Magic Johnson Has Vision For Lakers' Future

Magic Johnson

Los Angeles Lakers President of Basketball Operations Magic Johnson has been vocal in regards to his team’s intent following a blockbuster trade that sent former Lakers Jordan Clarkson and Larry Nance Jr. to the Cleveland Cavaliers in exchange for Isaiah Thomas and Channing Frye.

The move will have the potential impact of clearing as much as $70 million in cap space for the team in anticipation of next July’s free agent season. Johnson has steadily maintained that the plan he and team General Manager Rob Pelinks have in mind is to bring two elite caliber free agents to the team. Possible targets include Lebron James and Paul George.

Johnson explains that he would not have made the moves if not confident that he could use the money that would be saved in salaries to bring more talent to the team. He also explains that he is impressed with the progress that the young players the team features now is making.

Johnson went on to express that the despite the progress the team has made no one in the organization is satisfied. As of present, the Lakers would not be part of the eight-team Western Conference playoff tournament that will take place at the end of the season.

Johnson and Pelinka both point out the value of Isaiah Thomas to the Lakers both as a player and as a mentor to their young point guard Lonzo Ball, who despite some success has struggled at times in first NBA season.

The deal in major part was done to allow the Lakers to be rid of what they saw as the inflated contract of Clarkson. He was due to make more than $26 million over the next two seasons. In contrast, The combined contracts of Thomas and Frye equal less than $14 million and are set to expire at the end of the current season.

The Lakers are also more than happy to have acquired a first-round draft pick from the Cavaliers in the deal after not possessing one of their own due to a 2012 deal the team made to acquire former point guard Steve Nash. The team is hoping they can use the pick to add another talented young player to the roster.

The organization understands however that it must bring superstars back to Los Angeles for the Lakers to enjoy success. Johnson feels that he is the man that can achieve this objective and that is why he has been entrusted by the franchise to rebuild one of the league’s most successful franchises.