Lakers Notes: Walton, Old Trades, Draft Picks

There are a few areas that the Lakers will need to address as Rob Pelinka tackles his new role as general manager of the franchise, but head coach isn’t one of them. In fact, the presence of Luke Walton on the payroll could be an asset for the organization, writes Mark Medina of the Los Angeles Daily News.

Everyone loves you,” Pelinka said to the Lakers coach at the press conference when his hiring was formally announced. “You have this genuine honesty and coolness about you that just makes every player in the league want you to be their coach.

Walton spoke about his new boss’ support at practice, mentioning the benefits of knowing that the front office supports him. “It gives you the confidence to make the decisions you feel are best for the team,” Walton said.

There’s more from the Lakers:

  • When Jeanie Buss opted to hand the keys to the Lakers over to Magic Johnson and Rob Pelinka rather than her own brother Jim Buss and long-time general manager Mitch Kupchak, it showed that loyalty matters more than family, Kevin Ding of Bleacher Report writes.
  • Though reluctant to commit to a timeline, newly hired general manager Rob Pelinka insisted that the Lakers need to be aggressive in their rebuild and “get better talent for Luke Walton to coach,” Mark Medina of the Los Angeles Daily News wrote in a separate piece.
  • In a column published Friday, Mark Heisler of the Orange Country Register wonders if the Lakers forgot to tank. Heisler reminds readers that if the Lakers pick falls out of the top three this year, they lose it (on account of the Steve Nash trade) — otherwise they lose next year’s pick. Should they lose this year’s pick and retain next year’s pick, they would lose their 2019 first-round pick due to the Dwight Howard trade and the Ted Stepien rule. Check out the column for more details.
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