Aside from the Kobe Bryant retirement tour, which ended on the best possible note, the growth of the Los Angeles Lakers’ young players was the most important part of this season. Julius Randle, Jordan Clarkson, and D’Angelo Russell are the future of this franchise.
Any team that is full of young players will undoubtedly have some growing pains, and the Lakers went through their fair share this season.
With Kobe gone, the onus will be on the young players to step up and in his exit interview, Randle spoke about the need for them to grow up and hold each other accountable via the Lakers official Twitter:
Julius Randle: "We have to grow up, and we have to hold each other accountable. That's something we're still working on."
— Los Angeles Lakers (@Lakers) April 14, 2016
This type of mindset is great to hear from one of the most promising young Lakers. Randle, Russell, and Clarkson all getting better individually is great, but all three growing as a group would really help the Lakers take a huge step forward.
Randle is well aware of what he needs to work on individually and will definitely put in as much work as possible to reach his goals. Clarkson has also spoken about making sure all three work out together, and Kobe Bryant made it known that he would be working with all of them as well.
This off-season is full of questions for the Lakers, but if their young trio can take a step forward, the Lakers should improve next season regardless of what the summer brings.