During a press conference today, Magic Johnson made it clear that if he can't bring in a top-level free agent soon, he will step down as president of basketball operations for the Los Angeles Lakers.
Magic said there is "no pressure" on him entering free agency, and that it will not be a failure if the Los Angeles Lakers do not land a superstar this offseason. "No pressure on me," Johnson said. "I am going to do my job. I have always done that. ... Do you know how many Finals I have been in [as a player]? So you think I am worried about this? I have played against Larry Bird in the Finals. I mean, come on man. I have been in nine Finals. I have been in college NCAA championships."
“Next summer if nobody comes, and I’m still sitting here like this, then it’s a failure. If you judge us on one summer, that’s ridiculous. Then a lot of dudes shouldn’t be in their roles,”.Because if we’re banking on one summer for the Lakers, we’re in trouble. Because you have to give us time, this class — like I told you before I took the job and when I took the job — it’s going to be a two-summer thing for the Lakers, this summer and next summer. And that’s it.
Johnson was put in charge of the Lakers' front office by owner Jeanie Buss in February 2017, and the former superstar point guard immediately announced his plans to revive the struggling franchise by enticing the game's best players to join as free agents.
So far, it sounds like everyone, including team owner Jeanie Buss, is on the same page. We’ll see how Magic, Pelinka and company perform under “no pressure” when free agency opens up this weekend.
The Lakers, who finished second to last in the Western Conference, are in a good position to bring some serious talent in free agency during the next two seasons. Lakers have a bunch of salary-cap space, and names such as LeBron James and Paul George are already heavily linked with the team.
There is also a lot of potential in the next season’s class which includes stars such as Klay Thompson, Kawhi Leonard, and Kyrie Irving. Johnson’s on the clock.