The Los Angeles Lakers recently parted ways with longtime general manager Mitch Kupchak in the team’s overhaul of the front office which also included relieving Jim Buss of his duties as vice president of basketball operations. Magic Johnson, who now runs the front office as president of basketball operations, chose to go in a different direction with agent Rob Pelinka as Kupchak’s successor.
Although it is a risky move to bring in a first-time general manager and former agent in Pelinka, David Falk, who famously represented Michael Jordan and a number of other Hall of Famers during his time as an agent, thinks it is a smart move.
Falk recently made an appearance on Above The Rim with Joel Meyers and Greg Anthony to talk about former agents like Pelinka and Bob Myers making the jump to general manager positions in the NBA:
“It amazes me that over all the course of my career, until recently when negotiations have become very mechanical, when you think that one of the main things a GM has to do is negotiate contracts, the people that most owners pick to be GMs aren’t very good at negotiating contracts they’re good at picking players or putting teams together, but negotiating contracts, again someone like Arn Tellem was a very sophisticated negotiator, Scott Boras in baseball if you will, I think most of the GM’s aren’t really equipped for that. So I think getting a guy like Bob Myers that’s been in the trenches, knows the rules – savvy negotiator or Rob Pelinka, I think that’s really a smart move.”
Pelinka, who is yet to be officially announced as Kupchak’s replacement, will have a tall task ahead right out of the gate as the Lakers’ new general manager. The Lakers are in full rebuild mode with Magic now at the helm and do have some promising young players on the roster, but are missing a star to build around without Kobe Bryant now enjoying retirement after 20 years in purple and gold.
The upcoming NBA offseason will be interesting for the Lakers brass as they may look to make a splash once free agency rolls around on July 1. There’s a possibility Pelinka and company could try to reignite trade talks for superstar Paul George of the Indiana Pacers.
Hopefully, for the sake of the Lakers franchise, Falk is right in his assessment that hiring Pelinka is a smart move. Only time will tell as Johnson and Pelinka will successfully work side-by-side to try to right the ship in Los Angeles.