Luke Walton will bring elements of the GSW's to his L.A. Lakers

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Luke Walton was introduced as the 26th head coach in L.A. Lakers history yesterday and the immediately injected the organisation with a much-needed dose of optimism.

The former Warriors No. 2 was only serving as Steve Kerr's assistant three days ago in the NBA Finals, but he accepted the Lakers job back in late April.

He had to see out the season with the Warriors before he could begin his first ever head coach job, and that tenure saw him contribute a 24-0 start to the regular season in Kerr's absence, and the Dubs come within one game of hoisting the Larry O'Brien trophy.

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But things are different at the Staples Center. Conversely, the Lakers finished rock-bottom in the west with a record of 17-65 and the team's needs took a back seat to the Kobe Bryant retirement tour.

When asked about how long it would take for the Lakers to improve under his guidance, Walton insisted that free agency would have been bearing on that.

"I have no idea. There is work to be done, but, to me, that's exciting," he said. "That's why you do this. The timetable is who knows. It's us coming to work every day. It's us working hard. It's watching improvement in the young guys that's exciting. It's watching us get better as a team that I'm looking forward to doing. There's going to be free agents to sign; we don't know what free agents those are going to be yet, so that would affect that timeline."

But how are the Lakers going to play? It's been assumed that Walton will try and bring the floor-spacing, perimeter shooting methods the Warriors have excelled with to the Staples Center, but Walton insists it's not as black and white as that.

"I think it's a coach's job to build the system around what's best for the players you have," Walton said. "We have skilled guards that can score, pass, defend. We have a young big man [Julius Randle] who averaged over 10 rebounds a game this year and is great at pushing the ball himself. These are all things that allow us to do similar things to what we were doing up in Oakland.

"Obviously you can't replace [Stephen Curry and Klay Thompson's] shooting, but we're going to have shooters here. We have shooters here. We're going to have the floor spaced and we have playmakers and we'll obviously get more into detail as we have the team and we see them and we see what their strengths and weaknesses are, but you get the foundation set, and then you kind of adjust it depending on the strengths and weaknesses of your personnel."

It's a good start for the Lakers Nation; at least Walton is saying all the right things. With the Draft tomorrow night and free agency starting on July 1, the progress will be evident sooner rather than later.

Kobe Bryant
L.A. Lakers
Pacific Division
Western Conference
Julius Randle
Golden State Warriors

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