Their has been much controversy during the Lakers 2015-16 campaign as to what head coach Byron Scott should be doing be it with the growth of the Lakers’ young players in D’Angelo Russell, Jordan Clarkson, and Julius Randle – among others – when trying to decide whether to invest playing time into their on-court production, or fulfil Kobe Bryant’s last season farewell.
General Manager Mitch Kupchak, however, cleared up this controversial topic in an interview with ESPN’s Baxter Holmes, where the GM reportedly expressed that there was “no way to plan this” when speaking about finding a balance between playing the young players on the team and also having Kobe out there on the court.
Bryant, who is playing in his 20th season with the Lakers – which set a new record for the longest tenure of any player on the same team – announced last month that this will be his final season.
Amid a two year playoff drought and what will likely be a third following this season, the Lakers find themselves in a push/pull situation as they have struggled to make any significant progress in their return to contention. However, as of late, the team has managed to put together a nice core of youth players that began with the acquisitions of Julius Randle and Jordan Clarkson in the 2014 NBA Draft, followed by D’Angelo Russell, Anthony Brown, and Larry Nance Jr. in last years draft.
Entering the season, their was cautious optimism for how good the Lakers could be as they had acquired players Roy Hibbert, Lou Williams, and Brandon Bass, among others. These acquisitions, along with the return of a healthy Julius Randle and Kobe Bryant, fueled expectations that had Laker fans eyeing the playoffs.
The general spectrum of this has since changed, with the Lakers at an unmerciful 8-28 start, fans have called for the development of the Lakers young core, something that head coach Byron Scott has failed to consistently deliver so far.
Despite the circumstances, Mitch is much more confident in the Lakers progression heading into the upcoming off-season as opposed to the last one.
“So I think going forward, we’re going to have a lot more than that this year. And I’m hoping that will be attractive to more free agents this summer,” Kupchak said, per ESPN’s Baxter Holmes.