Magic Johnson Endorses Rob Pelinka For Executive Of The Year After Lakers’ Offseason
Magic Johnson, Rob Pelinka, Lakers
Gary A. Vasquez-USA TODAY Sports

The dramatic saga between Los Angeles Lakers general manager Rob Pelinka and Magic Johnson feels as though it happened in a distant past. Because ever since, Johnson has been vocal about his praise for Pelinka’s work at the helm of the Lakers.

That certainly hasn’t changed after this offseason. Pelinka, fresh off of a franchise-altering trade deadline, entered the summer with a specific game plan and stuck to it, building out one of the best and deepest rosters in the NBA around LeBron James and Anthony Davis.

They have two quality point guards in D’Angelo Russell and Gabe Vincent, young star hopeful Austin Reaves with second-year guard Max Christie, wing depth in Jarred Vanderbilt, Rui Hachimura and Taurean Prince, and a young center project in Jaxson Hayes.

All of that combined gives Johnson some faith that this may be the year that Pelinka takes home the hardware given to the best front office executive in the league, according to Broderick Turner of the L.A. Times:

“I think he followed it up with another outstanding job, first from the trade deadline and then he kept it going in the summer. He did better than anybody in the summer. All the moves he made, he was the No. 1 GM in the NBA this offseason. No question about it. All the guys that we signed will help LeBron and the other guys because now we are deeper. Rob is going to be executive of the year.”

The Lakers are now multiple players deep at every position and could still add more depth to their frontcourt if they follow through on their plans to bring in a third center. Pelinka impressed with his work at the deadline and doubled down in the offseason.

After back-to-back summers filled with some questionable moves that ultimately did not pan out, Pelinka appears to be back in focus on what it takes to build an NBA championship contender. Johnson, who once publicly criticized Pelinka, seems to have come around.

It remains to be seen if this is enough for Pelinka to take home the award, which is voted on by other executives. Those questions will be answered at the end of a highly-anticipated 2023-24 campaign.

Lakers had reported interest in Noel

As part of their quest to land a third center, the Lakers reportedly had interest in Nerlens Noel. A rim protecting big, Noel could have been a strong fit in purple and gold, but he ultimately landed in a different shade of purple with the Sacramento Kings.

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