As the story unfolds, we are finding out more and more about the dysfunction in the Lakers organization. There are things to find out.
Deciding who will be the last person in the chain of command on basketball decisions is of utmost importance for the Lakers right now. Deciding on your coach, draft, and free agency are all around the corner. Early reporting informs us Rob Pelinka is most likely to keep his GM title and have greater power as there is no President of Basketball Operations at this time.
One thing we know is that the Lakers are an organizational mess so all reporting is a best guess at best. Until Jeanie Buss makes an official decision, we just don’t know.
Everyone around the Lakers points to one thing – find an outside person. No more “Lakers family.” Pelinka doesn’t meet that criteria, as Kobe’s former agent. He also has his own baggage to carry (via The Athletic):
Nance Jr. and his fiancée, his college girlfriend, were interested in buying a house. He wanted to get a sense of whether the Lakers planned on keeping him around, and Pelinka told him that the Lakers would only trade him if it meant landing one of the game’s three best players. He told him to buy the house, multiple sources confirmed.
Before Nance could get that far, however, he received a call on the morning of Feb. 8, 2018. He and Jordan Clarkson had been traded to Cleveland in a salary dump that cleared cap space for the Lakers to be able to offer two max slots in the summer.
This is the kind of stuff we don’t hear about until something like Magic’s resignation happens but is something players talk about and don’t forget. Pelinka did quote Paolo Coehlo at a press conference once, so it’s not impossible he would find a meta way to explain how a max slot for the Lakers is like a top 3 player.
First of all, with all due respect, this is Larry Nance Jr. we are talking about. What was the downside of telling him “I’m not sure Larry, wait until the trade deadline.” Why burn your credibility and reputation is such an unnecessary way?
In addition to that, as an agent, Pelinka didn’t make a lot of friends with other GM’s and agents around the league. The same agents and GM he should develop relationships with. It goes so far that Pelicans GM at the time, Del Demps, wouldn’t return his calls.
Everyone preaches culture in the NBA, but not everyone values it. Do you think a Larry Nance Jr. situation could happen in San Antonio or Boston?