Speaking to reporters this week, new Lakers president of basketball operations Magic Johnson reiterated that he’d like to bring Kobe Bryant aboard. Johnson has no specific role in mind for the future Hall-of-Famer, suggesting that Bryant could do “whatever he wants to do,” per Baxter Holmes of ESPN.com. Johnson also said he’s looking forward to trying to lure free agents to L.A., despite the club’s lack of success with top targets in recent years.
“Players today, whether they’re coming to us or any other team, have got to buy into that vision and have got to say, ‘Look, I can see it. This organization is about winning,'” Johnson said. “We’ve always been about winning. And you’ve got the right coach, you’ve got the right management team, you’ve got the right ownership, and so we’re looking forward to going out and pitching to free agents.”
Here’s more on the Lakers:
- As Mark Medina of The Los Angeles Daily News details, D’Angelo Russell and Brandon Ingram were comforted by Johnson’s recent assertions that the team’s young core is untouchable. “That’s good to hear, honestly,” Russell said. “With everybody getting traded and everything happening, you’re walking around looking over your shoulder because you don’t have a clue what’s going on. Some things you can’t control. So that’s good to hear.” Still, the second-year guard added that no one should feel entirely “untouchable” around the trade deadline.
- After being fired by the Lakers earlier this week, former GM Mitch Kupchak issued a statement on Wednesday thanking the Buss family and wishing Johnson and the organization good luck going forward. Baxter Holmes has the full statement from Kupchak.
- For the Lakers to contend again, they can’t be content to rely on Johnson’s celebrity, writes Tim Dahlberg of The Associated Press.
- The Lakers are reportedly seeking a second-round pick in a deal for Nick Young today. Be sure to keep tabs on all are latest Lakers notes using their team page.