From the moment that Magic Johnson and Rob Pelinka took over as president of basketball operations and general manager, respectively, of the Los Angeles Lakers, there has been one goal: return the franchise to its former glory.
Less than a year into their time, things are undoubtedly pointing up. Even though the Lakers are a disappointing 11-23, and on a five-game losing streak, the team has clearly made major strides on the court.
In an interview with Sam Amick of USA Today, Pelinka spoke about the Lakers’ situation, explaining that believes the franchise is in an excellent place:
“If you think of where we are right now, we feel like we have one of the best young cores in the league. …We have as much cap flexibility, or cap health, as any team in the league. We know that this is a destination city for players to want to be in. We have a legacy with our franchise that really can’t be duplicated, and we’ve got a pass-first, ball-sharing point guard (in Ball), which players want to play with.”
With all of those things coming together, Pelinka added that now the pressure is on the front office to put the finishing touches on what would be a competitive team:
“So I think the culmination of all those forces is, like you said, we feel like we’ve become a destination again. Now it’s going to be Magic’s job, and my job with Jeanie’s guidance to complete the puzzle with the right pieces as we move forward.”
The Lakers are certainly in a great position moving forward. On the court there is an exciting core with Lonzo Ball, Brandon Ingram, and Kyle Kuzma being the centerpiece. And as Pelinka pointed out, the Lakers have plenty of cap room to work with this summer and have multiple ways to create more if necessary.
Players like LeBron James, Paul George, and DeMarcus Cousins are the names being brought up most often, but as this past summer proved, you can never guess who will become available. The job now is adding the right pieces around the existing core and Pelinka is confident he and Magic will do just that.
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