After the worst stretch in franchise history, the Los Angeles Lakers made front office changes by bringing in Magic Johnson (President of Basketball Operations) and Rob Pelinka (general manager) during the 2016-17 NBA season. While the Lakers finished with a 26-56 record, there is great optimism for the organization heading into the offseason after winning five of their final six games.
With the young core showing growth to end the season, the Lakers have a top-three protected draft pick and ample cap space. According to Jason Stewart of AM 570 Sports, Johnson and company will try to bring in a superstar player this summer:
"The Lakers have always had a super star…that is what we are going to try and bring in here." -Magic Johnson just now on @AM570LASports
— Jason Stewart (@JasonStewart) April 17, 2017
While the Lakers have been very patient with their young core’s development, there will be the temptation to acquire a superstar player to speed up the rebuilding process. Although Los Angeles has been linked to numerous players in the past, there were numerous reports about DeMarcus Cousins and Paul George this season. While Cousins was ultimately traded to the New Orleans Pelicans at the NBA trade deadline, George’s future with the Indiana Pacers remains uncertain.
With Johnson and Pelinka committed to excellence, it will be interesting to see how they improve the roster. As they wait to see if they keep this year’s draft pick that features Lonzo Ball and Markelle Fultz, the new front office hopes to become an attractive destination for free agents again.