The Los Angeles Lakers rebuilding process has been a long, tedious one, as the last three seasons the Lakers have been among the worst teams in the league, breaking to franchise record for losses in each of the last two seasons.
The result of that though was three lottery picks that netted the Lakers Julius Randle, D’Angelo Russell, and Brandon Ingram.
They have also drafted well with their later picks, taking both Jordan Clarkson and Ivica Zubac in the second round and Larry Nance Jr. late in the first round.
After last season they replaced Byron Scott with Luke Walton, a rookie head coach, to be the coach to lead the young core into the future.
Just five games into the season it is easy to see that the culture has changed in Los Angeles with Walton and the young core, as the Lakers are currently 2-3 but each loss they played tough and were in the game on the road against potential playoff teams.
General manager Mitch Kupchak recently talked about what his goals for this team are, via J.A. Adande of ESPN:
“My only goal is to get this franchise on solid footing with young players, free agents and flexibility,” Kupchak said. “And I think we’ve done that.
“I don’t know how many games we’re going to win. But my hope is that as the season goes on, our fans, our partners, the TV audience can watch this team play and see growth and see enthusiasm. Luke is not an experienced coach, but I’m hoping as this season goes on everybody can watch a coach become a good coach. And watch young players develop and grow. And I want to see exciting basketball. That’s my focus. To get involved in anything else from where I sit is counterproductive. And that’s really all I focus on.”
As Kupchak said, the amount of games the Lakers win this season is not necessarily the most important thing for the Lakers this season; rather they are focused on developing the young core and showing that they are capable of competing for a championship in the future.
Los Angeles faces their toughest test yet Friday night as they host Walton’s old team the Golden State Warriors at Staples Center.