The future appears to be bright for the Los Angeles Lakers franchise with some very talented young players leading the way in the post-Kobe Bryant era. D’Angelo Russell, Brandon Ingram, and Julius Randle have become the players the will be built around moving forward, and all three of them have received high praise from their head coach Luke Walton this season.
Before coaching his team to a 16th win of the season on Friday at the expense of the Indiana Pacers, Walton talked about the team’s young core and whether they’d be playing in the NBA All-Star Game in the future, via Mark Medina of the OC Register:
“I’m not going to tell you D’Angelo is going to be an All-Star. But I can tell you he has the potential to be one,” Walton said before the Lakers played Indiana on Friday at Staples Center. “Same with Julius. Same with Brandon. Same with everybody.”
Although consistency has been an issue for Randle, Russell, and Ingram throughout the 2016-17 NBA season, it is hard to argue with Walton’s stance regarding their potential to be All-Stars. All three players have shown flashes of promise on the basketball floor making Lakers fans excited about the future, but it may take some time before it all comes together in Los Angeles.
Despite a better than expected start to the season under Walton, the Lakers struggled to maintain their newfound success with the first-year still trying to figure what works best for this young squad.
In the meantime, as Walton and company try to find the right balance, the future of the franchise remains promising. Whether Ingram, Randle, and Russell can add an All-Star bid to their resume in the years to come remains to be seen, but it seems possible if Walton can steer them in the right direction.