The Los Angeles Lakers shook up their front office in a major way just two days before one of the biggest days on the NBA schedule.
The Lakers promoted franchise great and Hall of Famer Magic Johnson to president of basketball operations Tuesday while also firing general manager Mitch Kupchak and vice president of basketball operations Jim Buss — a little more than 48 hours ahead of the NBA trade deadline.
Lakers owner Jerry Buss made it clear Johnson “will be in charge of all basketball operations and will report directly to me.”
The Lakers reportedly will hire a new GM, and according to Bleacher Report, Rob Pelinka is the No. 1 option. If that name sounds familiar, it’s because Pelinka is better known as Kobe Bryant’s agent and the president and CEO of Landmark Sports Agency.
The last straw for the Lakers’ previous front office regime might have been the inability to land DeMarcus Cousins from the Sacramento Kings. USA TODAY’s Sam Amick reported Tuesday that Kupchak and Jim Buss made a “last-ditch attempt to save their jobs” by trying to acquire Cousins before the Kings sent him to the New Orleans Pelicans.
The Lakers are among the NBA’s worst teams for the fourth straight season and are at risk of a fourth consecutive last-place finish. They haven’t reached the playoffs since 2013.
Thumbnail photo via Mark D. Smith/USA TODAY Sports Images
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