Heading into the 2017-18 season, the success of the Los Angeles Lakers will depend greatly on the team’s young players. Lonzo Ball and Brandon Ingram get the most attention, but the team is full of intriguing young talent.
Julius Randle has transformed his body and has been working on his jumper. Larry Nance Jr. has also been hard at work as has Jordan Clarkson. Additionally, rookies Kyle Kuzma, Josh Hart, and Thomas Bryant are all looking to make their mark.
The Lakers’ new UCLA Health practice facility has been full all summer as the young core is preparing for the upcoming season. This has been noticeable to legendary Lakers coach Bill Bertka as GM Rob Pelinka said that Bertka came into his office and praised the young players via Lakers reporter Mike Trudell:
“(Bertka) came into my office just the other day, and he said, ‘In my 50 years, I’ve never seen a young group of Lakers players compete like this ever.'”
Whether or not the Lakers make a huge leap in wins this season remains to be seen, but one thing that has been apparent is that all of the young players are dead set on improving as much as possible. There is a lot of potential on this team and with this work ethic, they could very well meet it.
There will be pressure, especially on Ball and Ingram, from the beginning. Ball will be the starting point guard and expected to make the game easier for everyone, while Ingram is expected to be the leading scorer in just his second season.
The young team has already begun forming a bond and the fact that they are constantly in the gym bodes well for their future. Magic and Pelinka have spoken in the past about getting the right players to fit this new Lakers culture and it seems that they have done exactly that.