Adrian Wojnarowski reports that the Lakers have already hired Kobe Bryant's agent, Rob Pelinka, as their new General Manager.
Lakers are finalizing a multi-year agreement with agent Rob Pelinka as general manager, league sources tell @TheVertical. He'll start soon.— Adrian Wojnarowski (@WojVerticalNBA) February 21, 2017
The drama never stops on the Real Lakers of Los Angeles. According to Sam Amick of USAToday, some of that drama is now Portland-related.
The Lakers fired Mitch Kupchak, Jim Buss and their head of PR, John Black, in a major front-office shake-up Tuesday. The move came not long after the team was linked to DeMarcus Cousins, who ended up in New Orleans. Lakers Governor Jeannie Buss announced that Magic Johnson is now in charge of Basketball Operations. With Kupchak gone, the Lakers have an opening for new General Manager.
Multiple reports are pegging Kobe Bryant's agent, Rob Pelinka, as the front-runner for the job. Super-agent Arn Tellem's name has also been floated. However, it appears that Portland's President of Basketball Operations Neil Olshey may be in the mix, according to Sam Amick of USA Today.
Two more names to watch in Lakers situation, in addition to Rob Pelinka & Arn Tellem: Portland's Neil Olshey & former Cavs GM Chris Grant— Sam Amick (@sam_amick) February 21, 2017
Olshey has been vocal about the difficulties of the Portland market when it comes to attracting talent. That wouldn't be an excuse if he were in Los Angeles, managing the city's marquee franchise. And while the players on the current Lakers roster, outside of Brandon Ingram, don't look like stars, the job is still an attractive one. Portland's bad summer may have slowed down the hype on Olshey, but his record still shows a knack for things the Lakers have struggled with like draft and asset management.
However, there are some clerical issues to deal with on that front that will likely make it difficult to bring in Olshey, or any other GM who is currently under contract.
From Ramona Shelburne of ESPN:
Lakers would need to wait and likely get permission and give compensation if they go with a current GM like Myers, Presti, Olshey— Ramona Shelburne (@ramonashelburne) February 21, 2017
Olshey signed a multi-year extension with Portland in January of 2015. With Olshey's mostly solid draft record with two franchises and experience running the show in a much more dysfunctional Los Angeles organization, it would make sense for the Lakers to court someone like him rather than just another Lakers-lifer. And let's not forget, Olshey put the pieces together to bring Chris Paul to the Clippers.
Olshey-to-the Lakers seems like an unlikely scenario and a front-runner has been already declared. But we'll be watching.