With the 2019 NBA playoffs conference semifinals underway, the Los Angeles Lakers are still without a president of basketball operations and head coach.
As general manager Rob Pelinka is conducting the team’s coaching search, owner Jeanie Buss’ current plan reportedly includes him running the front office.
However, if this plan somehow changes during the offseason, there are numerous potential candidates such as Toronto Raptors president Masai Ujiri to replace Magic Johnson.
Unfortunately for the Lakers, the Raptors are unlikely to let Ujiri interview for any current opening, according to Ben Standig of NBC Sports Washington:
The Raptors are unlikely to let Ujiri interview for any current opening, including the Lakers’, according to a league source. The Los Angeles position opened when Magic Johnson abruptly resigned during the final week of the regular season, but the Lakers are not expected to fill the vacancy.
At just 48-years-old, Ujiri is considered one of the best executives in the league. Highlighted by the 2012-13 NBA Executive of the Year award, he recently earned high praise for taking a significant risk on Kawhi Leonard by trading DeMar DeRozan, Jakob Poeltl, and a 2019 first round draft pick.
For Buss and the Lakers, the current focus is on providing stability within the organization. With a lottery pick in the 2019 NBA Draft and a max-contract slot available in free agency, Los Angeles has an opportunity to improve the roster heading into Year 2 with LeBron James and potentially the young core.