With the season now over, the focus for the Los Angeles Lakers now turns to the offseason and getting prepared for next season’s journey. That of course, starts with Lakers VP of basketball operations Rob Pelinka, who has been at the forefront of all of the roster moves made by the Lakers over the last couple of seasons.
After a season that ends in the manner that this one did, and with the Lakers having a number of upcoming free agents, there will be some difficult decisions that need to be made. And Pelinka insists that it will be a collaborative effort not just with the front office and coaching staff, but also the team’s two superstars.
“I think when it comes to roster building, you guys know we’ve been very collaborative,” Pelinka said. “Anthony Davis and LeBron James are championship pillars of this franchise for years to come and of course they’re gonna be involved in how we build our roster, how we have built our roster.
“Both great basketball minds, and Frank as well. I think the cohesiveness in making these decisions between your star players, the head coach and the front office is really important and that will continue to be our process moving forward.”
The hallmark of a great franchise in any sport is everyone being on the same page and that is something the Lakers have forged to create over the past couple of seasons. In terms of potential moves made this summer, Pelinka wouldn’t delve into specifics, but does believe the team had a championship roster built this season.
“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,” Pelinka added. “That has to be the goal every year and the only way to get there is with hard work. 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.”
After winning a championship and with such a short offseason, it wouldn’t have been a surprise if the Lakers made minimal moves coming into this season, but instead it was the exact opposite. Pelinka refused to sit on their laurels and did his best to make the team even better.
The outcome didn’t turn out the way the franchise hoped, but everyone can rest assured that Pelinka will explore every option to ensure the Lakers have the best team possible to bring home another championship.
Pelinka says Buss empowers the front office to build a championship contender
In terms of building that championship contender, the Lakers will be under some major salary cap constraints that limits the ways they can make moves to improve the team. But Pelinka and the front office is helped by the unwavering support of owner Jeanie Buss.
“Jeanie and the ownership group has empowered the front office to do one thing, and that’s to smartly build a roster to win championships,” Pelinka noted. “That’s been the hallmark of this team since Dr. Buss acquired it and it continues to be today.
“Clearly all 30 NBA teams are confined by a salary cap and we’ve got to be really smart with how we put all the different puzzle pieces together but there is only one goal and it’s doing it smartly to have a championship-caliber team.
Pelinka also pointed to the fans being back in the building next season as even more reason to have that championship caliber team on the court. I think next year, of course, hopefully with all of our fans being able to come back and be a part of the building and we owe them the work to start the process of re-tooling and having a championship-caliber team that can do special things next year.
That’s the driving passion and there’s alignment there between Jeanie, the front office, the coaches and the players and that will always be the goal.”
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