From Russell to LeBron: the lights and shadows of Magic management

The angelina legend announced this Wednesday, and by surprise, his resignation as president of operations of the Los Angeles Lakers.


Magic Johnson announced his resignation as president of operations of the Los Angeles Lakers 778 days after accepting the offer of Jeanie Buss to take the reins of the great purple and gold franchise. His return to the Staples was the icing that rounded the coup d'etat orchestrated by the daughter of Doctor Buss against his brother Jim in January 2017. Both movements together with Rob Pelinka as general manager by Mitch Kupchack raised the optimism of the followers laker. It was time for change. From the return to the essence of Show Time. Of the return to past glories and dangerously close to oblivion.

A story that has lasted two years, a month, two weeks and six days, and that collapsed after certifying another tragic season of a Lakers that endured with a note until Christmas Day, which collapsed with LeBron's injury and who got involved with the attempted signing of Anthony Davis. A short narrative in which there was time for a laborious sports management full of light and shadow.

Lou Williams

It was the first Magic movement in mid-February 2017 and Houston its destination. A year later, Williams won his second prize as best sixth man in the NBA with the Clippers. An award that can revalidate smoothly this season again with the Angelenos.

Mozgov and D'Angelo Russell

On draft night, Johnson drew the first sketches of a road map pointing to LeBron James. And in order to acquire the star of Akron in 2018, it was necessary to lighten the salary load. Mozgov, overpaid (64 million for four years), was the first appointed. But for someone to swallow the candy, he had to put on something succulent as bait: D'Angelo Russell. The base blessed by Kobe and protagonist of the video-confession of Nick Young went along with the Russian to Brookyln on the night of the draft of 2017.

The pivot is no longer (he only played 31 games and since last summer his contract only goes around), but Russell shines: 21.1 points, 7.0 assists and his first All Star Game in the miracle that are the Nets, who have returned to the Playoffs after paying with the arrogance of the first years of the Mikhail Prokhorov. He is the most improved player candidate in NBA.

Kuzma and Brook Lopez; Lonzo Ball and Josh Hart

The Mozgov-Russell operation reported the Lakers to center forward Brook Lopez (now a tripler in Milwaukee Bucks) and the rights of Kyle Kuzma. The power forward is one of the few good news at the Staples Center: daring and with quality, it has contributed a lot to the projects of Luke Walton. The doubt on its limit is its main ballast.

Lonzo Ball was selected with the number two in spite of the constant bravado of his father. He is a leader of the future. With intelligence and defensive rigor, he is an outstanding base with a lot of basketball in his hands. Next to Ball, Josh Hart, one of those players in which you do not repair, but very profitable. Good from the perimeter and as a one-on-one defender.

Kentavious Caldwell-Pope and Andrew Bogut

The forward came free from the Detroit Pistons in June and started in the 74 games he played last season. The Australian, without a team after the serious injury with the Cavaliers (his first encounter with Cleveland lasted just a few seconds), was, but was not: 24 duels since September.

The February movement of 2018

was the boldest move of the close of the market of 2018. The LeBron Cavaliers sailed soulless and launched a siege with multiple interlocking operations as with the Lakers. The Angelenos sent Ohio to Jordan Clarkson and Larry Nance Junior for Channing Frye, Isaiah Thomas and a first round. All ended happily: Magic removed the Clarkson contract for two senior players (always thinking of LeBron) and the Cavs apparently increased (then everything was a fiasco) the physicist of his rotation.

Mo Wagner and Svi Mykhailiuk

The German and the Ukrainian were the picks in the 2018 draft of the Lakers. Neither has had great opportunities. Mykhailiuk, has even closed the season in Detroit Pistons after being traded by Reggie Bullock.

The great landing

The past summer market opened with the great white whale between eyebrows ... And LeBron fell into the nets. Along with the King landed veteran players (many with conflicting posters) such as Rajon Rondo, Lance Stephenson, Michael Beasley and Tyson Chandler (November). James set a great course until his injury in December. The worst of his career in the NBA: he had never missed so many games in a row.

In order for the forward to change his hometown for Hollywood, the Lakers removed more ballast: Lopez, Ennis, Thomas ... and Julius Randle. The power forward has signed his best course since his debut in the American League: 21.4 points on average with New Orleas Pelicans. Paint a long and very profitable career.

Anthony Davis

It was a direct stab in the heart of Magic. Davis ends his mandatory contract with New Orleans in the summer of 2020 (he has a team option) and nobody bets for a future renovation. After seven seasons with the Pelicans, he has only played 13 playoff games in two seasons. There is no continuity in a project that is always yes, but no. And that has ended his patience. The power forward changed agent (friend of LeBron) and planted: he expressed his desire to leave the Louisiana.

The Lakers were his manifest destiny. And both the player and the Angelinos pulled hard on the rope to close a signing that made everyone nervous with the passage of time. The Lakers' wardrobe exploded before the dizzying offers of Magic with all the young people for sale. New Orleans was cast and everything went down: the Pelicans were weak for future negotiations and at the mercy of Danny Ainge and Boston Celtics; the Lakers again gave a disturbing image of inability to close a draft operation; LeBron, of authoritarianism and remoteness with some comrades who completed the campaign with very touched morale and without trusting anyone.

Remains behind Davis

Reggie Bullock and Mike Muscala came through the back door due to the noise Anthony Davis from Detroit and Clippers, respectively. They were not very necessary in some Lakers that were already closed, again, for works. Both were the last striking movements made by Magic, who now passes the heavy ball to the next. Difficult ballot.



Photos from as.com

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