The Los Angeles Lakers recently named former NBA agent Rob Pelinka as their new general manager, and his welcoming to the franchise has been as warm as it gets.
Among those that praised Pelinka were Lakers legend Kobe Bryant and team president Magic Johnson, expressing their full support for him.
Pelinka is joining a Lakers franchise that’s failed to land several top-tier free agents in recent summers, striking out on each big name target on the market. He’s coming to a franchise in dire need of aggressiveness from the front office, a trait he plans on bringing from here on out (via Mark Medina of the OC Register):
“That’s not acceptable,” Pelinka said at his introductory press conference on Friday, speaking about the Lakers’ struggles in recent years. “We have to get better talent for Luke to coach. We have to develop our young players. Our timeline is to be aggressive and to grow with quality players.”
Pelinka added that “to predict it’s in one year or five years, it’s impossible to predict.” But he said “what we can predict is the hard work we’re going to put in in making sure it happens.”
“I hesitate to paint timelines. But what I’m not hesitant to do is we’re going to be committed to excellence every day,” Pelinka said. “All of these things are like a chess game. You’ve got to start moving pieces around the board before you can win the game.”
In recent years, the Lakers have been successful in their efforts to land young talent through the draft. Players such as D’Angelo Russell, Brandon Ingram and Julius Randle are widely expected to become stars down the road.
However, last summer’s free agency was viewed as a mess by league observers. Inking Luol Deng and Timofey Mozgov, two players who don’t see significant time, to four-year deals were both questionable decisions.
The Lakers continue to have interest All-Star forward Paul George, and are widely anticipated to pursue him in the summer of 2018. With an aggressive and motivated Rob Pelinka at the head of the ship, perhaps George may be the mega-free agent player this Lakers franchise has been seeking for quite some time.