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Magic Johnson not feeling any pressure heading into free agency

Will new Lakers president Magic Johnson change up the team's rebuilding plan?

Magic Johnson and his Los Angeles Lakers are about to enter into what could be a franchise-altering free agency period.

Everything that Johnson has done since taking over as the Lakers’ president some 17 months ago has led to this point. By selling off expensive contracts, he’s given the Lakers an ability to add two max-contract players in free agency.

Given that we’re talking about the Lakers and Hollywood here, it’s expected that Johnson and Co. will in fact be able to add more star power to the roster.

With free agency itself less than a week away, one might think Magic is feeling the pressure. But according to the Pro Basketball Hall of Famer, this compares in no way to his playing days.

“You know how many Finals I’ve been in? You think I’m worried about this?” Johnson said. “I played in nine Finals. No pressure on me. I’ll do my job.”

That’s certainly one way to look at it. But this is a different type of pressure. The Lakers’ hopes of relevance rest squarely on Johnson’s shoulders. It’s a much different ball game than actually being a player. Just ask Michael Jordan of the Charlotte Hornets.

Los Angeles has been linked to both Paul George and LeBron James in free agency. It’s also apparently making a play for Kawhi Leonard, who is on the trade block right now.

Should the Lakers fail to add anyone of this ilk during the summer, it would have to be considered a major failure on Johnson’s part. It’s in this that there has to be some pressure boiling beneath the surface, even if Magic might not want to admit it publicly.