Rome wasn’t built in one day. We’ve all heard that phrase accurately explaining that success or greatness doesn’t happen overnight; there is a process that must take place. The Los Angeles Lakers will find themselves with plenty of options and paths that they can take to restore the organization back to championship contenders.
Laker fans are already trading this years’ draft pick even though technically the Lakers won’t know until May 17th if they’ll even keep the pick. So the hypothetical trades involving the 2016 draft pick and a young piece(s) for DeMarcus Cousins or Paul George can be put to bed till May 17th when the NBA Lottery will have the final say whether or not the Lakers will be able to use shop the pick.
Now that we understand you can’t trade what you don’t (yet, hopefully) have, let’s see what the Lakers can do. Jim Buss and Mitch Kupchak are already off to a good start by parting ways with Byron Scott and being decisive to hire Luke Walton. Luke was the right man for the job. He can establish a new culture and new basketball philosophy. Luke will be able to communicate with the young players that Byron just could not.
Hiring Luke was the first step in the right direction to rebuilding the Lakers, keyword being rebuilding. All this talk has been about the summer of 2016 and the available superstars. But let’s get real, the chances Kevin Durant signs with the Lakers is slim to none. If Lakers don’t sign Durant it will be because the Lakers roster is filled with young players.
The first instinct for everyone is to start trading the young players the Lakers currently have or sign players such as DeMar DeRozan or Al Horford. The Lakers have to learn from their mistakes these last few offseason and not waste time swinging for these all stars while every other good free agent sign elsewhere.
The smart decision for the Lakers would be to keep the young core and if they so happen to keep their draft pick this year to keep that as well and draft a Ben Simmons or Brandon Ingram or Dragan Bender. Then on July 1st sure make a call to Hassan Whiteside, Harrison Barnes and Festus Ezeli. Yes, it won’t make the Lakers championship contenders but it will build on what the Lakers already have.
If I’m the Lakers the goal would be to peak when the Golden State Warriors and San Antonio Spurs are ripe for the taking. Lakers shouldn’t rush the process. If they can get Durant by all means go for it but they shouldn’t focus on older players at the cost of losing their young core and their potential high draft pick. I know it goes against everything the Lakers have ever done but maybe that’s the point. It’s the dawn of a new age, it’s time to change with the times. They might not win the headlines but if they can make smart moves and not repeat their bad decisions.Give Luke Walton a chance to grow and develop with Julius Randle, Jordan Clarkson and D’Angelo Russell.
Rome wasn’t built in one day, it was a process that resulted in one of the greatest empires. Likewise the Lakes may not be able to be rebuilt this summer and that’s okay because after this season, the Lakers young core shall flourish with Luke at the helm. And come 2017 free agents will look at the Lakers roster much differently. It’s not always about making flashy it’s about making smart moves that resulted in sustained success.
Which path the Lakers chose we will soon find out and it’ll be interesting to witness the consequential direction of the franchise.