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Report: Lakers won't hire replacement for Magic

From NBA media reports

Lakers GM Rob Pelinka may be looking at a bit more work this offseason. The team will not hire a president of basketball operations to replace Magic Johnson, according to ESPN’s Ramona Shelburne.

The Lakers have decided they will not hire a president of basketball operations to replace Magic Johnson, a team source told ESPN. General manager Rob Pelinka will continue in his role, reporting directly to ownership, the source said. Pelinka had previously reported to Johnson.

Team president and controlling owner Jeanie Buss weighed a handful of options after Johnson’s surprising departure on April 9.

Buss considered several options after Johnson’s departure, including replacing him, the source said. However she’s since decided to continue with Pelinka as her top basketball decision-maker.

Shortly after Johnson’s surprise announcement, Buss huddled with advisers including Pelinka. Kobe Bryant’s former agent joined the Lakers’ front office with Johnson in 2017 when Buss installed two executives with no prior experience in their jobs, but great emotional appeal to Buss herself.

That’s the same type of sentimental thinking that convinced Buss to keep her brother, Jim, and GM Mitch Kupchak in charge several years into the Lakers’ decline — a grace period that Jeanie Buss says she now regrets.

Information from The Associated Press was used in this report.

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