Magic Johnson Discusses Trade Deadline, Free Agency

Magic Johnson spoke to the media prior to the Lakers‘ game against the 76ers on Sunday, discussing several topics that ranged from the trade deadline to the team’s upcoming free agency plans. Below are a sample of his comments.

Asked about the trade deadline – and implicitly the negotiations with the Pelicans for Anthony Davis – Johnson said that the Lakers didn’t feel as if they’d entered good-faith negotiations. “At the end of the day, what happened happened,” Johnson said (video link via Kyle Goon of The Southern California News Group).

Johnson also downplayed the idea that players would be negatively impacted by having had to deal with the possibility of being traded, suggesting that it’s part of the business. “A lot of people got traded on Thursday and Wednesday,” Johnson said (video link via Bill Oram of The Athletic). “Guess what’s going to happen next year? A lot of players are going to get traded.”

Johnson also indicated that the lack of success negotiating a trade for Davis won’t affect the Lakers’ free agency plans (Twitter link via Dave McMenamin of

Finally, Johnson revealed that Ben Simmons reached out to the Lakers about the possibility of working with Johnson over the summer, as Simmons hopes to learn from the best big guard in league history. Johnson expressed his willingness to work with Simmons, but only if the league approves such an arrangement (video link via Oram).

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30 thoughts on “Magic Johnson Discusses Trade Deadline, Free Agency

  1. 13morg13

    Based on that beat down in philly. He went into the wrong locker room for support talk.

  2. Z-A

    Not too happy with Ben Simmons-Magic Johnson hook up. Magic won’t teach him how to turn the ball over any less.

    Ben needs to get with someone like Navarro or Joe Johnson and learn how to turn his running brick into a floater.

    Also needs to learn how to lob in an entry pass, or figure out everytime he tosses it from half court he misses the 7-2 guy, badly.

      • Z-A

        Watch every game. The reason this team will lose is turnovers. We got lucky against the nuggets. Simmons had 9 turnovers overs, 9. 6 vs Toronto. The Lakers are not a playoff team, I’m more concerned how they play vs actual contenders. Hoping the added firepower offsets the sloppiness.

    • iamhector24

      Do you realize you just said “I don’t want my star learning from MAGIC JOHNSON, I’d rather he learn from Joe Johnson”.

      I don’t care what your rationale is behind that, it may win “stupidest internet comment of all time”.

      • Z-A

        Do yourself and EVERYONE else a favor, before you type go check out Joe Johnson’s and Juan Carlos Navorro’s floaters.

        If it was just Magic Johnson, former Laker I really don’t care. Magic Johnson President of Basketball Operations for the Lakers we’re going to end up with an Anthony Davis situation. Magic couldn’t shoot from distance either. His Assist:Turnover (2.8) isn’t much different than Simmons (2.3). What’s he going to say? Throw it into that big guy and let him score a ton of points? This is a rouse for a business meeting.

        • bennyg

          Magic shot 52% from the field. 30% from 3 and 84.8% ft.
          Joe Johnson only 44%, granted 37% for 3 but also 80% ft

          • x%sure

            “Magic” shot many many layups to get that FG%. If EMJ has a lesson, it’s get down the court fast and overpower the smalls before the centers set up.

            There. No need for a physical meeting.

            Oh wait. They have affiliations to discuss.

  3. phenomenalajs

    Ummm. I think he would’ve meant that the Pelicans were not negotiating in good faith. He wouldn’t admit it about himself.

  4. justinept

    Magic Johnson has already been fined for tampering once. The Pelicans clearly believe LeBron tampered with Davis. When the Lakers have a very recent history of openly discussing acquiring players through FA while those players are currently under contract, it’s tough to feel sorry for them when other teams refuse to deal with them in good faith.

    • bowserhound

      Saying things out loud that everyone already knows shouldn’t be looked down upon enough to make teams not deal with them on business.

      • Eric Lord

        I disagree. The Pelicans feel LeBron’s open recruitment played a role in Davis’ decision to move on. This isn’t the first time the Lakers have done this. They did it with Paul George and got fined with for it. The Spurs felt that they did it with Khawi and then LeBron does it with Davis. This is a trend, not a one time thing. Magic & the Lakers have a sense of entitlement. They feel that teams should deal with them just because they are the Lakers and when things don’t go their way, Magic cries. The Pelicans have every right to not trade Davis now. They are smart to wait until their are more teams that can get involved & quite frankly the Lakers young players (with the exception of Kuzma) aren’t as good as the Lakers make them out to be.

        • x%sure

          Ptn? Logical fallacies present. Players are allowed to recruit. GMs talk to GMs to do business.
          Demps did talk to Johnson/Pelinka, and got better offers from them.

          Siver lining, Ainge saw the expanded offer, and decided he better drop some hints. Now the Boston lockeroom is less fun supposedly. Just wait till Irving’s wink to NY turns to a nod.

          • implant

            Im waiting on Ainge to trade the farm for davis then having him leave. One can dream

          • Didn’t you read in the news last week where Magic said he was cutting off the deal “until New Orleans made a counter proposal.” Magic made the offer Monday. The Los Angeles Times beat writer put the final proposal on the internet. Demps stopped returning calls. I love Pops for telling Demps not to deal with the Lakers.
            For recruiting, the NBA told LeBron he could no longer be in contact with Davis as long as he was under contract with the Pelicans or disrupted their season. The NBA changed the rules because of LeBron.
            All the major sites had my facts on them. None of yours was because you made it all up.

