L.A.

Jim Buss says Lakers have ‘perfect number’ of young players

Photo Credit: Andrew D. Bernstein/NBAE via Getty Images

The Los Angeles Lakers are coming off yet another disappointing season that resulted in the worst regular season record in franchise history.

In light of that, the front office has already shaken things up by firing Byron Scott after just two seasons. Los Angeles quickly found his replacement less than a week later by hiring Golden State Warriors’ lead assistant coach Luke Walton to a five-year, $25 million deal.   

This has set the table for arguably one of the most critical offseasons in franchise history with the front office set to be armed with nearly $60 million in salary cap space and possibly a top-three pick in this year’s draft.

Lakers’ executive vice president of basketball operations Jim Buss already has his eyes fixated on what he hopes can be a fruitful offseason. In a recent interview with Basketball Insiders, he provided some insight on his outlook of the team’s current roster that has just six players under contract. 

“Right now, I think our young guys are the perfect number and we will add solid veterans,” said Buss said. 

Buss also indicated that the team has five core players that consist of D’Angelo Russell, Julius Randle, Jordan Clarkson, Larry Nance Jr., and Lou Williams. This leaves out Nick Young, who is coming off the worst statistic season of his career averaging career lows in points (7.3) and field goal percentage (32.5). 

This also shows that the front office highly values Clarkson, who will become a restricted free agent this offseason. Buss’ comments could lend to the belief that the team may move their first-round draft pick if they retain it in exchange for a proven veteran. 

In that same breath, the Lakers reportedly have interest in trading for Indiana Pacers All-Star forward Paul George. They could potentially look to revisit talks to acquire All-Star center DeMarcus Cousins with the Sacramento Kings likely to shop him again this offseason.   

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Bob Garcia IV

Bob Garcia IV is a sports journalist from Southern California. He's currently the Los Angeles Lakers beat writer for Sports Out West. He's also currently a sports freelance writer for Sports Uncut. He's also the beat writer for LA Rams Report for Scout.com, which is a website dedicated to covering the Rams. Lastly, he was a reporter for the award-winning newspaper, The Daily Sundial, at California State University, Northridge. You can follow him on Twitter, @BGarcia90.
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