The new regime in the front office understood that both the short-term and long-term projections for the Los Angeles Lakers needed a change. Magic Johnson and Rob Pelinka took over under the jurisdiction of Jeanie Buss, making an immediate impact on the mentality of the franchise.
In the first few months, the front office duo secured a series of draft picks, which joined the draft class with No. 2 pick Lonzo Ball. Also involved in the draft night trade was the acquisition of center Brook Lopez, solidifying the Lakers front line with an All-Star caliber talent.
While Johnson and Pelinka patiently secured guard Kentavious Caldwell-Pope, the Lakers won the 2017 Las Vegas Summer League championship Monday night. With the momentum shifting in the right direction, the Lakers have an uplifting and optimistic approach about themselves. Johnson agreed, stating that the roster is clearly a step up from previous seasons, via Tania Ganguli of the L.A. Times:
"We're already better. The roster is more balanced." Magic Johnson says of what kind of jump he can see the Lakers taking this year.
— Tania Ganguli (@taniaganguli) July 18, 2017
The Lakers held the official introductory press conference for Caldwell-Pope Tuesday afternoon, in lieu of the Summer League team’s return to the training facility. Fresh off of the championship, Johnson, and Pelinka both seemed in good spirits, excited to introduce a deadly wing player in the up-tempo NBA.
Los Angeles has managed to create more cap opportunities and space to work with in the previous months, thanks to a few departures and trades. While Johnson and Pelinka are steadily focused on the 2018 free agency class, they have bolstered the 2017-18 roster in the process.
The Lakers now have two months off before they begin preparation for the 2017-18 preseason, with exhibition games in Los Angeles, Anaheim and in Las Vegas. In the mean time, the young core of the Lakers will steadily improve throughout the offseason with a newfound sense of optimism.