Kobe Bryant has already announced his retirement. We know that he will never again put on a Laker jersey after this season. The Lakers are 3-16 and ranked last in the NBA’s Western Conference. At this point, we know they aren’t making the playoffs and should have another one of those top five picks in the upcoming draft. So if you definitely aren’t contending and the playoffs are out of reach, why not groom the younger players and prepare to return the Lakers to their glory days?
Coach Byron Scott has decided to move two of the team’s youngest and best players to the bench. Guard D’Angelo Russell and Julius Randle have seen their minutes decline. Russell has had 8 double-digit scoring games in his last 10. His averages have been 12.8 points, 5.4 rebounds and 3.4 assists per game during that span. He started the season slow, but with the way this team is looking, he has a lot of time to grow. Randle on the other hand was finally catching his stride. In 27.4 minutes Randle has averaged 12.2 points and 11.6 rebounds with 4 double doubles in his last few games.
Scott is clearly on the hot seat. There’s really no such thing as job security in Lakerland unless you’re getting really big rings. Scott knows that his team isn’t all that great but he’s willing to try with what he has. Recently, Scott told reports that guard Lou Williams will have his minutes increased. He’s averaging 12.9 points per game doing the only thing he knows, getting buckets.
But the Lakers should be trying to get their young guys more experience. Kobe Bryant shouldn’t be playing a huge amount of minutes. Williams is a good player but you aren’t winning a championship with him being featured. Guys like Russell, Randle and Larry Nance Jr. should be getting a greater share of the minutes. The future is now. The Lakers have picked some really good players recently. With a few good moves, they could return to respectability.