After missing the playoffs for the sixth consecutive season, the Los Angeles Lakers were shifting their focus to the 2019 NBA Draft and free agency.
However, since the end of the 2018-19 NBA season, the Lakers are currently without a president of basketball operations and head coach.
As general manager Rob Pelinka is currently conducting the team’s coaching search, there have been conflicting reports about Magic Johnson’s replacement.
With rival team reportedly in ‘shock and relief’ the Lakers have not pursued a big-name yet, owner Jeanie Buss has not attempted to ‘woo’ Los Angeles Clippers executive board member Jerry West back to the team, according to Sam Amick of The Athletic:
But there are other elements to the local strategy, too, things like hiring a Lakers legend in West to be a trusted voice at a time when so many expected him to return to Laker Land (sources say that a similar role with the Lakers was never offered to West back then, and there is no indication that Buss is attempting to woo him to her side this time around either – despite Shaq advocating for such a move recently on TNT).
While Los Angeles has an opportunity to look for an outsider, West is widely respected for what he has accomplished with the Lakers, Memphis Grizzlies, Golden State Warriors, and Clippers. However, at 80-years-old, it is unclear if West would even want to take on that type of role.
Regardless of what happens, the Lakers need to quickly stabilize themselves first. In preparation for Year 2 with LeBron James, they cannot afford to waste time and can significantly improve the team with a lottery pick and $38 million in cap space.