The Los Angeles Lakers continue to make solid decisions this offseason. Luke Walton, LA’s second son and Laker legend, was hired earlier in the offseason as the Lakers next head coach. As of Saturday, the Lakers were closing in on adding Brian Shaw as his lead assistant.
Walton’s success earlier this season with the Golden State Warriors albeit with a better crew is undeniable. With Brian Shaw in tow, you have a guy who has seen the NBA from all different viewpoints.
Shaw has enjoyed success as an assistant on Phil Jackson’s staff when the Lakers won two straight championships in ’09 and ’10. He had a brief and largely unsuccessful stint with the Nuggets before joining the Pacers as an assistant. As a whole, adding an experienced NBA mind to your bench can do nothing but help.
There are three ways to build your team in my opinion. Coaching, drafting and free agency are all major keys in strengthening your team. The coaching part of that equation has been a struggle for the Lakers recently. After Phil Jackson, this team has gone through Mike Brown, Bernie Bickerstaff (Intern), Mike D’Antoni and Bryon Scott in a five-year period. The hire of Walton can hopefully stabilize this position for them for years to come.
The Lakers haven’t gotten much right recently but the draft has been an exception. The 2014 and 2015 drafts have seen them draft a young core that will be wearing the purple and gold for years to come. Julius Randle, Jordan Clarkson, D’Angelo Russell and Larry Nance Jr. are promising young talents. With the #2 pick in the upcoming draft, they will have a chance at either Ben Simmons or Brandon Ingram. The Lakers have another hit on their hands.
Another year brings another offseason where people will say LA is a great destination if you want to be big. It’s 2016 and that pitch is outdated with the kind of technology we have now. If the Lakers want a chance at a Kevin Durant, DeMar DeRozan or an Al Horford then they need to focus on pitching the great young talent they have, the promising coach and anything else that has to do with basketball. No outside stuff, just hoops because the city and everything that comes with it sells itself.
This offseason is vital for the future of the Lakers. They are making the right and logical decisions so far. With the many assets they have at their disposal, it won’t take long for them to become relevant in the post-Kobe era.