The Los Angeles Lakers head into this summer with some major questions surrounding the team. The team made progress this year, but with only 26 wins and a fourth consecutive year missing the playoffs, patience is beginning to wear thin.
Now that a new regime is in power led by president of basketball operations Magic Johnson and general manager Rob Pelinka, there is some hope that the franchise is back on the upswing.
Pelinka has spoken before about needing to improve the Lakers’ roster and at the team exit interviews he said that he is fully convinced the Lakers will bring in some stars soon, via Lakers Nation reporter Serena Winters:
Rob Pelinka says that he is 'fully convinced' that the Lakers will get 'one or more' stars to come.
But, he won't put a timetable on it.
— Serena Winters (@SerenaWinters) April 13, 2017
Of course, there have been a number of names linked to the Lakers throughout this season. Chief among those names are Indiana Pacers star Paul George and Chicago Bulls star, Jimmy Butler.
It’s pretty well known at this stage that George has told the Pacers front office that he doesn’t want to stay if the team can’t compete for a championship. Most assume that the Lakers would be at the top of George’s list should that not come to fruition. The potential of George being eligible for a “super-max” extension should he make an All-NBA team this season will also play a role.
Butler is under contract for at least two more seasons after this one so the Bulls may not be as inclined to move him immediately, but there have certainly been rumblings with the Bulls being one of the bigger disappointments in the league this season.
The question now is whether the Pelinka will be able to bring in one of these stars. He may be convinced that some are coming, but until one is actually suiting up in the Lakers purple and gold, the people won’t be satisfied. And neither will Pelinka.