Do the Lakers problems stem deeper than the roster? Is it time to examine their own front-office?
Most would say yes, and that it was Magic Johnson and Rob Pelinka who doomed the team from the very start. It was them, after all, that elected to let go of key players (D'Angelo Russell, Julius Randle, Brook Lopez) to replace them with older, moody veterans that were way past their prime.
It was also Magic and Rob who essentially offered half the roster to the Pelicans for Anthony Davis, and then let it go public after failing to secure a deal.
See, besides LeBron, the Lakers' new front-office regime has not done a whole lot of good for them.
Still, despite it all, Jeanie Buss is still betting on Magic to pull them from the bunker.
“In terms of basketball decisions, I will always defer to Magic,” Buss said in an appearance on Sports Business Radio Show at Loyola Marymount University. “He’s brought a vision of the kind of team we’re going to build and a vision of what Lakers basketball is going to be. And I think you can see that. But we’re still building that roster that will get us there.”
She said there are limits, and it will take time for any team to get where they want to go.
“They’ve got everything plotted out and the goals they’re trying to accomplish,” Buss said. “I think people have to realize that — and basketball fans do, Lakers fans do — that we have to operate under the rules of the collective bargaining agreement, which means you can’t just go and grab every player that you want.”
The Lakers have plenty of options facing them this summer. They can sign free agents, they can make some trades, and they can even look towards the draft if they happen to land in the lottery. As their expiring contracts come off the books, they have definitely left the door wide open.
Problem is, it might already be too late. This past season has devastated the attractiveness of the team, and they might find it almost impossible to secure a big name star for the future.