The Los Angeles Lakers might not be a great NBA team this season, but they at least look like they’re going to be fun.
Rookie point guard Lonzo Ball’s passing appears set to re-energize what’s been a ball-movement bereft offense over the last several seasons, with his full-court outlet passes setting up easy dunks in transition while his no-look flair in the halfcourt allows teammates easier 3-point attempts than they’ve had in years.
That style play will be more fun to watch for fans, and the Lakers Head Coach Luke Walton hopes it will be visually appealing to one other group of potential viewers as well: The 2018 NBA free agency class the team is trying to recruit next summer, via Bill Oram of the Orange County Register:
“A lot of ball movement, a fast game. What else do free agents want?” Walton said. “They want to see if a team can compete, which is what I want to see, too.”
Free agents want to win, but fun basketball also can’t be understated as a recruiting tool. Everyone who has ever played even pick-up basketball knows it’s more fun to play alongside players who want to move the ball and play selflessly than it is players who just jack shots every time they touch it, a large reason why so many have pinned their hopes for a Lakers resurgence on Ball’s ball movement skills.
Of course, players want to compete as well, as Walton mentioned, but the two things don’t have to be mutually exclusive. The Lakers can have the best of both worlds, with Ball’s skill at tossing the rock catching defenses off guard and being fun for players to play alongside.
If the Lakers can find that balance, then free agents may start lining up to play in Los Angeles once again.