Rob Pelinka

Stein’s Latest: Lakers, Sixers, Myers

Lakers GM Rob Pelinka appears to be gaining more power inside of the team’s front office, Marc Stein of the New York Times writes in his weekly newsletter. The former agent is reportedly running Los Angeles’ search for a new head coach.

It’s curious that the team is searching for a coach before settling on an official head of basketball operations. Many organizations set up their front office structures prior to hiring a coach.

Stein provides more on the situation and passes along some additional nuggets in this week’s edition of the newsletter. Here are the highlights from his piece:

  • There’s chatter within league circles that Sixers assistant coach Monty Williams’ candidacy for the Lakers‘ gig is as strong in part because some within the front office fear giving the job to Tyronn Lue would hand too much control to LeBron James. Williams met with Pelinka to discuss the position earlier today. Lue and Juwan Howard are among the other candidates rumored to be in contention for the position.
  • The Sixers attempted to pry Warriors team president Bob Myers away from Golden State last offseason before deciding to promote Elton Brand to the role, Stein reports. Philadelphia also attempted to bring Rockets GM Daryl Morey to its front office.
  • Morey’s recent contract extension from the Rockets is estimated to pay the executive in the neighborhood of $8MM annually, Stein hears. Magic Johnson‘s salary as the Lakers’ team president was estimated to be $10MM per year and Stein argues that Los Angeles could feasibly offer a candidate double that salary if they wanted to lure a prized rival executive.
  • Stein writes that there is both “shock and relief” within the league that the Lakers haven’t attempted to poach a decorated rival executive, such as Myers, Spurs GM R.C. Buford, or Thunder GM Sam Presti.

Lakers Notes: Walton, Lue, Pelinka, Caruso

Luke Walton‘s fatal mistake with the Lakers was not insisting that everyone else defer to LeBron James, writes Joe Vardon of The Athletic. Tyronn Lue, who won a title with LeBron in Cleveland and is considered among the top candidates to replace Walton in L.A., established a clear order when he took over for David Blatt in 2016. Lue demanded that Kyrie Irving and Kevin Love set aside any individual agendas and let James run the show.

Walton never made similar demands after LeBron came to the Lakers, according to Vardon. He was fine with several players serving as the primary ball-handler and didn’t adjust the offense much to feature his new weapon.

“We had our system coming into training camp, and it was similar to the last few years,” former Lakers center Ivica Zubac said after being traded in February. “We all knew LeBron was the guy, but no, that’s not how it was. Luke wants to play fast and he said it right after camp started. I think we played the right way until LeBron got hurt, and then we just didn’t have enough to win.”

There’s more news from Los Angeles:

  • The Lakers haven’t contacted Lue about their coaching job yet, but he is in much better health now than when he had to take a leave of absence last season, Vardon adds. Lue has lost 35 pounds, changed his diet and works out twice a day.
  • GM Rob Pelinka will be in charge of the search for a new coach, tweets Ramona Shelburne of ESPN. That’s one more sign that Pelinka’s position with the organization is secure after the departure of team president Magic Johnson. The front office talked briefly to Walton’s representatives to see if they could work out an agreement to retain him as coach, Shelburne adds (Twitter link). However, discussions didn’t go very far.
  • Alex Caruso, Johnathan Williams and Jemerrio Jones may not return next season, but they provided an inspiring effort after the Lakers’ playoff hopes were extinguished, relays Kevin Ding of NBA.com. After making his NBA debut March 31, Jones thanked Walton after each game for giving him a chance to play. Caruso expressed similar gratitude to Walton and Pelinka in his exit interview on Wednesday. Caruso also credits South Bay Lakers president Joey Buss for helping him to land a two-way contract last season. “Might not be here now,” Caruso said. “It’s all butterfly effect getting to this point.”

Lonzo Ball Passed On Ankle Surgery After Lakers’ Threat

Lakers point guard Lonzo Ball nearly underwent an unauthorized procedure on his left ankle procedure before the organization threatened to void his rookie contract, Shams Charania of The Athletic reports.

The drama occurred in late February with Ball travelling to Ohio to undergo the surgery before the Lakers’ brass talked him out of it. Owner Jeanie Buss sent a plane to Ohio to pick up Ball and bring him back to Los Angeles, Tania Ganguli of the Los Angeles Times tweets.

