The announcement of Magic Johnson returning to the Los Angeles Lakers in an advisory role was expected by some. The news of Johnson meeting with President Jeanie Buss led many to speculate what it might mean. In the aftermath, the future of VP of Basketball Operations Jim Buss has come into question.
With Johnson being so critical of Buss over the last couple of years, many believe this is a sign that Buss will be out the door once this season is up. His self-imposed deadline to return the Lakers to contention comes up this summer giving the Lakers the opening to move on from him if they so choose.
Now some more evidence has come up that Jim may be on the outside looking in as, according to Kevin Ding of Bleacher Report, Jim was completely unaware of Johnson’s hiring:
Jeanie, Joey and Jesse were part of meetings with Johnson in advance of this decision—and sister Janie was informed along the way also.
Jim, meanwhile, knew nothing about Jeanie’s plans to bring Johnson aboard until shortly before the public announcement.
The fact that the rest of the family had met with Johnson while Jim was in the dark is indeed telling. Speculation has been running wild that Jim is on his way out with there even being a possibility that Johnson himself could replace Buss.
Johnson is also reportedly open to getting rid of GM Mitch Kupchak this offseason so the entire front office could be completely different. For the time being, however, Johnson is merely an advisor.
Whatever happens from here is entirely up in the air, but there will be a lot of rumors and speculation surrounding the Lakers from now until they ultimately make a decision.