There were rumblings last week that Magic Johnson was interested in having a more prominent role in the Lakers organization and incorporating Kobe into the mix. Well, hiring Magic as the President and Rob Pelinka (Kobe’s former agent) as GM almost guarantees a return for Mamba. I want to focus this post on the implications it has towards the Sixers top three 2017 pick and the unprotected 2018 pick if it doesn’t convey this year.
A look at the current state of the Lakers has them with the 3rd worst record in the NBA. If that continues the Sixers would have a 23.8% chance of acquiring the 4th pick. I worry about the Sixers not acquiring the pick in 2017. The NBA is rigged, the Frozen Ewing Envelope is real dammit, and the Lakers are the most storied franchise in the NBA with the 2nd biggest TV Market – the NBA needs them to compete. Brandon Ingram hasn’t lived up to the hype and neither has D’Angelo Russell, but they’re the Lakers and they are building towards the top.
As a former agent, Rob Pelinka has serious ties to other agents, GMs, and players. Maybe that’s because they’ve tried to get a pic with him thinking it was Rob Lowe. Chad Ford described him as an “excellent talent evaluator.” His clients include Kobe, James Harden, Chris Bosh, Eric Gordon, Andre Iguodala, and Trevor Ariza; all established vets in the NBA and most with NBA rings. He’s built strong relationships with star players and that is as important as ever in the NBA when we saw Kevin Durant jump to Golden State. Secondly, this draft is loaded, like turn your franchise around loaded. The Lakers have a chance to draft Markelle Fultz, Dennis Smith, or Josh Jackson. The 2017 Free Agency market isn’t far off either. Blake Griffin, Kyle Lowry, Kevin Durant, Steph Curry are all available (though Curry and Durant are most likely staying with the GSW). Landing just one of these stars could add 5-10 wins to the current Lakers team along with a top 3 selection. Last, Luke Walton can coach. He can. I know the Warriors were loaded, but it’s not easy to deal with all those weapons and their egos over playing time and coaching philosophy.
So pray to your favorite Hinkie relic and let’s hope we’re welcoming Dennis Smith and Josh Jackson come June.