Lakers GM: Rival Teams Have ‘Natural Envy’

by June 22, 2018

Los Angeles Lakers general manager Rob Pelinka isn’t expecting any help landing marquee free agents from rival teams this summer—not with all that “natural envy” of the Purple and Gold clouding everything.

Pelinka says the Lakers’ dominance of the NBA throughout the decades has made opponents weary of dealing with their front-office.

The Lakers selected Moe Wagner with the 25th pick in Thursday night’s draft.

Per the LA Times:

“It’s not like teams are saying, ‘Oh, I’m not going to do a deal with the Lakers,’ but I do think when you have 16 banners there’s going to be a natural envy from your competitors because you’re sitting at the top of the food chain,” Pelinka said. “But that’s just life in general. If you have success in any walk of life you’re going to face that.”

Last summer, the Lakers faced similar resistance when Paul George made clear his interest in playing for the Lakers. The Indiana Pacers instead traded him to the Oklahoma City Thunder.

“We don’t really see that as a challenge, we just see it as a reality,” Pelinka said of the envy that he believes other teams might feel about the Lakers’ past success. “But we also feel like because of the DNA shift here and because of the energy around our team and our young core and our cap flexibility, that players want to be here.”

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