L.A.

Lakers news: Magic Johnson reveals how he convinced LeBron James on long-term plan

Magic Johnson, Rob Pelinka

The Lakers president of basketball operations opened about how he was able to sell the team’s future to the four-time league MVP.

Andrew D. Bernstein/Getty Images

It has been nearly two weeks since the Los Angeles Lakers were able to snag All-Star forward LeBron James on a four-year, $153 million deal in free agency to join the fray the leading factor.

During a conference call on Friday, team president of basketball operations Magic Johnson discussed how he was able to connect with James on his laid out long-term plans for the franchise, according to Sam Amick of USA TODAY Sports

“I asked him what his expectations are, and he said he understood where we were, as an organization, as a team, and what we’re building,” Johnson said. “He was really happy that Rob and I were not rushing, not making mistakes by rushing, and I told him that we had a three-year plan, we had a plan that we wanted to execute and that he could really take that plan to a whole ‘nother level.”

There was clearly more to it that helped lure James into signing with the franchise, but Johnson’s ability to convey a clear thought out plan for the future likely was another factor in pushing him to join the team. Since both Johnson and general manager Rob Pelinka took over control of the front office, the team has been moving methodically with various moves to help create more salary cap space and bring aboard promising talent through the draft. 

On that note, James’ addition could quickly expedite that process that he now anchors the roster while still playing some of the best basketball of his career heading into his 16th season. Los Angeles is already set to have a plethora of salary cap space for next summer where there will be several marquee talents such as Klay ThompsonJimmy Butler, Kawhi Leonard, Kemba Walker, and Kevin Durant.

Although there is still much to accomplish for the Lakers’ plan to come to fruition, it has gotten off to a tremendous start with James being on board. 

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Bob Garcia IV

Staff Writer at Sports Out West
Bob Garcia IV is a sports journalist from Southern California. He's currently the Los Angeles Lakers beat writer for Sports Out West. He is also currently covering the NBA and NFL for ClutchPoints. He was previously the beat writer for LA Rams Report for Scout.com, which is a website dedicated to covering the Rams. Lastly, he was a reporter for the award-winning newspaper, The Daily Sundial, at California State University, Northridge. You can follow him on Twitter, @BGarciaivsports.
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