Magic Johnson Urges Lakers to Pull Trigger on Major Trades

Magic Johnson, being in the unique position of honorary team vice-president and media member, continues to be highly critical of the coaching staff, and applying pressure for the Lakers’ front-office to make drastic roster changes. Per the LA Times: “Jim Buss, brother, you have a job to do,’ Johnson said as an ESPN NBA analyst. ‘I’m telling you right now because if you don’t do it, you’re going to hear from me.’ […] ‘Those are your tradeable pieces,’ Johnson said of the Lakers’ two big men (Andrew Bynum and Pau Gasol). ‘You still build around Kobe [Bryant]. He was still great no matter what his age is. This man showed he’s still dominant as a player. To me, you have to get younger and more athletic. Oklahoma City is young, athletic and fast. The team to beat is the team that knocked you out. That’s Oklahoma City and then the San Antonio Spurs.’ […] Despite initially arguing the Lakers needed to shore up their speed and athleticism, Johnson found the idea of shopping Gasol and Bynum for other frontline talent pretty tantalizing. ‘Josh Smith is out there. He’s not happy,’ Johnson said. ‘Call Atlanta. You have Gasol sitting there. You don’t know what Dwight Howard wants to do. Give Orlando a call because they would love to have Bynum in return for Howard if he doesn’t want to stay … After you get past Dwight Howard, Bynum and Tim Duncan, that guy, Pau Gasol, is the best big man in basketball,’ Johnson said. ‘Nobody has more skills than Gasol. The problem is you have him sitting on the high post. Yes, Mike Brown’s offense drives me crazy. How can you say this guys’ skills are eroding and he doesn’t have them? No, I’ve seen this man dominate in the playoffs and the regular season. If a team wants a big man, you have to call the Lakers. You have two sitting there that are great.'”