The surgery was planned by Ball’s estranged former business partner Alan Foster and with knowledge of his outspoken father, LaVar Ball, Charania continues. The Ball family was familiar with the Ohio surgeon since the doctor had previously operated on Lonzo’s younger brother LiAngelo Ball.

Lonzo Ball notified GM Rob Pelinka about his plans and at that point the organization told him they could void his contract if he underwent the procedure, Charania adds.

Pelinka and team president Magic Johnson, who stepped down this week, worked in tandem with Ball’s now former agent Harrison Gaines to change his mind about the surgical procedure.

Ball suffered a Grade 3 ankle sprain on January 19 and missed the remainder of the season. Once Ball returned to Los Angeles, Johnson and Pelinka spent time with him at doctor appointments to make sure he followed the team’s rehab plan, according to Charania.

Ball is suing Foster, the former co-founder and manager of Big Baller Brand, for damages of more than $2MM. The suit alleges that Foster embezzled millions of dollars from the company for his personal use. He also parted ways with Gaines this month and hired Creative Artists Agency to represent him.

Lakers Notes: Pelinka, Walton, Nunez, Magic

The Lakers reportedly plan to retain general manager Rob Pelinka following Magic Johnson‘s shocking resignation, but the consensus from general managers and agents around the NBA is that Pelinka is part of the problem in L.A., according to Broderick Turner of The Los Angeles Times. Pelinka, who didn’t make a ton of friends around the league during his days an agent representing Kobe Bryant and others, received plenty of criticism from the sources who spoke to Turner.

“I just don’t see how they do anything going forward with Rob in place,” one agent said. “No one trusts him.”

“Honestly, they need to hire an experienced general manager with credibility and let him fire Rob,” another agent said. “Let that president that come in, let him have the authority to hire his staff and to hire their head coach if he doesn’t want Luke Walton.”

Agents who may have had an adversarial relationship with Pelinka during his own days as an agent might be a little biased about his performance as a front office executive. But even rival GMs didn’t have a ton of praise for the Lakers’ GM, as Turner details. One general manager told Turner that front office people don’t have a good relationship with Pelinka from his days representing Kobe and other high-profile players.

“To tell you the truth, they should go out and get a top executive in the league to run everything,” one GM said. “That’s what they need to do. Go get a guy that can get this done. There’s no reason why it shouldn’t get done. Go get an executive that’s done it or who has built something.

“Go get Bob Myers (Warriors) if you can. Go after Sam Presti (Thunder). Those guys know how to build a team. If they have the tools that the Lakers have — cap space and a big city, appeal, you got LeBron James on your roster — you got to be able to attract one of these guys to work in their front office.”

Here’s more on the Lakers:

  • Three NBA head coaches have been let go today, but Luke Walton wasn’t one of them. According to Tania Ganguli of The Los Angeles Times, a coaching change doesn’t appear to be imminent for the Lakers, though people familiar with the club’s thinking believe Walton may be asked to make some changes to his coaching staff if he returns.
  • During their end-of-season conversations with reporters, a handful of Lakers spoke candidly about the impact that Anthony Davis trade rumors had on the team prior to the deadline, as Dave McMenamin of ESPN.com relays. Kentavious Caldwell-Pope said that “everybody kind of lost themselves” around the deadline, while Josh Hart said social media – and the constant rumors swirling around the team – “made it annoying.”
  • According to McMenamin (via Twitter), the Lakers fired head athletic training Marco Nunez on Wednesday after a season in which nearly all of the Lakers’ top players missed time due to injuries.
  • Of all the reasons Magic Johnson had to step down as the Lakers’ president of basketball operations, money wasn’t one of them — according to Sam Amick of The Athletic (via RealGM.com), Johnson was earning approximately $10MM per year in the role.

Lakers Notes: Pelinka, LeBron, Walton, Bullock

Magic Johnson and Rob Pelinka have been grouped together over the last two years as the top decision-makers in the Lakers‘ front office, but Pelinka won’t follow Johnson out the door following Magic’s resignation.

League sources tell ESPN’s Ramona Shelburne that the Lakers’ general manager will keep his job — if anything, Pelinka’s power will grow, Shelburne adds. That doesn’t necessarily mean the the franchise won’t seek out a new president of basketball operations, but after being caught off guard by Johnson’s announcement, the Lakers sound prepared to enter the offseason with Pelinka running the show.

