Magic Johnson Likes Lakers’ Trade Deadline Acquisitions, Especially Reuniting With D’Angelo Russell
Magic Johnson, Rob Pelinka, Lakers
Steve Mitchell-USA TODAY Sports

This year’s NBA trade deadline was one of the craziest in league history with the Los Angeles Lakers being among the busiest teams.

Over the last month, the Lakers made three trades, bringing in six new players in D’Angelo Russell, Malik Beasley, Jarred Vanderbilt, Mo Bamba, Davon Reed and Rui Hachimura while also notably ending the Russell Westbrook experiment.

It remains to be seen how the new pieces will fit on the roster alongside LeBron James, Anthony Davis and the others, but one thing that is for sure is that the Lakers are a lot more balanced and deep than they were previously.

One person who has taken note of the moves the Lakers made and is pleased with them is franchise legend Magic Johnson:

This tweet by Johnson is notable for a variety of reasons, with the first being him complimenting Rob Pelinka for doing a good job at the deadline.

Johnson used to be the Lakers’ president of basketball operations and infamously stepped down in 2019, trashing Pelinka, who was his right-hand man at the time, on the way out.

One of the first moves Johnson and Pelinka made together after taking over the Lakers’ front office in 2017 was trading Russell to the Brooklyn Nets in a move that freed up cap space and brought back the draft pick they used to take Kyle Kuzma.

At the time, Johnson was very open with his criticism for Russell, a former No. 2 overall pick by the Lakers in 2015. Johnson said he needed a leader at the point guard position, which the young Russell was not at the time.

So for Magic to be happy to see Russell back in a Lakers uniform shows that he believes the now 26-year-old has matured and is ready to play on the big stage again in L.A.

If Russell’s debut back with the team in which he scored 15 points and helped lead the Lakers to a victory over the Golden State Warriors is any indication, then Johnson is right to be excited about what’s to come for the team he cheers for and represents so hard.

Russell hoping to fit in with James and Davis

Part of what will decide if Russell’s second tenure with the Lakers is a successful one will be his ability to fit in with the other stars on the team – James and Davis.

Russell showed his maturity at his first postgame press conference when he said that he knows he needs to figure out how the fit with them as opposed to the other way around.

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