The Los Angeles Lakers have quite the foundational pillars heading into the 2017 NBA Summer League, with franchise players Brandon Ingram and Lonzo Ball ready to lead the charge. The consecutive No. 2 picks have brought excitement to the fan base and organization, set to compete against their up and coming peers.
Summer League action kicks off on July 7, when the Los Angeles Lakers face off against the Los Angeles Clippers. With the franchise headed in a new direction, this crucial first experience will be quite the event for the fan base. The Lakers have had exciting Summer League games in these past few seasons, as other members of the young core got to showcase their skills.
Although head coach Luke Walton was often sitting courtside during the games, he never had a role on the bench. Jesse Mermuys coached the 2016 Summer League teams for the Lakers, giving Walton an outside chance to analyze the roster. It seems like Walton will once again watch from the outside, as assistant Jud Buechler has been announced as the 2017 Lakers Summer League coach, via Mark Medina of the O.C. Register:
Lakers assistant Jud Buechler will be the team's summer league head coach https://t.co/E3w7L9uq3d
— Mark Medina (@MarkG_Medina) June 28, 2017
Buechler joined the Lakers staff just before the 2016 regular season, his first official coaching opportunity following his playing days in the NBA. He last appeared for the Orlando Magic during the 2002 season, before deciding to retire to focus on his family.
He captured three NBA championships during his playing days with the Chicago Bulls dynasty. Walton hired his longtime friend, and fellow University of Arizona alum to serve as an energy boost during practices and help with player development.
Buechler will get a one-on-one opportunity to work with Ball and Ingram, as they attempt to dominate their competition in their first few games together. The Lakers begin their 2017 Summer League on July 7, with two following games against the Boston Celtics and Sacramento Kings.