The Los Angeles Lakers front office combination of president of basketball operations Magic Johnson and general Rob Pelinka got right to work at improving the franchise last summer.
The biggest move they made was dealing former second overall pick D’Angelo Russell, along with Timofey Mozgov, to the Brooklyn Nets for Brook Lopez and a first-round pick. The deal got the Lakers out of Mozgov’s massive contract, gave them a huge expiring deal in Lopez, and opened up room for Lonzo bALL to take over point guard duties.
Meanwhile, the Nets got a promising young player as they look to rebuild so the trade made sense on both ends.
Pelinka, however, explained he also considers the human element to every move made and even when looking at that, felt like the deal was a win-win on all sides, per Kevin Ding of Lakers.com:
“The overwhelming driving force behind any trade is 100 percent what’s best for the Lakers,” Pelinka said. “But we’re all human. There is a human element through every decision that’s made in life.
Magic and I, with this one, were particularly happy D’Angelo was getting traded to a great franchise in the Brooklyn Nets in a big market with a great opportunity for him to lead the team.
“It is an example of a trade that really, really was a win-win. At least the human side of it, you feel good about it. That’s not always the case.”
In a league where business tends to trump any human elements, it is different to see Pelinka even taking note of that.
Another example of this occurred even before Pelinka came on board when the Lakers traded Lou Williams, who had been a consummate professional, to the Houston Rockets so he had a legitimate chance to win a championship.
Of course, as Pelinka noted, that’s not always the case and the Lakers wouldn’t oppose a deal simply because it puts a player in a worse position. The most important thing is what’s best for the Lakers as Pelinka also said, but that type of mindset and leadership surely stands out.
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