Los Angeles Lakers: Do we still trust in the front office?

Los Angeles Lakers, Magic Johnson, Rob Pelinka (David Santiago/Miami Herald/TNS via Getty Images)
Los Angeles Lakers, Magic Johnson, Rob Pelinka (David Santiago/Miami Herald/TNS via Getty Images) /

Should Los Angeles Lakers fans still have trust in Magic Johnson and Rob Pelinka?

When Magic Johnson and Rob Pelinka first arrived on the scene, Los Angeles Lakers fans all around the world rejoiced and celebrated the long awaited departure of the widely scrutinized regime of Mitch Kupchak and Jim Buss.

It was seen as a fresh start for Laker Nation, and as soon as Magic stepped through the door, he and Rob made it clear that their goal was to bring championships back to the City of Angels.

Some of their earlier moves included trading Lou Williams to the Los Angeles Clippers for a first round draft pick and trading recent newly minted All-Star,D’Angelo Russell, to the Brooklyn Nets along with Timofey Mozgov for another first round pick as well as salary cap space.

This front office did go on to draft Lonzo Ball, Kyle Kuzma and Josh hart which was seen as excellent moves for the Lakers, but that can be attributed more to the scouting department who always did a fantastic job scouting for players even before Magic and Rob arrived.

But the big move came in the offseason when the Lakers managed to lure LeBron James away from the Cleveland Cavaliers to come and sign with the Lakers, a move that was widely speculated all season long.

Ever since then ,however, things have sort of softened up a bit.

Magic then preceded to sign players such as JaVale McGee, Rajon Rondo and Lance Stephenson all to 1-year deals.

These were widely criticized moves not just by the media but by some fans who felt that the accompanying players were not the best fits alongside James.

The notion was that in order for the Lakers to be effective, they had to surround LeBron with shooters.

Magic Johnson even preceded to do an interview at the NBA Summer League where he commented on the concern over the lack of shooting and prefaced that he built this team for the playoffs and that he felt as if the best way to knock off the Golden State Warriors was not to outscore them but to just flat out outplay and out muscle them.

Despite my own concerns about how Magic put this team together, I put my worries aside because I believed that Magic Johnson had a plan and that it was going to take time for it to come to fruition.

So I sat back and watched the beginning of this season unfold, and while there have been ups and downs as expected, it is safe to say that things were going pretty smoothly in the beginning.

Then the unexpected happened as LeBron James suffered a groin injury that kept him sidelined for 17 games. I saw this as opportunity to see the young core that Magic has so many times put his faith in step up and prove that they belong in the long-term future of the Lakers.

After mixed results for the Lakers’ young players during James absence, a lot of people felt that maybe the young players were just not capable of elevating their game to the level needed to compete every single night without LeBron.

So naturally Laker Nation saw this as reason that Magic should pull a trade to acquire another superstar level player.

Now since then, there have been two players whose names have come up in Lakers trade discussions, Bradley Beal and Anthony Davis.

Bradley Beal was seen as a guy who was a great two-way player and his shooting ability was excellent enough to be able to truly thrive playing alongside LeBron James.

The general consensus was that the Lakers would be able to acquire him and would only have to give up guys like Kentavious Caldwell-Pope, Brandon Ingram and a couple of draft picks.

In theory it didn’t sound like much to give up as the fanbase was noticeably divided when it came to whether or not to keep Brandon Ingram.

Nevertheless, Magic never got the deal done and some fans saw that as a missed opportunity to get a superstar player and not have to give up much for him.

Now granted, Magic can technically still make an offer for him but it doesn’t seem like the Wizards are making him available in and trade discussions.

Little did the Lakers know that and even better player would openly request a trade further down the line.

Enter Anthony Davis.

Anthony Davis is an All-NBA player and in my eyes one of the top 3 players in the world. And unfortunately, acquiring him in a trade is not going to be cheap.

Over the last two weeks, Anthony Davis has been on the record saying that he does not intend to sign a contract extension with the New Orleans Pelicans and that he wants to play for a contender.

Naturally he was linked to the Lakers and many reports came out about the various trade packages that the Lakers were preparing to offer the Pelicans.

3 days ago, Brad Turner of the Los Angeles Times reported on one of the offers pitched to the Pelicans that involved a package of Lonzo Ball, Kyle Kuzma, Brandon Ingram, Ivica Zubac and a first round pick.

As expected, some fans saw this an acceptable trade for the Pelicans to accept and other saw this as gutting the team for a single player that was not guaranteed to put the Lakers over the top.

What was equally confusing was that a few days later, ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski put out conflicting reports about the Lakers making low-ball offers to the Pelicans such as a package that only offers Lonzo Ball, Rajon Rondo, Kyle Kuzma and Michael Beasley.

Regardless of which report is true, the point is the trade deadline is now 4 days away and with the recent reports from the Athletic’s Shams Charania about a verbal altercation between the Lakers vets and head coach Luke Walton after their recent loss to the Golden State Warriors, I am honestly starting to get a raised eyebrow at Magic Johnson.

Magic has had so many opportunities in the past to acquire players such as Paul George before he was traded to Oklahoma City and Kawhi Leonard before he was traded to Toronto, but instead chose to make unappealing offers that ultimately came across as conservative.

In some situations that’s okay but sooner or later, the tension between the head coach and the players, the play of the players themselves on the court, and the multiple missed opportunities to make this team better, is going to dig this franchise in a hole it really doesn’t want to be in.

Obviously, Magic Johnson knows this, but his constant silence about everything going on has me worried.

I personally believe that NBA executives should come out every now and then and do a press conference just to reassure fans of the direction of the franchise and plans to improve the team and just their overall view of how the season in going in their eyes.

The ongoing trade speculation is obviously taking a toll on the team, and with only 4 days left, it is only going to get worse.

Magic has preached about wanting to win now, but it seems like ever since he signed LeBron James, he has been stagnant in his approach to improving the team.

The greatest teams throughout NBA history got that way by occasionally taking big risks, but if Magic Johnson is not willing to take any, then how does he expect this franchise to get back to winning.

I realize a deal can still get done between now and Thursday, but if one doesn’t get done, then I really have to look at Magic Johnson and think that maybe he is not as much about winning as I thought he was.

We will see what happens in the next couple of days, but make no mistake, Magic Johnson has to at least show that he is trying to improve the team by any means necessary.

If that means giving up the entire young core for Anthony Davis, then so be it.

Next. 5 Trades to consider before the deadline. dark

If not, then he better hope and pray that this team can carry the weight of the expectations that come with playing in Los Angeles.

However, that all starts with making the playoffs, which the Lakers currently are not in right now.

I’m just saying.