The recent return of Magic Johnson to the Lakers organization has been celebrated by many. There are some questions about how this will impact the future of the franchise, in particular, what this means for VP of Basketball Operations Jim Buss and General Manager Mitch Kupchak.
Johnson has been extremely critical of Buss in the past, and some believe that his hire spells the end, especially with Buss’ self-imposed deadline to return the Lakers to contention coming up after this season.
According to Kevin Ding of Bleacher Report, there are plenty of possibilities, including Johnson himself replacing Buss in charge of basketball operations:
“The coming months will determine, according to NBA sources, whether Johnson is part of a democracy expected to replace Jim Buss and Mitch Kupchak, or if Johnson singularly replaces Buss in charge of Lakers basketball operations—regardless of the general manager’s name. The latter scenario is a legitimate possibility, though for the moment, Johnson has only been hired to be Lakers president Jeanie Buss’ adviser.”
This is certainly an intriguing scenario, but how legit of a possibility it is remains to be seen. The future of Kupchak is also in question as Johnson is said to be open to letting him go as well. The upcoming meetings planned between all parties will likely clear up some things between them.
One major question if this were to happen is if Johnson would be good in that role. Being in charge of basketball operations is a big task, and Johnson doesn’t have much experience in that type of front office role.
For the time being, Johnson is still just an advisor to Jeanie, but all eyes will be on the Lakers after the season to see just what direction the franchise decides to go in.