Rob Pelinka may the general manager of the Lakers, but he knows his two superstar players — Anthony Davis and LeBron James — need to be happy if he expects the franchise to return to prominence.
With that in mind, Pelinka said he consulted both James and Davis when it came time to sign a bevy of free agents and fill the Lakers’ roster.
“Anytime as a general manager when you have stars on your team, especially guys that have the basketball IQ and understanding of the game that Anthony Davis and LeBron have, of course you’re going to be tapping into them as partners,” Pelinka said on a conference call (via silverscreenandroll.com). “We view our relationships here with our star players as partnerships and I know Anthony and LeBron are excited about the 14 guys and how we’re going to come together, and their input is — both of their input, Anthony’s and LeBron’s — has been incredibly valuable to me.”
Notable Lakers free agent signings
|Danny Green||SG||2 years, $30 million|
|Kantavious Caldwell-Pope||SG||2 years, $16.6 million|
|Avery Bradley||SG||2 years, $9.8 million|
|Quinn Cook||PG||2 years, $6 million|
|Rajon Rondo||PG||2 years, $5.2 million|
|JaVale McGee||C||2 years, $8.2 million|
|DeMarcus Cousins||C||1 year, $3.5 million|
|Jared Dudley||SF||1 year, $2.6 million|
Los Angeles spent its open cap space quickly once it missed out on Kawhi Leonard. And while Pelinka, James and Davis certainly wanted to add a third superstar, they made sure they were ready to move on other players if free agency’s biggest domino didn’t fall in their favor.
“Once [Leonard’s] decision was made, we had all of our chess pieces on the board to make our moves and close. And at that point you just don’t look back,” Pelinka said Friday (via ESPN.com). “The North Star for us was just we wanted to add more shooting. We wanted to have perimeter defenders, high-IQ players, guys with high character, and then a versatile lineup.”
Though James hasn’t given his scouting report of his new-look Lakers roster, Davis said during his introductory press conference that he’d “put our roster up against anybody.”
“It’s going to be fun,” Davis said. “I’m excited about it. I think the league has grown, I think it’s better. All the players teaming up and kind of spreading that talent throughout the league — it’s going to be a fun season. I like our roster, I like every player that we have. From one through 14, and so I’m excited about it.”