Johnson revealed during his impromptu press conference on Tuesday night that he hadn’t informed owner Jeanie Buss of his decision to resign before announcing it publicly, and Buss wasn’t the only one surprised by the news. Shelburne reports that Pelinka also didn’t know it was coming and that LeBron James was “stunned” by the decision. However, LeBron stands behind Buss and the Lakers’ front office, a source tells Shelburne.

Here’s more on the Lakers:

  • Head coach Luke Walton participated in exit meetings with players on Wednesday, sources tell Shelburne. That doesn’t mean that Walton is safe, but all indications are that he has a better chance of retaining his job with Johnson out of the picture.
  • Asked today about his level of interest in returning to the Lakers in free agency this summer, Reggie Bullock responded, “Very high. I love this city” (Twitter link via Tania Ganguli of The Los Angeles Times).
  • With little else to play for as the season neared an end, Kentavious Caldwell-Pope was auditioning for his next NBA job down the stretch, writes Broderick Turner of The Los Angeles Times. “Man, I’m just out there playing,” Caldwell-Pope said earlier this week. “Yes, I’ll be looking for a job for next season, but my job right now is to play my best basketball for the Lakers and then we’ll see where things stand.” KCP enjoyed his best stretch of the season in the final month, averaging 19.9 PPG in his last 16 games, including 23.3 PPG in the last seven.
  • While Lakers fans may have been frustrated by the deadline trade that saw Mike Muscala acquired for Ivica Zubac and Michael Beasley, Muscala hasn’t exactly had the time of his life since the deal either, writes Kyle Goon of The Orange County Register. “I guess these last few games have gone well for us, but I’m still kinda disappointed with how I played,” the veteran big man said. “…It’s kind of been a frustrating season for me, but there were still some opportunities. So I gotta focus on that. Injuries are a part of the game. You never want to use that as an excuse. I’ve always dealt with ankle injuries, and I know how to deal with them.”

Magic Johnson Fallout: News, Rumors, Reactions, More

In the wake of Magic Johnson‘s abrupt resignation on Tuesday night, the Lakers issued a statement thanking him for his work with the franchise over the past two years.

“There is no greater Los Angeles Laker than Earvin Johnson. We are deeply grateful to Magic for all that he has done for our franchise – as a player, an ambassador and an executive,” the statement reads. “… He will always be not only a Lakers icon, but our family.

“As we begin the process of moving forward, we will work in a measured and methodical fashion to make the right moves for the future of our organization.”

While Johnson admitted in his impromptu press conference on Tuesday that he didn’t inform owner Jeanie Buss of his decision to step down before announcing it to the press, Buss – at least publicly – showed no sign that she was angry about the move, though ESPN’s Ramona Shelburne hears from those close to the Buss family that they were “sad, angry, and disappointed.”

“Earvin, I loved working side by side with you,” Buss tweeted. “You’ve brought us a long way. We will continue the journey. We love you.”

Reactions to and additional details on one of the most surprising developments of the NBA season have poured in over the last 12 hours, so we’ll round up many of them in the space below. Let’s dive in…

General news/rumors:

  • Johnson met for three hours with Buss on Monday to discuss the Lakers’ direction and gave no indication he was planning on leaving the organization, tweets Chris Mannix of SI.com. ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski reports (via Twitter) that Johnson and general manager Rob Pelinka also visited with LeBron James and agent Rich Paul on Saturday and similarly gave no indication that he was thinking about stepping down.
  • Sources tell Ohm Youngmisuk and Dave McMenamin of ESPN.com that Buss, Pelinka, CFO Joe McCormack, COO Tim Harris, and manager of special projects Linda Rambis sat down for an “all-hands-on-deck meeting” following Johnson’s announcement on Tuesday night. The Lakers’ franchise is currently “paralyzed” by the news, a team source tells ESPN.
  • People close to Johnson say he was “deeply offended” by the constant accusations of tampering that followed him during his two years with the Lakers, writes ESPN’s Ramona Shelburne. An ability to once again speak freely about players around the NBA was one factor Johnson cited when announcing his decision.
  • Almost in passing, Johnson mentioned during his presser on Tuesday that he “could have led the Knicks when (president) Steve Mills called,” but he considers himself a “Laker for life” (Twitter link via Knicks Film School).
  • There have been rumblings for months that ESPN was working on a story that focused on Johnson’s mistreatment of employees and would be “extremely unflattering” for Magic, says Sam Amick of The Athletic. However, Johnson denied that was a factor in his decision to step down. “I know that article is not an accurate article. I can tell you that now,” Johnson said, per Bill Oram of The Athletic. “… Now it’s some disgruntled, former Laker employees (talking to reporters). Yeah, they gonna say (what) they gonna say, ‘cause they wasn’t doing their jobs. So what is a person going to do? Point the finger bad about the person who fired them.”

