One of the biggest assets the Los Angeles Lakers have had over the past few decades is the ability to call upon the former face of the franchise to help bring in players. Magic Johnson not only helped the Lakers win five titles during his playing days, but stuck around to give Dr. Jerry Buss a helping hand in the recruiting process.
Unfortunately, Magic likely won’t be making any calls or having any meetings with big-name free agents this time around. According to Mark Medina of the L.A. Daily News, Magic isn’t expected to lend a helping hand in getting LeBron James or Carmelo Anthony to Los Angeles:
Unlike his playing days in which he made dazzling passes and clutch shots, Magic Johnson is not expected to assist the Lakers in their latest quest to return to championship contention.
Although Magic did hint at providing a helping hand to the franchise in free agency, Magic is currently on vacation and won’t be available for meetings with LeBron or Anyhony via Medina:
Johnson suggested earlier this year he would like to help the Lakers in recruiting potential free agents. But Johnson, who is part of the ownership group that owns the Dodgers, is currently on vacation in Italy and will likely return in a couple of weeks, said a source familiar with Johnson’s itinerary. Because of that schedule, Johnson would not be around for any of the Lakers’ potential meetings with LeBron James and Carmelo Anthony.
Even with Magic helping pitch the two superstars to sign with Los Angeles, the Lakers landing either of the two free agents would be a stretch. Signing Anthony isn’t out of the realm of possibility, but he’ll definitely have more intriguing win-now opportunities around the league.
It may be hard to rule out possibilities for the Lakers in free agency considering the team’s history of landing big-name players and winning titles, but this summer’s campaign will be more difficult than most. The Lakers only have a handful of players on the roster for next season and an aging Kobe Bryant with many questions surrounding how much he may have left in the tank.
Although Mitch Kupchak and Jim Buss will go “all-out” in free agency if the opportunities are there for the taking, it remains to be seen if the Lakers will be able to sign a game-changer.
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