance may continue to turn some heads in the final months of the season.
If Brown concentrates on being a lockdown defender while also being a threat from the three-point line, the 23-year-old forward will become a regular player in the team’s rotation. Brown still has a lot to prove in his rookie season, but he’ll get his opportunity to shine if he continues to make the most of his time on the floor.