Ahead of Friday’s showdown between the Los Angeles Lakers and Boston Celtics, All-Star point guard Isaiah Thomas praised the Lakers franchise for making Magic Johnson president of basketball operations.
Thomas, who admittedly wanted to come to the Lakers back in 2014, believes that Magic will draw a superstar to Los Angeles. Thomas thinks Johnson running the show is a step forward for the struggling franchise, via Chris Forsberg of ESPN:
“Some superstar is going to come here,” Thomas said Friday morning before Boston’s morning shootaround at Staples Center. “It’s good. Magic Johnson is arguably the best Laker ever, so to have him the head of all that and making decisions, it’s a step in the right direction. Everybody respects him. I mean, the Lakers are not going to be, I guess, what they are now forever. He’ll bring some people here.”
Shortly after Johnson was given the new role by team president Jeanie Buss, a rumor surfaced about Paul George’s interest in joining the Lakers in 2018. George isn’t happy with the current situation playing for the Indiana Pacers, and if Larry Bird and company can’t turn the team into a contender, he’s rumored to be determined to sign with the Lakers in free agency.
Whether George’s interest is a direct result of Magic now running the show in Los Angeles is anyone’s guess. George, much like Thomas, grew up a Lakers fan and likely holds Magic in high regard as most fans of the franchise do. The real question is whether this pans out as it would give the Lakers the superstar Thomas says Magic will bring to the team in the years to come.
Ironically, Thomas will also become a free agent in the summer of 2018. If things don’t work out with the Celtics, the Lakers could be an intriguing destination for the All-Star guard. A combination of Thomas and George would thrust the Lakers back into the spotlight, especially if some of the team’s young players have developed into stars on the rise as well.