As a disappointing 2021-’22 NBA season comes to an end for the Los Angeles Lakers, significant changes are looming that will shake up the organization significantly. Don’t expect top executive Rob Pelinka to be one of the key figures ousted this summer.
Pelinka, – hired as the Lakers’ general manager in 2017 – oversaw a team that saw many of its key decisions last summer backfire. From backing out on a Buddy Hield trade to acquire Russell Westbrook and several of the free-agent signings, a lot went wrong in Los Angeles.
It’s going to result in changes. The list of Lakers’ coaching candidates with the firing of Frank Vogel is imminent. Meanwhile, Westbrook will be shopped around the league to begin the offseason before Los Angeles ultimately considers waiving him and stretching his contract.
As for Pelinka, the former NBA agent can reportedly breathe a sigh of relief.
According to ESPN’s Ramona Shelburne, Pelinka will remain in power next season with the Lakers along with special adviser Kurt Rambis.
It’s clear there isn’t even consideration for a change at the top. Despite the disastrous results from the Westbrook trade, free-agent signing Kendrick Nunn not playing at all and so many of the team’s veteran signings not meeting expectations, Pelinka will remain in power.
- Los Angeles Lakers record: 32-50
It could be an important signal to LeBron James. The 37-year-old had a significant impact on the offseason moves, especially the Westbrook trade. He was also critical of the Lakers’ front office for not making any additions at the NBA trade deadline.
Given James has already hinted he could leave Los Angeles a year from now, it’s possible the Lakers are shifting their priorities. While the franchise might still prioritize win-now moves this summer, the power dynamics could shift back towards the front office with LeBron receiving less weight in roster construction before he heads out the door.