Luke Walton notes/rumors:

  • Luke Walton‘s contract runs for two more years, though 2020/21 is a team option, reports ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski (via Twitter). Johnson planned to fire Walton before deciding instead to step down, Wojnarowski adds.
  • Chris Haynes of Yahoo Sports provides additional details on the Walton situation, writing that Magic was displeased with the head coach’s ability to make in-game adjustments and also felt that the coaching staff “lacked the experience and expertise to foster player development.”
  • Sources tell Haynes that Johnson wanted to replace Walton during the season, but Buss was reluctant to do so and didn’t give Magic the go-ahead to make a change until recently. Tyronn Lue, Monty Williams, and Mark Jackson would have been primary targets to replace Walton if Johnson had made a change.
  • During the infamous early-season meeting in which Johnson questioned Walton’s coaching performance, Magic told the head coach to “shut the f— up” at one point when Walton tried to intervene, says Sam Amick of The Athletic.

Reactions:

  • Lakers players and coaches were caught off guard by the news of Johnson’s resignation, writes Kyle Goon of The Orange County Register. Walton said he found out about thew news when everyone else did, while Sam Amick of The Athletic confirms that LeBron didn’t know it was coming either. “What shocked me is how everybody else is shocked,” Rajon Rondo said. “Because nobody knew.”
  • Buss and the Lakers are better off without Johnson, Chris Mannix argues in a column for SI.com.
  • In his column for The Los Angeles Times, Bill Plaschke says the manner in which Johnson left the Lakers was as shocking as anything he’s seen during his 25 years covering the team. Plaschke also makes the case that Magic was never all-in on the job.
  • While the Anthony Davis saga wasn’t the main reason for Johnson’s resignation, Pelicans head coach Alvin Gentry couldn’t help but notice that the two heads of basketball operations involved in those trade discussions are now unemployed, as Nick Friedell of ESPN.com details. Gentry said he has never seen a situation as “toxic” as the Davis trade request during his time in the NBA. “Not this toxic, no,” Gentry said. “Not that affected two teams. And two guys. One lost his job, and the other one resigned from his job. So no, in 31 years I hadn’t had anything that would equal this kind of fallout. No, I haven’t.”

Next steps:

  • In a column for The Athletic, Bill Oram contends that Buss must look outside of her circle of friends to replace Johnson, focusing on the best and brightest NBA executives, since the Lakers’ job is a coveted one.
  • Kevin Pelton of ESPN.com (Insider-only link) writes that the Lakers need to find an executive who is willing to do the dirty work, appeals to star players, and who can set a positive culture. Pelton points to former Cavs GM David Griffin as one candidate who would fit the bill.

Jeanie Buss Has Faith In Lakers’ Front Office Despite Lost Season

The Lakers failed to put the right pieces around LeBron James during year one of The King’s reign in Los Angeles. Despite the disappointment, owner Jeanie Buss still has complete faith in both team president Magic Johnson and GM Rob Pelinka, a source close to the situation tells Bill Oram of The Athletic.

The two executives have had their share of missteps during their time with the team. For instance, as Oram details, when the Lakers signed James, neither Pelinka or Johnson put in the kind of research that rival organizations typically do when landing a top star.

When the Celtics traded for Kyrie Irving, the team made calls to former coaches and those around him in pursuit of intel on the point guard. Had the Lakers put in that type of work, they may have known, for example, that LBJ playing off the ball wasn’t going to be something they should plan around even if the four-time MVP had signed off on the strategy during July 2018 discussions.

The team will chase stars like Kawhi Leonard, Kevin Durant, and Klay Thompson this summer, though the Lakers don’t appear to be atop any of those players’ lists, per Oram’s piece, which Shams Charania, Joe Vardon, Sam Amick, and Frank Isola also contributed to.

The thinking process may be shifting behind the scenes in Los Angeles as a result of the lack of interest in the Lakers. “You don’t need names, you need games,” a source close to James tells Oram. That differs from Johnson declaring last year that this summer would bring another superstar.

