The Warriors have throttled the reigning NBA champion Cavaliers through two games of the NBA Finals, and appear destined for a long run of league dominance with Kevin Durant and Stephen Curry running the show in the Bay Area.
That dominance has other teams in the league altering their plans in free agency and approach to the NBA Draft, including Lakers coach Luke Walton, who admitted on the Bleacher Report's "The Full 48" podcast that accelerating a rebuild would be unwise at this juncture based on the Warriors' trajectory.
"I joke a lot. I said 'if there's a time to be rebuilding, this is the time to do it.' The Warriors don't look like they're going anywhere for a while. They're pretty darn good right now," said Walton.
Walton knows a thing or two about the Warriors, having spent 2014-16 as an assistant under Steve Kerr and taking over as interim coach last season for a stretch during Kerr's time away from the game with health issues. But that was last year -- that was the Warriors sans Durant. An attempt to win now if you're the Lakers, admittedly, seems foolish. They are in the early phase of a massive rebuilding process just getting off the ground, and Walton is taking a measured approach to it all with a unique perspective.
"Obviously there's players in this league that if you can get, it's really tough to say no to because the superstars in this league are good enough to make you a contender or not. It's the difference between having a very good team with lots of role players or having a team that can actually, legitimately win an NBA championship," Walton said.
"My only caution," he continued, "would be let's not give up too much of our young core for one superstar because, like we just talked about before, let's not forget that those Golden State Warriors are just a little bit north of us and it's going to take a lot more than one superstar to dethrone them from the West. There's that fine line in trying to get there quicker rather than developing our own guys. I think Rob [Pelinka] and Magic [Johnson] are very aware of that. They're constantly looking at the best way to get us to be a true contender, not just on paper."
Having gone 26-56 last season, the Lakers are keenly aware of their current state. The rebuild is years away from having an end in sight. Fortunately for Magic Johnson and his staff, they have the No. 2 overall pick in the NBA Draft on June 22, young talented assets, and the lure of the bright lights in Los Angeles on their side. Whenever the time comes for the Lakers to make moves to make a run at the mighty Warriors (or whoever is reigning supreme at the time), they certainly have desirable traits as a team with location alone that could eventually make it a free agent landing spot for top prospects. It just won't be happening anytime soon.