Lakers Darvin Ham Rob Pelinka

Arnab Bose

NBA

EXPLAINED: Why NBA GMs Down-Played Los Angeles Lakers’ Off-Season Roster Move Hype?

The Los Angeles Lakers have caught the attention of many NBA fans and experts with their offseason activities. They have done a remarkable job in executing their plans to perfection. First of all, they had the intent to keep the core together. That’s what they did brilliantly. Moreover, they added reinforcements to maintain balance and depth in their roster. At first, it was necessary to retain Austin Reaves and Rui Hachimura, who were impressive in the last playoffs.

Both these players were restricted free agents. Later, the LA side extended the contracts of Hachimura and Reaves for long-term deals. Moreover, the experts keep considering Rob Pelinka’s side as the favorite to win the next title. As it turns out among the experts, there are Pelinka’s rival GMs, too, who praised his offseason transactions.

   

What Does Pelinka’s Rivals Think Of His Offseason Signings And Extensions?

Rob Pelinka Lakers
Rob Pelinka Lakers Source: Sportsnet

Recently, NBA.com’s John Schuhmann took a poll of 30 general managers of the NBA. None of the GMs could vote for themselves. But they had 50 exhausting questions to answer. Most of them did not answer all of Schuhmann’s questions. Regarding the question of which team made the best transactions in the last offseason, Rob Pelinka earned a lot of votes. Albeit Pelinka received appreciation from his rival GMs, he or the Lakers did not get the highest votes. Moreover, the LA Lakers only notched up 13% of the votes from his rivals. On the other hand, the Milwaukee Bucks and the Boston Celtics earned the most votes with 23% each.

It was the deft offseason point guard reconfiguration in the later half between the Bucks and the Celtics that helped them earn the most votes. Moreover, the Boston Celtics also added Kristaps Porzingis, a big man in an earlier trade. Nevertheless, the Lakers transactions didn’t go unnoticed either. As per the general opinions of the fans, the Lakers are among the favorites to win the next season because of their strong, deep, and balanced roster. They have a load of experience, and youth power, energy, and enthusiasm among the players will be crucial, too. 

The Lakers Had A Great Offseason

Lakers
Lakers Source: Los Angeles Times

Additionally, D’Angelo Russell was an unrestricted free agent. However, the Lakers were not that keen to retain Russell initially due to his poor performance in the playoffs. Darvin Ham even benched Russell in the previous conference finals. Despite all the rumors regarding Russell’s trade options, the LA side retained him for a two-year extension worth $37 million. D’Lo also has a player option in his second year. But most importantly, the Lakers resigned Austin Reaves for another four years with an extension worth $56 million. Moreover, the 17-time champions resigned Rui Hachimura on Day 1 of the offseason for an extension worth $51 million for a three-year deal.

On top of that, the Lakers extended the contracts of Anthony Davis and Jarred Vanderbilt for long-time deals. In addition, the LA side signed Gabe Vincent from the previous NBA Final’s runners-up Miami Heat. They had to let Dennis Schroder go to the Toronto Raptors. Moreover, the Lakers signed Cam Reddish and Taurean Prince. On top of that, the 17-time champions have the youth power with Max Christie, Jaxson Hayes, and Jalen Hood-Schifino. Christie has been part of the Laker’s roster since 2022. Later, Rob Pelinka confirmed the addition of Christian Wood. With Wood’s acquisition, the Lakers look very balanced.