Regardless of which players the Lakers roster, Luke Walton is unlikely to coach them. Johnson clashed with Walton throughout the season with tension rising during an early-season meeting. Oram writes that Johnson delivered Walton with a “closed-door tongue lashing.” From that point on, Walton had reason to be concerned about his job security.

According to Isola, the Lakers reached out to former Bucks coach Jason Kidd during the season. However, a high-ranking official within the organization refutes the claim.

Oram shares more details from a lost season in the extensive piece, which is worth a read on its own. Here are some more of the highlights:

  • Kyle Kuzma was told prior to his trip to Charlotte for All-Star weekend that he would be a key part of the Lakers and that unless the team was acquiring one of the league’s best three players, it wasn’t trading him. Pelinka delivered a similar message to Larry Nance Jr. prior to the deadline last season. According to Oram’s source, Pelinka reassured Nance of the team’s plan for him and told the big man to buy the house he was pursuing in Los Angeles — Nance luckily was unable to complete all the necessary steps to buying the home before the team traded him to Cleveland.
  • Some within Walton’s circle felt that agent Rich Paul was attempting to use the Anthony Davis saga to get the team to fire Walton. If the team acquired Davis, the franchise would need a more decorated coach. However, the Lakers heard through back channels that Davis liked Walton and that bought the coach more time.
  • Members of the Lakers’ coaching staff had hoped that management would bring back the Julius RandleBrook Lopez pairing last offseason. The team allowed both to walk in free agency. Sources tell Oram that Walton and his staff were not consulted about potential free agent targets last year until late in the process.
  • Oram writes that Johnson is seen as an “absentee executive,” as evidenced by Johnson’s lack of response when LaVar Ball made allegations that Walton was losing control of the locker room last season. Johnson was in Hawaii at the time and didn’t publicly back his coach.
  • Pelinka has been active in his involvement with the Lakers. He’s hands-on with scouting and coaches’ meetings, though his level of micromanagement has drawn criticism.
  • Johnson caught the attention of James for his comments during an interview with SiriusXM NBA Radio. Johnson said the team needed to get the ball out of James’ hands because otherwise, the situation would be “Cleveland all over again and we don’t want that.” LBJ publicly said he wasn’t sure what Johnson meant.

Lakers Notes: Simmons, Hart, Ball, Zubac

The Lakers released a statement stating that the Sixers had sought their permission for floor leader Ben Simmons to speak with team president Magic Johnson, Dave McMenamin of ESPN tweets. Philadelphia emailed the Lakers in November, according to the statement, asking if Simmons could speak with Johnson about his Hall of Fame career. Lakers GM Rob Pelinka subsequently told Sixers GM Elton Brand that Johnson could only do that with Philadelphia’s written pre-approval. That was the end of the matter, the release adds. The league has launched an investigation to determine if any communication between the parties violated league rules.

We have more on the Lakers:

  • Guard Josh Hart received a PRP injection to treat tendinitis in his right knee, according to a team press release. Hart will be re-evaluated after the All-Star break, the release adds. Hart didn’t play in blowout losses against Indiana and Philadelphia and only lasted eight scoreless minutes against Boston.
  • Lonzo Ball isn’t considered a defensive specialist but the Lakers have missed him at that end of the court, Tania Ganguli of the Los Angeles Times notes. The Lakers’ defensive rating is the third-worst in the league in the nine games since Ball was sidelined by a severe ankle sprain. “He allows us to switch a lot,” Lakers coach Luke Walton said. “If they want to run any pick and roll minus the center, the 1-5 pick and roll, we can just switch it. And we feel confident Lonzo can guard most of the other players there. We have Lonzo picking up full-court the other team’s points guard. He’s great at instincts, getting deflections.”
  • Trading young center Ivica Zubac to the Clippers to ‘rent’ power forward Mike Muscala doesn’t make much sense, Eric Pincus of Bleacher Report argues. Zubac could have been an inexpensive, long-term contributor for the Lakers, Pincus continues. He would have been a restricted free agent with a modest cap hold of $1.9 million. Muscala’s cap hold is $9.5MM and he might not be any more productive than Zubac would have been the rest of this season.
  • LeBron James claims the reason he drafted Kevin Durant, Kyrie Irving and Anthony Davis for his All-Star team had nothing to do with recruiting, according to another Ganguli story. “That’s all part of the speculation that continues to drive our sport,” he said. “It’s all good and well and dandy, but for me I picked according to my draft board and I picked according to who was the best available.”

