1

I'm a (an old style) basketball fan and when I was reading this article

And I encountered this line,

Walton inherited a team that was ripped to the studs by Kobe Bryant's retirement tour and propped up by a pair of the NBA's worst contracts — Luol Deng and Timofey Mozgov, one of whom is still cashing checks not to play for the Lakers and the other of whom cost them their No. 2 pick from 2015 in a salary dump. Starless and cap-strapped is not the best starting point, but Walton built the crop of draft picks who followed into a team attractive enough to lure LeBron to Los Angeles.

What would this phrase "follow into" mean in this context?

I can not find any definition either by paid or free dictionaries.

  • Ugh, a downvote? Even if a native speaker made a misleading answer and deleted it? – Kentaro Apr 13 at 3:16
  • Upvote for an interesting question. Thank you for the personal comments and thanks to each “answerer”. This is called going “above and beyond! – whiskeychief Apr 13 at 12:33
4

Walton built the crop of draft picks who followed into a team attractive enough to lure LeBron to Los Angeles

This means:

Walton built the picks, who came later, into a good team.

“Who Followed” is one idea, and “into a team” is a different idea.

“Into” is being used to say “he turned ingredients into a result.”

1

Consider the key section of the sentence:

...Walton built the crop of draft picks who followed into a team attractive enough ..

Here "the crop of draft picks who followed" is the group of people who were picked by the team after the drafts of Luol Deng and Timofey Mozgov. Call this geoup of players "the guys" and we have

Walton built the guys into a team attractive enough...

In short the pattern here is

"A built B into C" so "built into" is the compound verb. Here A is "Walton" B is "the crop of draft picks who followed" and C is "a team attractive enough..."

To help clarify this, the final sentence of the paragraph could be rewritten as:

Starless and cap-strapped is not the best starting point, but Walton built the group of players who were drafted subsequent to Deng and Mozgov, into a team attractive enough to lure LeBron to Los Angeles.

without changing the meaning at all.

  • Thanks! I think the image became clearer in myself. So, I bet the verb "follow" here would be equal, like, "continued to play together",am I wrong? I wish or doubt that there should have been a comma between follow and into in my personal opinion. – Kentaro Apr 13 at 1:49
  • @Kentaro Tomono Not quite. "Follow" here means "came after" or "jointed the team after." It refers back to "Luol Deng and Timofey Mozgov," and "the players who followed" are those who joined later than Luol Deng and Timofey Mozgov. I think a comma after "followed" would be undesirable. – David Siegel Apr 13 at 1:56
  • 1
    You are right. Who followed were the "the crop of draft picks" (which are persons). Thanks!. – Kentaro Apr 13 at 2:00
  • @Kentaro Tomono Yes! see my recent edit to my answer. – David Siegel Apr 13 at 2:03

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