Southern California

New GM Rob Pelinka Completes Lakers Shakeup

Rob Pelinka completes the Lakers front office shakeup taken on by Lakers president Jeanie Buss in recent weeks

On Friday, the Los Angeles Lakers officially introduce Rob Pelinka as their new General Manager to complete the front office shakeup that brought about a bunch of Buss family drama and updates that shook up folks across Southern California.

Ultimately, Jeanie Buss comes out looking stronger than ever, and there's no longer any doubt about who the boss is in El Segundo. Even the whimpering attempts to dethrone her have only further confirmed her status in charge, with court cases due to confirm her inherited right to rule.

Before Jeanie took charge, her brother and the former general manager hired a coach.

Luke Walton re-joined the franchise as the Head Coach at the start of the current season, after being drafted by the team and winning two titles as a player. Both Lakers president Jeanie Buss and Lakers president of basketball operations Earvin "Magic" Johnson have publicly expressed that the organization is thrilled with Walton and that his job is secure.

The day following President's Day, Lakers president Jeanie Buss celebrate the occasion by firing the Lakers executive vice-president of basketball operations, her brother Jim Buss. After years of a segmented organization where the right hand wouldn't speak to the left hand, Jeanie Buss finally brought in Johnson to run the basketball side of the business and also be her connection that world.

In addition, Johnson had a divine right to rule over Lakers' basketball, as late owner Dr. Jerry Buss on his death bed summoned Johnson to his side and reportedly wished for the five-time champion to run the team. Johnson's role in the organization is that of an executive capable of running the basketball team as his mentor, Jerry Buss, once did.

Along with Jim Buss, the Jeanie Buss also cut Mitch Kupchak. And this is where Pelinka comes in to complete the new front office redesign.

Currently, the Lakers have a nice little stockpile of talented players and have roughly a coin flip's chance of landing another lottery pick in the summer. Pelinka largely earned his position due to his relationships in front offices around the league, in locker rooms and also because of his understanding of the ever changing basketball financial landscape.

Pelinka, an agent by trade, understands the salary cap because he had to work under the confines of the NBA's salary cap to get his clients the best contracts based on the system in place. He should have an advanced understanding of how to structure contracts in building a roster.

Though former client Kobe Bryant likely played a significant role in Pelinka getting the gig, the agent's Rolodex of front office contacts surely didn't hurt his profile. From Friday onward, Pelinka is the Lakers' primary representative with regards to the business of basketball around the league.

Considering the wealth of young talent on the Lakers' roster, even if the Lakers don't keep their lottery pick in the summer, those contacts should be texting and calling Pelinka passionately when the warm weather months arrive.

Whether he wants to trade the young talent for more polished players or sit back and allow the young players to mature will be an active decision taken on by the new General Manager. More than likely, he'll have plenty of offers and opportunities come across his desk.

In terms of signing free agents and structuring contracts, Pelinka now takes on those responsibilities for the team, as well. That's a fancy way of saying he builds the team. Johnson approves the moves and is involved in the planning and personnel, but Pelinka negotiates the contracts, creates the structures of the deals and takes on the work of building the team.

And when Pelinka's done building the roster, Walton coaches it.

The press conference to introduce Pelinka begins at 1 p.m. Pacific Time.

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