The Los Angeles Lakers are hoping this season is the beginning of not just something new, but something great. Guards D’Angelo Russell and Jordan Clarkson are big parts of those hopes, and working out with Steve Nash, recently retired, is an attempt to get them ready for what’s coming next.
Nash spent most of his time in Laker uniform either contemplating retirement or on the treatment table. He missed 32 games in 2012-2013, 67 games in 2013-2014 and didn’t play at all in 2014-2015. Money well spent, and something of an anti-climatic finish to the two-time MVPs career.
But Nash, who couldn’t help the Lakers give Bryant his sixth NBA championship (that’s how Bryant sees things – the team helping him win his championship rings), might be able to help the Lakers improve the guys who are supposed to take over for Bryant, the sooner the better.
Clarkson played a lot of point guard last season, but that was because Byron Scott hated Jeremy Lin. Clarkson is a shooting guard, even if the definitions are changing as time goes by. In short, he doesn’t need the ball in his hands all the time, and there are better players in passing and decision making than him. Like Russell, even if he’s struggling in the Summer League.
Russell is a point guard. Not a small one and can obviously play as shooting guard, with his long range ability helping, but unless the Lakers made a big mistake by taking him with the second overall pick, he should be the one that leads them in the next few years next to Clarkson.
Obviously Nash can’t help with everything. Nothing can grow next to Kobe Bryant, so regardless of what develops in these practices with a future hall of fame player, Clarkson and Russell won’t have the chance to really blossom before Bryant either retires or someone finally starts moving him out of the way and make him spend a lot of time on the bench.