Since the Los Angeles Lakers were able to land the big fish in free agency with All-Star forward LeBron James, the team has moved ahead adding several veterans to the mix.
Aside from bringing back guard Kentavious Caldwell-Pope on a one-year deal, the Lakers also inked forward Lance Stephenson, point guard Rajon Rondo, center JaVale McGee, and forward Michael Beasley all to one-year contracts, In light of that, Hall of Famer Charles Barkley believes that the approach Los Angeles has taken with adding these veterans doesn’t help the growth of their young core group. (h/t Ben Golliver of SI.com)
“I don’t like what [the Lakers] are doing,” Barkley continued, during a promotional interview for his new deal with Panini America. “It’s going to take away from their young nucleus. They’ve got some good young players. You’re trying to set up Lonzo, Ingram, Kuzma. With all that other stuff going on, I don’t know if that’s a good environment for those kids.”
Barkley’s stance lies directly with the Lakers bringing in players that don’t have the reputation as being veteran leaders in the locker room that can take young players under their wing. Los Angeles is full of young talent with the likes of Brandon Ingram, Kyle Kuzma, Lonz Ball, and Josh Hart that the team hopes can become high-impact players.
Although these are typically the moves are not seen as particularly helping their young players in their development, it does add more proven veterans to the mix that could move the franchise toward competing for the playoffs and possibly further than that this upcoming season. These players could also help bring up the level of intensity and competition in practice and during games that are needed in order to help push them to the next level.
Nonetheless, only time will tell if these are the right moves to help progress their young talent along toward fulfilling their promising potential.