The Los Angeles Lakers have a new head coach after less than a week after parting ways with Byron Scott. Luke Walton impressed the Lakers brass so much so that the team knew their search was over and offered the job to the first-time head coach without interviewing any other candidates for the job.
During the team’s meeting with Walton earlier this week, Mitch Kupchak and company laid out the team’s plan for the immediate future. Part of that plan is making a splash in NBA free agency and the team’s front office made sure to inform Walton about the free agents the franchise plans to pursue come July 1, via Bill Oram of the OC Register:
Walton said Lakers execs laid out a comprehensive vision for the organization, including players they want to chase in FA
— Bill Oram (@billoram) April 30, 2016
Although the Lakers are coming off arguably the worst season in franchise history and three consecutive years without a playoff appearance, the team does have a talented group of young players on the roster. D’Angelo Russell, Julius Randle, Jordan Clarkson and Larry Nance Jr. have shown potential and could be the building blocks for promising future in Los Angeles, but the team desperately needs a proven star to shoulder the load following Kobe Bryant’s retirement.
Kevin Durant of the Oklahoma City Thunder will likely be the team’s top target in free agency this summer with the one-time NBA MVP being the ideal candidate to replace Bryant in Los Angeles. DeMar DeRozan is also a pending free agent that may also intrigue the Lakers in two months time.
The Lakers will have plenty of options to explore in free agency, but the question is whether the hiring of Walton and a young roster will attract a star to Los Angeles this summer.