Lakers Rumors: Johnson, Kupchak, Gasol

February 5 at 8:04pm CDT By Charlie Adams

Magic Johnson hasn’t suited up for the Lakers since the 1995/96 NBA season, but he’s still trying to help benefit the club’s performance on the court, reports Mark Medina of the Los Angeles Daily News. Regarding the Lakers’ attempt to secure top free agents next summer, Johnson had this to say:

I love [the Lakers]. I’m going to support them. I asked Mitch [Kupchak] the other day if you want me to recruit this summer. People don’t know that was my role with Dr. Buss for a while. I was the first to call [Metta World Peace], Lamar Odom, all these guys. That was my job, calling them and recruiting them.

The Lakers are riding a seven game skid and currently sit tied for the bottom spot in the Western Conference, so it looks like they’ll need all the help they can get. Here’s the latest out of LA:

  • Kupchak spoke with Jared Greenberg and Rick Fox on SiriusXM NBA Radio, and the latest piece from Eric Pincus of the Los Angeles Times passes along the most notable bits from their sit down: “There is no plan to secure a player at a certain time,” said Kupchak, “We don’t know what the opportunities are going to be for the next two weeks, in terms of the trade deadline.  We don’t know who is going to opt in, who is going to opt out, who may or may not be a free agent this summer.
  • Kupchak on a potential deal involving Pau Gasol: “On one hand I really feel for the situation [Gasol is] in but on the other hand our guys are very, very highly compensated professionals and this is the business that they chose… He’s a great player and regardless of what happens, he’ll go down as one of the great players in Laker history.
  • We heard yesterday that the Lakers and Suns still might still be in discussions for a potential Gasol/Emeka Okafor swap, and Lang Greene of Basketball Insiders opines in his weekly chat that such a deal would be a win-win for both clubs.
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