After sweeping changes to install Magic Johnson as president of basketball operations, the Los Angeles Lakers have hired prominent player agent Rob Pelinka as general manager, league sources told The Vertical.
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.
Pelinka began to inform his clients of the agreement on Tuesday afternoon. Pelinka, who represents James Harden, Eric Gordon and Avery Bradley among 20 clients, must divest as an agent to take over a front-office job.
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 GM, and prior to the overhaul of the Lakers’ front office, Myers was the Lakers’ top target for GM, 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 join them, league sources said.
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