Now that he’s finished with trashing them in the press, Magic Johnson is willing to help the Los Angeles Lakers acquire stars through free agency. The front-office, meanwhile, is looking forward to landing a high pick in the 2014 NBA Draft (though they’d never admit it.) Per the LA Times:
“I’ve done that in the past,” Johnson said. “I told [General Manager] Mitch Kupchak that last week. First they have to make up their mind on who they want, and then they tell me, just like I recruited Ron Artest, I talked to Lamar Odom.”
“I talked to [late Lakers’ owner] Dr. [Jerry] Buss when Lamar and Dr. Buss were having that problem for a minute there,” Johnson said, referring to frosty negotiations between the two sides in 2009. “I was able to calm everybody down and make sure they understood how valuable Lamar was, and then Dr. Buss signed him back..
“I’ve been in a lot of different things with the Lakers, but it’s up to them — [owner] Jim [Buss], Mitch [Kupchak], Coach [Mike] D’Antoni to decide who they want. Once they make their decision, they say, ‘Hey, Earvin, can you put in a call to so and so.”
“Our future is a bright future. We’re going to be just fine,” said (GM Mitch Kupchak) on Wednesday to Jared Greenberg and Rick Fox on “SiriusXM NBA Radio.”
“The franchise is going to attract players,” he continued. “Unfortunately, we’re going to have a good draft pick this year. We’ll get a good player there.”
The projected draft pool could include Kansas players Joel Embiid and Andrew Wiggins, Dante Exum (Australia), Marcus Smart (Oklahoma State), Jabari Parker (Duke), Julius Randle (Kentucky), Aaron Gordon (Arizona), Tyler Ennis (Syracuse) and Noah Vonleh (Indiana) — to name a few.
“It is hard to find the positives,” acknowledged Kupchak. “But the big picture is bright and this organization always figures out a way to get players and win games.”