The young core of the Los Angeles Lakers assembled at the conclusion of the 2017 NBA Draft, with four draft picks ready to contribute. Lonzo Ball, Kyle Kuzma, Josh Hart and Thomas Bryant all headline the ongoing rebuilding process, which general manager Rob Pelinka labeled a ‘Laker year’.
After the feeling of an accomplishment of a lifetime, the rookies returned to the Lakers facility to prepare for the 2017 Las Vegas Summer League. With their first contest scheduled against the Los Angeles Clippers on July 7, the Lakers have gotten acclimated with one another during practices.
The four rookies now have had a chance to play alongside the likes of Brandon Ingram, Ivica Zubac and David Nwaba, all with a season of NBA experience under their belt. It seems as though these new teammates have started off on the right foot, with both Zubac and Ball setting out quite the goal for the 2017 Las Vegas Summer League, via Mark Medina of the L.A. Daily News:
Lonzo Ball and Ivica Zubac both setting out winning summer league title as a goal
— Mark Medina (@MarkG_Medina) July 5, 2017
The Lakers also have scheduled games on July 8, against the Boston Celtics, and July 10, against the Sacramento Kings. Their next set of games will be determined based off the results of the first three, with the Lakers focused on having a favorable seed for the Summer League playoffs.
Ball will certainly have the spotlight on him, as he debuts his talents as the No. 2 overall pick. With hefty expectations already in place, this serves as Ball’s opportunity to demonstrate the talents and leadership the Lakers saw in him to select him.
On the other hand, Zubac gets a chance to start and progress his game against players competing for a roster spot. After a stint in the D-League at the beginning of his rookie season, Zubac steadily saw playing time and averaged 11.1 points and 4.8 rebounds in the month of March.
With a starting lineup that will feature the likes of Ingram, Zubac, and Ball, Summer League head coach Jud Buechler and the Lakers certainly have an opportunity to capture the 2017 Las Vegas Summer League championship.