Los Angeles Lakers Could Be Stacked with Potent Sophomore Class Next Season

This has been a losing season fraught with detours and wipeouts for the Los Angeles Lakers.

But among scant silver linings is the hope for a potent sophomore class when the fall campaign begins.

Current rookies Julius Randle, Jordan Clarkson and Tarik Black will very likely be a part of next season’s lineup. Randle only played 14 minutes in his rookie debut before breaking his leg, but he will still be considered a second-year player.

Additionally, shooting guard Jabari Brown, who is on a 10-day call-up from the Los Angeles D-Fenders, could also show up in Lakers training camp.

The development of promising young prospects on multiyear rookie contracts has become an increasing priority in an era of strict salary caps and escalating luxury taxes. 

Randle is the only first-round draft pick in the bunch (No. 7 overall in the 2014 draft). Clarkson was obtained when the Lakers purchased the rights to the Washington Wizards’ No. 46 pick, while Black and Brown weren’t drafted at all.

But beyond the value of test-driving rookies on the cheap, the players themselves will look to continue proving their worth to a league that, apart from Randle, virtually dismissed them last June.

The 20-year-old power forward was recently cleared to resume non-contact basketball activities and will accompany the team on an upcoming five-game road trip in order to observe opponents from the bench.

According to Mark Medina of the Los Angeles Daily News, Lakers coach Byron Scott feels there can still be lessons learned from an otherwise lost rookie season.

“It’s a wasted year as far as him not being able to play on a consistent basis,” said Scott. “But he can still learn by watching and observing what players are doing, especially guys he will be guarding in the near future. It will be good to watch them ...

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