With a few games left in the season we here at Lakers Lounge decided to come together to discuss the future of the Lakers franchise. P.A and Nick bring you hot takes to crucial questions concerning the Lakers for years to come.
It’s looking like the Lakers will likely keep their top 3 protected pick. Who would you want the Lakers to draft? And more importantly, why?
– P. A: Markelle Fultz isn’t going to be a push over when he arrives in the league but Lonzo Ball is exactly what Los Angeles needs. You add Ball to a backcourt that includes D’Angelo Russell AND Jordan Clarkson, you’ve got the best young backcourt in the league. Ball can do a little bit of everything, and then some. If Ball is available when the Lakers pick the only surprise would be being if Ball ISN’T picked.
– Nick: I personally want Lonzo Ball; I previously spoke about my reasoning’s for wanting him. He’s a great floor general, he’s more so a pass first guy than D’Lo is, and he would complement us with his 3-point shooting, and athleticism. He’s known for his pass, 3 ball and athleticism. How does that not compliment this young squad of ours?
Out of the young core, who do you use as trade bait? And what gap are you looking to fill on this team?
– P.A: Let’s keep this very simple, nobody. The only guy I’d be willing to give up if I was in charge is Clarkson, and that’s if Paul George is somehow involved. Maybe Pacers President Larry Bird may realize he needs to get something in return for George before he leaves and gets nothing. Other than that, you keep this team intact and keep building for the future.
– Nick: To be frank, I wouldn’t move any of the young guys on the squad. I like how everyone is coming together as a unit. We need to fill the gap on a 3-point point shooter. So far we have all kinds of guys who can do a bit of everything, some do things better more than others obviously, but we need that one or two guys who demands that respect on the 3-point line no matter what the circumstance, so that it may open the floor up for us more.
What’s more important this off season? Developing the young talent, or, adding veteran talent?
– P.A: Los Angeles has to find a way to do both. However, if the question is which one is more critical? No doubt it has to be developing the youth. The veteran talent is going to start wanting to come and join this team in due time. BUT, if the young core isn’t ready to go when they join the team, what’s the point?
-Nick: Why not do both, right? We can attempt to lure in veterans with the selling point of how great our young guys can be with the right vets around them, and the more years behind their pockets as of now. If all goes well we have both, if not, we continue to develop the young talent. At this point of the season you can see how much growing up this Laker team has done since the very beginning, the results aren’t showing but you can still see it.
As far as Brandon Ingram goes, what aspect of his game does he need to improve the most this off season?
– P. A: Brandon needs to stay at the buffet lines and enjoying all the fine Mexican cuisine that Los Angeles has to offer. The skill set is there, the 3-point shooting will come but all that will be pointless if he can’t bulk up and become a more physical presence. It may take two years before Ingram is where he needs to be physically but adding weight is where he needs to start focusing on once the summer starts.
– Nick: Brandon Ingram is coming along great right now. He’s starting to be aggressive and attack the basket more than ever, and exploit the mismatches which I’ve been wanting him to do since the jump, but you can’t teach experience. I really want to see improvement on his handles, he tends to pass it up once he’s pressured. If he can hold on the ball so that he may create, then he’s on a different level because he may maneuver on the floor as he wishes.
If the Lakers keep the top 3 pick, add veteran talent, AND develop the young guys. What’s a realistic outlook for next season for the Lakers?
– P.A: Maybe, and I’m saying maybe an 8th seed. I don’t like saying things unless I’m 100% confident with what I’m saying. You add the fact that the west is going to be filled with all-stars for years to come and the Lakers have a hell of a hill to climb.
-Nick: If the Lakers are blessed enough to get all 3 then, damn man. Call me insane but I see us being able to hold our own and taking that 6th seed in the West. The Lakers are very well capable of besting every team in the Western Conference current standings all the way up to the 6th spot. The only two teams that worry me out of upcoming young teams are the Nuggets, and the T-Wolves. The Nuggets are loaded and Karl-Anthony Towns only seems like he’s going to get even better.