For those that scoffed at the Lakers’ post-LeBron signings this summer, they must be feeling prophetic due to how things are looking with the team now. Turns out Lance, JaVale, and Beasley was not enough for the team to join the ranks of the elite. They were not even enough for the Lakers to make the playoffs.
Worse still, the guys who the team let go to sign those players are all doing fairly well with their new teams. Brook Lopez is on a tear in Milwaukee, averaging over 12 points for the first-seeded Bucks out East. He is on track to win a Championship.
Julius Randle is in an awkward transition year for New Orleans, but his play has been nothing short of spectacular for them so far. He is averaging 20.7 points per game to go along with his 8.7 rebounds.
Compare this to Lance Stephenson (who is unplayable at times), JaVale McGee (who is severely limited on the offensive end), and Michael Beasley (who is back in China after being traded from the Lakers) and it is clear that the infamous Rob Pelinka, Magic Johnson duo messed up big time with their decision making this past summer.
In fact, it was Magic who literally ignored the pleas of the team coaching staff to re-sign Brook and Julius in the offseason.
According to Bill Oram of The Athletic, Johnson “ignored the pleas of the coaching staff that he retains” the two bigs following the signing of LeBron James, choosing to instead add JaVale McGee, Michael Beasley, and Lance Stephenson.
Had Magic Johnson listened to his staff, the Lakers might be in way better position.
In fact, since signing LeBron James, there’s not much Magic has to show for his time in Los Angeles. The team has yet to sniff relevancy in the loaded Western Conference. And with so many promises and optimism that came with his arrival, it may be time for Laker Nation to seriously reconsider what kind of guy they want running the franchise.