Lakers News: Rob Pelinka Focused On Bringing Banner No. 18 To Staples Center
LeBron James, Rob Pelinka
Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports

The Los Angeles Lakers did not have the season they anticipated when general manager Rob Pelinka reloaded the roster with younger and more talented players in the hopes of repeating as NBA champions. Injuries derailed their early momentum and they ultimately went home via a first-round loss to the Phoenix Suns.

As the postseason continues without them, Pelinka and the Lakers are going to turn their attention to the offseason. They have some time, but they need to come up with a plan to retool for 2021-22 while being very strapped for cash. it’s unclear exactly how they’ll approach this summer, but early indications point to bringing back as many of their free agents as possible.

Regardless of what moves they make, Pelinka made it clear that his sole goal is to bring the Lakers’ 18th championship banner to Staples Center. “I think that we feel like the roster we had this year was a championship-caliber roster and obviously there were a lot of things that came into the mix that weren’t within our control that kept us from winning a championship.

“That has to be the goal every year and the only way to get there is with hard work,” Pelinka said. “So of course we’ll learn from this season and from how the roster was constructed and we’ll apply that wisdom and experiences to what we do going forward. But the recipe is gonna be hard work and diving back into the process and really after today and the exit interviews, that work starts. We have an insatiable desire and passion to bring banner No. 18 here and we’re excited about the work we’re gonna commence tomorrow to get that done for our fans and for the organization.”

Because the season is still going, the Lakers aren’t going to be able to make any significant decisions for the time being. Instead, they’ll use this time to figure out their strategic approach while also resting and getting prepared physically and mentally for another season.

Pelinka has shown in the past that he has a willingness to get aggressive when it comes to making changes. It remains to be seen if he’ll do that during the 2021 offseason, but as he said, every decision will be geared towards raising banner No. 18 in the rafters.

Schroder already receiving outside interest

Free agency is still about seven weeks away. However, the rumors have already begun. Dennis Schroder, who is one of the team’s most important free agents, has reportedly received outside interest from the New York Knicks, Toronto Raptors, and Chicago Bulls.

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