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LA Lakers News and Rumors: Young squad set for big year in 2017

The addition of the talented forward was just the start in the rebuilding process for this proud franchise and it now appears that second round pick Ivica Zubac of Croatia could be the long-term answer in the paint for the purple and gold.

These two rookies, along with last year’s top pick, D’Angelo Russell, and the rest of the young guns are showing their stuff in the Las Vegas summer league, having won all three games with an up-tempo offense and some strong defense, but adding youth wasn’t the only thing the front office has done this summer. General manager Mitch Kupchak has also signed big man Timofey Mozgov from Cleveland, small forward Luol Deng from Miami and veteran point guard Jose Calderon from Chicago.

These veterans all have playoff experience, something this squad lacked outside of Bryant last season, and fit what new head coach Luke Walton wants with his team — scoring from anywhere on the floor, better rebounding on both ends of the court and leadership on an off the court.

While most NBA experts are still projecting this team to struggle in the 2016-17 season, the new additions have brought some excitement back to the fans and with a few early seasons wins, the Staples Center could once again become a place that makes visiting teams uneasy.

In other news, it now appears the team will be buyers next summer and Russell Westbrook is the top target. The former UCLA star has plenty of reasons to return to Southern California, especially if the young back court doesn’t perform as expected, but these reports are just rumors at this stage and with an entire year of basketball ahead, look for the young guns of the LA Lakers to make a much stronger showing than they did last season.

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