The Los Angeles Lakers have undergone an offseason with much change to the roster that was headlined by the addition of All-Star forward LeBron James.
Since that move, the Lakers have brought in various different proven players to the mix via free agency that general manager Rob Pelinka and president of basketball operations Magic Johnson have consulted with James prior to making any additional transactions. However, Johnson stated on Friday during a conference call that he is the “ultimate decision-maker” when it comes to any roster personnel moves, according to Joey Ramirez of Lakers.com.
“The ultimate decision-maker on the team and who we bring in is me,” he said. “And then I take that to Jeanie and see what she says, whether she signs off or not.”
Johnson and Pelinka have had their fingerprint all over the Lakers’ roster personnel in the time since they took over control of the franchise. This saw them bring a promising class of rookies last year with Lonzo Ball, Kyle Kuzma, and Josh Hart. They have also made a couple of selections in this year’s class with Moritz Wagner and Sviatoslav Mykhailiuk that have each shown some promise in the summer league so far over the last couple of weeks.
On top of that, the team moved on from the likes of Timofey Mozgov, D’Angelo Russell, Jordan Clarkson, and Larry Nance Jr. in separate trades over the last year had opened significant salary cap space to be able to bring in the likes of James.
The front office has also moved to add the likes of Rajon Rondo, Lance Stephenson, Kentavious Caldwell-Pope, and JaVale McGee to help bring a gritty defensive-minded veteran presence around James. Simply put, Johnson has made it clear that he’s ready to operate in the team’s best interest in what will help them get closer to reaching the final goal of earning an NBA title.