            • Haven’t you seen ESPN’s “Philly’s starting five could reach absurd new heights.” Philly’s ownership has said they will give Butler and Harris max deals. As long as the Warriors stay together it’ll be the Warriors and Philly the next few years. The NBA would be happier with a better tv ratings.
              Why has the NBA told the Pelicans they can’t sit Davix, but the Cavs can sit J.R. Smith?

        • implant

          Where to start. The Pels can deal with whomever they please at whatever time they choose. While I dont believe the Lakers offered what the press said they did I dont think the Pels will come close to receiving what the Lakers were said to have offered. Kuzma is better than Tatum. And Ingram is better than Brown. Not that the Celtics would offer either of them. Im not sure what is more laughable, the Pels thinking the Lakers orchestrating the Davis thing or them believing anything Ainge tells them. But hey, The Pels held to their high standard of morals, screw the lakers and our team will always suck. It was very unfortunate that Davis put them in this spot. The Pels needed to deal Davis to anyone by the deadline. Anyone. Davis screwed them and now by not dealing him the have created a toxic environment for their team and their fans. Hows that for a start??
          Not sure any Laker exec said anything regarding Leonard before he demanded a trade. Can you lead me to where the Lakers expect teams to deal with them or is that just blowing smoke out of your bum? Lastly what did Lebron do to opening recruit Davis?

          • The Pelicans and every other team in the NBA can decide what package they want, who they want to deal with, and when they want to do it. That’s how the NBA does business. They just prefer not to deal with the Lakers because they can’t be trusted.

          • When LeBron took Anthony Davis to dinner after the Pelicans-Lakers game, the league stepped in and changed the tampering rules. They said LeBron could not continue to recruit Davis as long as he was under contract with the Pelicans. So Davis goes out and says he wants traded and gets fined $50mm for it. Now he’s changed his tune to he won’t sign a contract extension with anyone. He’ll test the market in 2020-21. Must be tired of LeBron and Paul making him look bad.

            • implant

              Dude your funny. For someone who said they would never listen to me you sure did take sometime to respond. In your head? Im in my 50’s and white so you will have to explain what ghetto means. And Im a Laker fan and have never given much thought to James until he came here. You however seem like quite the hater. So now the NBA wont let the players go out to dinner anymore? I do think we would agree on one point though. NBA players have far more control over their sport then players in an y other sport. And in that James and Pauls fingerprints are all over the last players/owners deal. They took care of their own, squeezed out the middle class and created the system that we have today.

              Of course the Pels can deal with whoever they want. And thankfully they looked at talks with the Lakers through their hearts and not through their brains. They f****d up. They will see that two years from now. And while Pops didnt want the Pels to make the Lakers contenders again he was wrong. Trading for Davis would be a step back for the team.

              • That was at x%sure. LeBron said he”s been recruiting since 2007. The NBA put the new rule that said players can not “continuously” recruit a player that is under contract with another team, and may disrupt their season. This happened after LeBron’s dinner with Anthony Davis, and LeBron was warned by the league. The rule was changed because the majority of the owners told Demps to file tampering against the Lakers. An article is out now about AD creating his own mess by asking to be traded, and got fined for it. I’m with the guy today who said the Lakers and Laker fans seem to think everybody else should hand over their best player. They tried it on George, Kawhi, and AD. Most of the rest of the nation outside of Los Angeles would rather see the Lakers fail than win another championship.

            • Sorry to say but AD is looking real good, no one can have or think otherwise on him… the Pels not so, right? They don’t even care themselves about getting a good deal, go figure!

              • They’ll get a better deal than the Lakers offer. You guys think LeBron can have whatever he wants. They asked LeBron if he’s still playing for championships. He said he’s just playing every game to win. He got that from Durant. LeBron has played in his last Finals. hahahaha. Did you hear AD say he’ll test the market in 2020-21? I seriously doubt theLakers will have the cap space, LOL

  5. Basically Tragic ask “ what am I doing here”? I am clueless. My smile has worn off but hey there was a microphone in the room.

  6. x%sure

    James is not launching yet, prob wise for a muscle injury. Still a brilliant passer & disinterested defender.

    LAL’s path to taking the future-looking LAC’s 8th spot looks good. SAC’s switch of Barnes for Shumpert & JJackson does not add that much. They’re up 2.5-3 games over DAL, MIN.

    • D$!LLKU$H-og

      I think it will come down to SAC and LAL for the 8th seed. SAC also added Alec Burks. Shump is not much better than him but def not better than Barnes. Lakers trading Zubac was a terrible move but with Goat James they should still make the playoffs. Unless the Kings slapeth the king of course.

  7. Tampadelphia Ed

    The things I hate most about the Lakers is a) their smugness despite the fact that they are not very good team, despite LeBron b) their entitled attitude in which they seem to believe other teams should just hand over star players in order to make them relevant again and c) constant references to Magic, the Showtime Lakers and the celebs that hang out court side. Look, LeBron will not save you, you won’t get AD for at least another year, you’re not winning the West, let alone the whole thing, for the foreseeable future, so just deal with the reality and settle for being on TV 40 times a year where everyone can revel in your mediocrity.

    • jjd002

      Your points A and B drive me insane (it’s even worse with the Yankees and their fans). I can’t stand it.

  8. Magic has got to be kidding. If he wanted the AD deal on reasonable terms (and I’m still not entirely convinced he did), then he should be critical of his own FO’s sophomoric negotiating strategy. That alone eliminated any chance of a deal getting done before the deadline, even if the Pels were open to trying. Don’t compound it by criticizing the other side for not liking any of your unsolicited offers. It’s amateur hour.

    Magic’s right though in saying his FO should focus on the elite players in UFA market. Also, the draft. They appear better suited for those and minor deals.

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