The Los Angeles Lakers dropped a major bombshell on Tuesday with the team officially moving on from Mitch Kupchak and Jim Buss. Magic Johnson is now the new president of basketball operations, and rumors are starting to swirl about who he’ll choose to replace Kupchak as general manager.
According to Kevin Ding of Bleacher Report, Jerry West, who was rumored to be interested in returning to the Lakers in some capacity, won’t be back:
Jerry West will not be part of the Lakers' revamped management structure, according to league sources.
— KEVIN DING (@KevinDing) February 21, 2017
With West not returning, it’ll be interesting to see what direction Magic does going in. Kobe Bryant’s agent, Rob Pelinka, appears to be the frontrunner to replace Kupchak in the front office. Arm Tellem is also a name that has been mentioned as a potential candidate for the general manager vacancy in Los Angeles.
Along with the sweeping changes in the front office, the NBA trade deadline is quickly approaching. The Lakers have been mentioned in quite a few trade rumors over the last week or so and may still be considering making moves before 12 p.m. PST on Feb. 23.
In the meantime, Magic is officially running the show in Los Angeles alongside team president Jeanie Buss. The Lakers are headed in a new direction with no telling what other changes may be on the horizon outside of hiring a new general manager.
With Pelinka possibly becoming the team’s next general manager, Johnson may hope it helps with getting Bryant back involved with the team in some capacity. Kobe has yet to comment publicly on whether he’d be interested in a role with the team after Johnson mentioned his intention to reach out to the Lakers legend.