Lakers on 'right path' as owner Buss backs Pelinka
Jeanie Buss believes the Los Angeles Lakers are heading in the right direction as she gave general manager Rob Pelinka a vote of confidence.
The Lakers endured a turbulent 2018-19 NBA season as they missed the playoffs for the sixth consecutive year with a 37-45 record, despite the arrival of superstar LeBron James.
Magic Johnson surprisingly stepped down from his position as the president of basketball operations before the last game of the season, which expanded Pelinka's role in the organisation, while the Lakers also parted with head coach Luke Walton.
But with Frank Vogel at the helm and the Lakers poised to secure Anthony Davis from the New Orleans Pelicans in a blockbuster trade, Los Angeles owner Buss is satisfied.
"I have 100 per cent confidence in Rob Pelinka running our basketball operations," Buss told the Los Angeles Times at the NBA Awards show on Monday.
"I've always had confidence in Rob. Whatever the speculation is out there, we don't need the outside media to validate what we do. I'm very happy. I think we're on the right path but there’s still more work to do."
First birthday in purple and gold for Coach V! pic.twitter.com/Em4Lhfgvhj— Los Angeles Lakers (@Lakers) June 21, 2019
The Lakers and Pelinka reportedly completed one of the biggest trades in recent years by acquiring Davis from the Pelicans in exchange for Brandon Ingram, Lonzo Ball, Josh Hart as well as three first-round picks.
Los Angeles will now look to add a third star to pair with Davis and James. They have been linked to Kemba Walker, Jimmy Butler, Kawhi Leonard and Kyrie Irving, among others.
But, if the Lakers make no more moves to shed salary after the Davis deal, they will only be expected to have around $23million available this offseason and will not be able to offer a max contract.
The Lakers reportedly have also shown some level of interest in Bobby Portis, Marcus Morris, Al Horford and Brook Lopez.
"There will be a lot of changes," Buss said. "Lakers fans, be patient. We're going to get there. We're not going to stop until we're all proud."