Outside of a few social media posts here and there, Los Angeles Lakers owner Jeanie Buss has stayed extremely quiet since the conclusion of the 2018-19 NBA season.
Following former president of basketball operations Magic Johnson’s sudden resignation, the Lakers have been heavily criticized by the media to begin an important offseason.
However, at the 2019 NBA awards, Buss broke her silence.
With general manager Rob Pelinka in charge now, Buss expressed confidence in him amid the speculation, according to Tania Ganguli of Los Angeles Times:
“I’ve always had confidence in Rob, whatever the speculation is out there,” Buss said. “We don’t need outside media to validate the things that we do. I’m very happy and I think we’re on the right path.”
Buss further praised Pelinka for hiring former Indiana Pacers head coach Frank Vogel to replace former head coach Luke Walton as his first move, according to Ganguli:
“I have 100% confidence in him in running his basketball operations,” Buss said. “He’s brought us a great new head coach in Frank Vogel, whose teams have had a lot of success in the playoffs and who have played consistently ranking high in defense, which means not only does he emphasize defense but the players buy into his defensive schemes.”
With all of the conflicting reports about Pelinka after Johnson’s resignation, there was concern about how it would impact the team’s ability to improve the roster.
As Pelinka finally landed a second All-Star player next to LeBron James, all of the attention will be on how Pelinka builds out the rest of the roster for the 2019-20 season.
After the Lakers selected Talen Horton-Tucker with the No. 46 pick in 2019 NBA Draft, it is no secret they are attempting to create a max-contract slot for free agency.
As it currently stands, the Lakers will have at least $23.7 million available in cap space. Depending on if the Lakers can expand on the Anthony Davis trade and if he waives his trade kicker, they will be close to a max contract.
If the Lakers can sign a third All-Star player or some 3-and-D players/rim protectors, they will be favorites to win the 2020 NBA Finals with the landscape of the league changing.