Atlantic Notes: B. Simmons, Lakers, Gasol, Knicks

Lakers president of basketball operations Magic Johnson told reporters over the weekend that Ben Simmons had reached out to the team asking if he could get together with Johnson during the offseason to talk to him about playing in the NBA as a point guard with size. While Johnson suggested he’d be on board if the Sixers, the Lakers, and the NBA all signed off, it sounds like it won’t happen.

Appearing on 97.5 The Fanatic in Philadelphia (Twitter link), Sixers GM Elton Brand said today that Lakers GM Rob Pelinka contacted him to ask for authorization and Brand said no “over a month ago.” Tania Ganguli of The Los Angeles Times (Twitter link) hears a different account, citing a source who says that the 76ers initiated the discussion about Simmons wanting to meet with Johnson, with Pelinka calling Brand back to say the Lakers weren’t comfortable with it.

While it’s not clear which team shot down the idea first, neither side appears to be on board, so presumably Simmons and Johnson won’t meet this summer. The fact that the young 76er is represented by Rich Paul is sure to generate some speculation, but Ganguli tweets that Simmons’ desire to talk to Johnson was simply due to their on-court similarities, and he intends to be a Sixer for a long time.

Ganguli’s report won’t necessarily satisfy the NBA though. According to league spokesperson Mike Bass, the NBA is looking into whether there was any communication between Simmons and the Lakers that violated league rules (Twitter link via Ganguli).

Here’s more from around the Atlantic:

  • Marc Gasol waived the 15% trade kicker on his contract to help finalize the trade sending him to Toronto last week, per ESPN’s Bobby Marks on The Lowe Post podcast. While the trade bonus would only have been worth about $1.29MM, Gasol’s decision could save the Raptors about $3.2MM in projected tax penalties, as Blake Murphy of The Athletic notes (via Twitter).
  • Speaking of Gasol, the Raptors are still experimenting with a fluid frontcourt rotation as they figure out how to best use Gasol, Serge Ibaka, and Pascal Siakam, head coach Nick Nurse said today (Twitter link via Josh Lewenberg of TSN.ca).
  • Mike Vorkunov of The Athletic takes a wide-ranging look at what the summer could bring for the Knicks and their two maximum-salary contract slots, from the “utopia” outcome to the “doomsday” scenario.

Lakers Notes: Pelinka, Team Chemistry, Additions

The Lakers missed out on Anthony Davis after heavy speculation that the team would send many of its young players out of town. The team did make a pair of trades, though its core of young prospects remains mostly intact.

GM Rob Pelinka was asked about the strain the rumors may have had on the team and how to repair it. Pelinka responded with a story about a pastor and his fiancee who were riding a trolley, as Tania Ganguli of the Los Angeles Times passes along (Twitter link). Pelinka explained how 100 people tried to board the trolley and separate the two, leaving the couple with two options: Allow the people to get between them or hold each other close and allow the people around them to push the couple together.

Team chemistry will be an interesting storyline in Los Angeles as the season progresses. Here’s more on the Lakers and their plan to win games this season and beyond:

  • Pelinka and team president Magic Johnson met with coach Luke Walton prior to the trade deadline to talk about the roster, Ohn Youngmisuk of ESPN.com relays (ESPN Now link). Pelinka said that adding floor-spacing shooters was a “big need” for the team to be “effective” and he feels the Lakers addressed that need. Both Reggie Bullock, whom Pelinka calls an “elite” shooter, and Mike Muscala are expected to be available for Lakers on Sunday against the Sixers.
  • The Lakers are evaluating a “handful” of potential players to add from the buyout market, Pelinka said, as Dave McMenamin of ESPN.com tweets. The GM also added that the team is weighing whether or not to add someone now or wait to bring a player on board. Pelinka did not specifically address Carmelo Anthony when speaking with the reporters.
  • Pelinka hopes that the Lakers‘ new additions can have the type of impact Julian Edelman has for the Patriots, McMenamin relays in the full-length piece. “I almost look at Bullock and Muscala, my hope is, much like Edelman was,” Pelinka said. “It’s just one player, but that can have such a big impact on overall chemistry, and I hope those two guys can come in and have that impact.”
  • Eric Pincus of Bleacher Report examines the Lakers‘ options this offseason should they again fail to trade for Davis. Pincus speculates that Los Angeles could look to add Nikola Vucevic or DeAndre Jordan in free agency or turn their attention to another star, such as Bradley Beal, on the trade market.