Lakers Notes: Johnson, Hart, Summer League, Offseason

Former Lakers president of basketball operations Magic Johnson expects the new LeBron JamesAnthony Davis pairing to be successful, he said this week at the 2019 BET Experience Genius Talks, as relayed by Alexis Mansanarez of Sporting News.

“LeBron is still, you know, the best in basketball,” Johnson said. “And I think that when you put another superstar with him, an Anthony Davis, both of them will allow each other now to really play their game and dominate, because what happens, the floor will open up.

“And LeBron is such an incredible passer and driver, and he always makes his teammate better. So look for Anthony really to have probably one of his greatest seasons.”

Johnson resigned from his position toward the end of the 2018/19 season, but remains a strong supporter of the team he spent his entire playing career with.

Los Angeles traded away a major haul to acquire Davis from New Orleans: Lonzo Ball, Brandon Ingram, Josh Hart and three first-round picks. With general manager Rob Pelinka taking over the day-to-day duties in Johnson’s absence, the team must now work to effectively fill the holes around Davis and James entering the 2019/20 season.

Here are some other notes out of Los Angeles tonight:

  • Former Lakers guard Josh Hart bid farewell to the team on social media after he was traded to New Orleans. “I want to thank the Laker organization, Jeanie Buss & Magic Johnson for taking a chance on me & believing in me,” Hart wrote. “To my teammates thank you for teaching me how to play & grow in this league. To the fans….THANK YOU! Thank you for embracing me and for supporting me through all the ups and downs! One of the best fan bases in the league. It was a dream come true to wear the purple and gold! It’s always love on this side but now N.O ‘Let’s dance.'”
  • Free agents Joe Young and Dakota Mathias have committed to playing summer league with the Lakers, Jonathon Givony of DraftExpress reports (Twitter link). Los Angeles opens summer league play on July 5 against Chicago.
  • Ameer Tyree of Sporting News outlines three things the team needs to add in order to be successful next season. Among the improvements needed is more outside shooting, a category the team lacked in this past season.
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12 thoughts on “Lakers Notes: Johnson, Hart, Summer League, Offseason

  1. Theone23

    The Lakers are extremely too heavy. If one of those guys goes down (likely AD given his injury history), the Lakers are toast. Risky way to build a team this day in age

    • lakersfan27

      Putting two top five players on your team is totally a risky move?!? These kind of comments are stupid.. every team in the league would love to be in the position the lakers are in. and to top it off They still have money to load up. They could totally sign pat bev and a few other three and D types and set to take home another chip.

      • Black Ace57

        It doesn’t matter if you have 2 stars if you potentially have to fill out 4-12 or 5-12 on your roster with min salary players. Warriors had 4 stars along with Iggy, Cousins, and Looney and were too thin in terms of depth. Lakers aren’t even close to that.

        • Rewane

          Lakers have more than 20 million in cap space. If they cannot sign a third star they will not just fill the rest of the roster with minimum contracts.
          If the Warriors remained healthy their lack of depth would not be a problem. The last 10ish title besides the Mavs’ has all been won with 3 star players.
          More star power = higher ceiling, more depth = higher floor. Getting a title in the NBA is really hard and would require any team to perform near its ceiling for a chance at the title, and no team beside GSW is good enough to be looking for a higher floor. If you don’t be risky and have a high ceiling you have no shot at the title at all.
          I haven’t heard any team turning down a max offer to top 20 FAs because the team want more depth.

          • lakersfan27

            Right! They could have over 30 mil to reload if they get off Wagner and company. Not to mention they’ll get the best vet minimums because of the position they’re in to win a title.

    • Funny for a Toronto fan to say it’s risky, when AD has had a number of healthy seasons, specially the last 3 no problems at all… meanwhile Kawhi has never had a healthy season yet in the league… so it wasn’t worth for Toronto, then?
      Of course if your star gets injured derails your season that is normal & accepted, it is what it is… but LBJ was injured for the first time last year & as I said AD has been nice & healthy the last 3 years.
      Counting that Toronto won the championship only because the injuries Golden State suffered should show you that injuries are unpredictable but any team with them will not win, simple as, even as good as GSW are, never mind who they play against, even if it is only Toronto.

    • kenleyfornia2

      2 top 5 players and a lot of a cap room is a bad way to make a team? Good thing you aren’t a GM

  2. Archie M.

    They should now focus on building a deep bench with players who either have championship experience or comes from a winning culture either in the pros or in college or both. I say that coz mindset is just as important as skillset.

  3. ColossusOfClout

    LeBron is not the best in basketball. At 34 years old the self anointed King’s days on the throne are over. We have a new king, the King in the North!

  4. You quit! We lost Lou Williams zubac! Signed a bunch of miss fits. Stay away magic you’re finished!

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