When it was all said and done, the Los Angeles Lakers emerged from the 2017 NBA Draft with four selections, a hefty contract off their books and an All-Star center ready to contribute in his prime. Rob Pelinka and Magic Johnson have made all the right moves thus far, acquiring assets and building towards the future.
The main goal for this front office duo of Johnson and Pelinka has always been the 2018 free agency class. Both of them have had their sights set on that, as the crucial stepping-stone towards returning to elite status. Los Angeles remains connected to the Indiana Pacers and Paul George, but also have put together a better roster going into the 2017-18 season.
At the conclusion of the 2017 NBA Draft, Pelinka addressed the media, both for the future of the franchise and the excitement in the picks they have made. Pelinka wasn’t shy in revealing the Lakers’ plan to return to contention.
According to Lindsey Thiry of the L.A. Times, the Lakers believe they are two stars away from returning to championship glory:
Rob Pelinka says he thinks two superstar players need to come join the Lakers, "that's our plan."
— Lindsey Thiry (@LindseyThiry) June 23, 2017
George remains the first crucial figure in the grand scheme of things, a match seemingly made in heaven. While the Lakers and Pacers have remained relatively quiet since the 2017 NBA Draft, George and his camp remain adamant on joining the Lakers.
Other All-Stars, such as LeBron James, Russell Westbrook and DeMarcus Cousins, headline the star-studded 2018 free agency class. Both Johnson and Pelinka will have quite the pitch going into the offseason, with the Lakers young core trending in the right direction.
Pelinka was able to acquire four total draft picks in the 2017 NBA Draft, but also cleared cap space towards their future haul. In a rare moment, the Lakers have been able to continue their rebuilding theme, while also preparing themselves towards that crucial 2018 checkpoint.