With the season winding down, things haven’t been going well for the young Los Angeles Lakers on the court. Following a blowout loss on Wednesday night at the hands of the Houston Rockets, spirits were understandably down, but despite the results this remains an evaluation period for the team.
With new president of basketball operations Magic Johnson and general manager Rob Pelinka looking to turn the franchise around, they are hard at work figuring out how to do exactly that. A major part will certainly be figuring out the talent that they have on the roster right now and who fits their vision.
Both Magic and Pelinka have spoken about wanting to meet with players individually and that began after Thursday’s practice. Third-year guard Jordan Clarkson revealed what he and the front office talked about according to Mark Medina of the LA Daily News:
“Talk and communicate; that’s where I feel like we lack sometimes because we’re young,” Clarkson said. “You feel like you’re also doing something wrong so you don’t want to speak up. We have to step out of our comfort zone and start to do that.”
Rookie center Ivica Zubac was another one of the many players that spoke with them, with Zubac noting his plans to improve of the summer being a talking point via Medina:
“They’re going to keep track of me this summer,” Zubac said. “I have to work hard this summer because this summer is important for me. Now everybody knows me. I have to be better than this season.”
Overall Pelinka and Magic met with much of the team. In addition to Clarkson and Zubac they also spoke with Brandon Ingram, Julius Randle, D’Angelo Russell, Tarik Black, Timofey Mozgov, and David Nwaba.
Clarkson also noted that the open door policy the front office has is a good thing.
Obviously each conversation with the individual players was different, but it is good to see Pelinka and Magic getting an idea for what they have on the roster and what will be the best moves for the Lakers going forward.