Rob Pelinka Darvin Ham Lakers
Rob Pelinka Darvin Ham Lakers Source: Los Angeles Times

Rob Pelinka, the General Manager of the Los Angeles Lakers, believes in the core that helped the team reach the Western Conference Finals. It was the front office that made crucial changes to turn things around. The 17-time champions were in deep trouble as they started the season very poorly. Nobody expected them to make the postseason this year either, like in the previous edition. The team had no balance but a lot of injury concerns. Hence, the need of the hour was a reshuffling of the roster. That’s what Rob Pelinka and the front office did. They acquired players who would fill the gaps to bring balance to the roster.

Gradually the Lakers squad found their way to make the postseason under the leadership of Anthony Davis. But he could not have done it alone, as he had great support from Austin Reaves, D’Angelo Russell, Rui Hachimura, Dennis Schroder, and so on. Although Purple and Gold later shocked the world to make their way to the WCF, one thing was clear this core of the Lakers team is worthy of being champions. Hence, heading to the offseason, Rob Pelinka and the front office plan to keep the core intact.


Rob Pelinka Wants To Keep The Lakers’ Core Together

Source: Sportsnet

It won’t be easy to keep the core together as many players from the roster are heading to free agency in the offseason. For instance, Austin Reaves and Rui Hachimura are going to be restricted free agents. On the other hand, D’Angelo Russell will be an unrestricted free agent. Moreover, Mo Bamba and Malik Beasley have non-guaranteed contracts with the Lakers. Hence, Rob Pelinka and the Lakers have till June 29 to come to a conclusion with Bamba and Beasley’s contract. According to Marc Stein, an NBA insider, Rob Pelinka and the Lakers extended the qualifying offers to Rui Hachimura and Austin Reaves on Tuesday. Moreover, Stein stated that the 17-time champions would be a lock to match any offer that AR receives in the offseason as a free agent, irrespective of what’s the price deal.

On the other hand, Rob Pelinka and the front office of the Lakers hold the Bird’s right of D’Angelo Russell. It means that the Lakers can go over the salary cap to offer Russell a raise for re-signing or for a sign-and-trade scenario. However, the Lakers plan to extend the contracts of Dennis Schroder and Lonnie Walker. Rob Pelinka and co hold their Bird Rights as well. It means the front office cannot offer them more than a 20% salary hike. Moreover, they do not intend to incur a cap hit in the process. According to The Athletic’s Jovan Buha, Rob Pelinka is looking for more defensive stability in the roster. Buha says the Lakers’ GM looks for defensive and selfless players. Despite the fact that free agency is coming closer, the mentality of the Lakers has not changed.

LeBron James Won’t Interfere In The Lakers’ Signing Or Trading Anymore

LeBron James Rob Pelinka Lakers
LeBron James Rob Pelinka Lakers Source: SBNation

Moreover, Pelinka told Dan Woike of the Los Angeles Times that they are eager to keep the same core together. However, LeBron James does not plan to interfere in the Lakers’ free agency signings and tradings, as per Sportsnaut’s Mark Medina. This non-interference can mean two things.

Either King James plans to get ready to back away as his time in the league is coming to an end. Or LeBron James trusts the Lakers’ front office to put up a championship-winning team anyway. Since 2018, when James joined the Lakers, the front office has been trying to build a championship-winning team around him. It was fruitful back in 2019-20.