Home » nnvdinrm » Young Lakers core comforted with Magic Johnson calling them ‘untouchable’

Young Lakers core comforted with Magic Johnson calling them ‘untouchable’

first_imgEL SEGUNDO >> While they seemed in awe of Magic Johnson’s presence, the Lakers sounded more encouraged with his message.The Lakers have until Thursday’s trade deadline to make more moves to their roster. But hours after Lakers president Jeanie Buss named him the president of basketball operations, Johnson called the Lakers’ young core “untouchable.” “That’s good to hear, honestly,” Lakers second-year guard D’Angelo Russell said. “With everybody getting traded and everything happening, you’re walking around looking over your shoulder because you don’t have a clue what’s going on. Some things you can’t control. So that’s good to hear.”Russell then argued that “nobody should feel untouchable” considering the Lakers traded veteran guard Lou Williams to the Houston Rockets for small forward Corey Brewer and a 2017 first-round pick. Though Williams led the Lakers in scoring with 18.6 points on 44.4 percent shooting, the Lakers made the move both to collect a draft pick and open up playing time for the young roster. AD Quality Auto 360p 720p 1080p Top articles1/5READ MOREUCLA alum Kenny Clark signs four-year contract extension with PackersNonetheless, Lakers coach Luke Walton slightly disagreed with Johnson’s sentiment. He highlighted the scenario that any player could become expendable if the Lakers have a chance to acquire a star player. “No one is really untouchable, but we love our young guys,” Walton said. “We do. We have a lot of trust and faith in them. We want to continue to build around them. I agree with them. I don’t want to see our young core go anywhere.”So far, the Lakers have kept that pledged. Talks shut down with the Sacramento Kings over a deal with center DeMarcus Cousins after the Lakers refused to include rookie forward Brandon Ingram in the deal. Although the Lakers have entertained trade discussions with the Indiana Pacers for small forward Paul George, league sources familiar with the situation said it’s more likely the Lakers will wait to pursue him until he becomes an unrestricted free agent in the 2018 offseason. Then, the Lakers would not have to expend their young assets. “It just shows how much they believe in the young core,” Ingram said. “They’re coming out here and seeing us work every single day. I don’t think anybody else sees what we do between these lines. They see what we do everyday, our work ethic and coming in to compete each and every day. It’s good for the organization.” Sweet Lou As far as is known, Williams has no aspirations for political office. But he outlined a pretty memorable campaign slogan anytime he saw his young teammates endure a few hiccups on and off the court. “Always putting hoop first,” Ingram said. It seemed hardly surprising the Lakers would trade Williams given his market value to acquire coveted draft picks. But Williams’ former teammates still reacted to the news with some glumness. While Lakers guard Jordan Clarkson called Williams “a big brother,” Ingram called his departure a “real heartbreaker.” Russell largely credited Williams for his development.“He was the original leader off the court for me and a role model as far as how he handled himself,” Russell said. “I talked to him a lot. It was hard to see him go. But it’s a business.” So, Walton got down to business at the beginning of Wednesday’s practice by addressing the trade. Walton, a former 10-year NBA reserved, remembered how heartbroken when he felt the Lakers waived seldom-used reserve Jannero Pargo during the 2003-04 season. “I talked about it and gave them the platform,” Walton said. “They didn’t speak up a lot but it’s still good to get it out in the air.” Nonetheless, the Lakers are aware of the practical implications. “With Lou out of that second unit, there are going to be a lot of shots to go around,” Lakers forward Larry Nance Jr. “I might push the envelope a little bit and add more to my game.”Williams’ departure also relates to the Lakers’ plans to put more emphasis on the young roster. While Walton plans to play Ingram and rookie center Ivica Zubac more minutes, Williams’ absence could lead to more losses to increase their odds of retaining their top-three protected draft pick. “He bailed us out a lot this year. Without him there, there’s only two options,” Walton said. “You give in and get blown out. Or you find a way to make something happen. With the group we have, I expect the group figures it out, finds ways to get it done and have us competing.”center_img Newsroom GuidelinesNews TipsContact UsReport an Errorlast_img

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

*
*