Magic Johnson’s first move as the Los Angeles Lakers’ new president of basketball operations is reportedly the hiring of Kobe Bryant’s longtime agent, Rob Pelinka.
The Lakers fired GM Mitch Kupchak earlier today, and sidelined co-owner Jim Buss from basketball-related decisions.
— The Vertical (@TheVertical) February 22, 2017
Pelinka, who represents James Harden among other NBAers, will have to divest from his agent business.
Pelinka was the longtime agent for Lakers superstar Kobe Bryant, who was a strong advocate of the hiring of Johnson to owner Jeanie Buss, league sources said.
Pelinka will be the day-to-day executive running the organization, engineering trades, and coordinating scouting and the draft. He’ll answer directly to Johnson. Pelinka has played a part in helping teams orchestrate numerous trades in his role as an agent. In his role recruiting as an agent, Pelinka has been immersed in evaluating the deep 2017 NBA draft class.
The Lakers are following the model of the Golden State Warriors, who hired former agent Bob Myers as general manager. Myers has had a spectacular run as Warriors general manager, and prior to the overhaul of the Lakers’ front office, Myers was the Lakers’ top target for general manager, league sources said. The Lakers didn’t have confidence that Myers would be willing to push for his Warriors exit – especially after a new contract extension – to become the Lakers’ general manager, league sources said.