Lakers Summer League: Phil Handy Coaching California Classic Before Jordan Ott Takes Over In Las Vegas
Phil Handy, Lakers
Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports

The Los Angeles Lakers Summer League team has begun practicing ahead of the annual California Classic event in the Bay Area where they will play the Miami Heat and Golden State Warriors on July 2 and 3.

With a very talented Summer League roster, the Lakers can use this time to evaluate their players to add even more youth to the official team roster heading into next season.

According to Jovan Buha of The Athletic, Lakers assistant Phil Handy, who has been with the organization since 2019, will be coaching the Summer League team in the California Classic before new assistant Jordan Ott takes over the following week in Las Vegas:

The coaching swap for the Lakers Summer League team benefits both the players and the staff in getting to know everyone and giving a new coach like Ott a chance to rep out some head coaching experience.

Both coaches have a track record of helping young prospects tap into their potential. Meanwhile, head coach Darvin Ham is expected to stay back in L.A. with Rob Pelinka to help put the parent team roster together for the 2022-23 season.

Lakers signLonnie Walker IV with taxpayer mid-level exception

Heading into the offseason with limited salary cap, the Lakers only had a $6.5 million taxpayer mid-level exception to use in free agency along with minimum contracts.

The Lakers did not waste any time handing that out when free agency started, reportedly inking a deal with former San Antonio Spurs guard Lonnie Walker IV.

The deal is only for one year, but it grants the Lakers a chance to see if Walker can tap into his potential before signing an extension.

Coming off a career year with 12.6 points in 70 games last season, Walker answers the L.A’s needs of youth, athleticism and defense. Though the 23-year-old guard only shot 31 percent from three last season, the off-ball scoring and perimeter defense he provides is something the Lakers did not have last year.

As the biggest signing of the first day in free agency so far, the Lakers look to fill out their roster with more young athletic players who especially are specialized in shooting the basketball.

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