The Los Angeles Lakers are in the midst of a rebuilding process, and that typically means losing a lot of games. True to form, the Lakers have missed the playoffs for four straight seasons and averaged just under 23 wins during that span.
While all of that losing hasn’t been easy for fans to cope with, the silver lining is that their poor play has allowed them to draft young, talented players like Julius Randle, Jordan Clarkson, D’Angelo Russell, Larry Nance Jr., Brandon Ingram, and Ivica Zubac.
In June, this year’s NBA Draft saw the Lakers take their youth movement to the next level, as they selected a whopping four players: Lonzo Ball, Kyle Kuzma, Josh Hart, and Thomas Bryant.
Unfortunately, while the Lakers have assembled an impressive young core, it typically takes superstars surrounded by high-quality, veteran role players to win in the NBA. Los Angeles’ young core may have talent, but no one is sure exactly what they will become just yet. As such, it’s not surprising that head coach Luke Walton wouldn’t tell Chris Palmer just how many wins he expects his team to have next season:
Luke won't put a number on how many wins he expects. Has one but won't say. "But in 2-3 years we're going to be a really, really good team."
— Chris Martin Palmer (@ChrisPalmerNBA) August 4, 2017
Last season, the Lakers finished with 26 wins, but most expect them to land north of that this year. While losing Russell may hurt, the additions of quality starters Brook Lopez and Kentavious Caldwell-Pope figures to push their win total higher than it has been in recent years, particularly if Ball can hit the ground running.
It’s not surprising that Walton wasn’t willing to reveal the number of wins that he is hoping for, as expectations can be difficult for a young team to live up to, but his assertion that they will be very good in 2-3 years is a positive sign that the team is heading in the right direction.