The front office of the Los Angeles Laker emerged from the 2017 NBA Draft with four picks under their belts, each providing a different skill set to the roster. First round picks Lonzo Ball, Kyle Kuzma and Josh Hart each add to the young team dynamic, while Thomas Bryant is a bit more of a project, but promising nonetheless.
Although the past few seasons have been underwhelming, the new front office duo of Magic Johnson and Rob Pelinka, along with head coach Luke Walton, has brought back an optimism to the franchise. The Lakers are coming off a 2017 Las Vegas Summer League championship, where Ball was declared the MVP and Kuzma was given the Finals MVP Award.
The Lakers have this sense of excitement around the franchise, with two franchise caliber players in Ball and Ingram. During an appearance on the Popcorn Machine Podcast with Joey Ramirez, Kuzma attested to the newfound culture for the Lakers, stating that the franchise is headed in the right direction:
“It’s awesome. We come in and it’s a positive energy every single day […] It’s just a great culture, you can tell that the culture is different than what it was in the past with past teams. We’re definitely going in the right way I think.”
Walton has certainly done a magnificent job with the roster, with each player having a newfound respect for their head coach. At the same time, Johnson and Pelinka have done an outstanding job collecting assets, while also departing with some pieces that they believe affected the overall chemistry of the roster.
The Lakers have gradually become younger as the years have gone on, but have also added in veterans like Corey Brewer, Brook Lopez, and Kentavious Caldwell-Pope to impart wisdom. The consistent effort and hard work these veterans continue to put in is another example of the standards the young core should be held to.
At the same time, the recent draft picks have also stepped up to the plate regarding team chemistry, as they attended every press conference this offseason in relation to the Lakers. Los Angeles is exuding a hunger and desire to be great, heading into a franchise-defining season, one which Pelinka has labeled as a ‘Laker Year.’