The Lakers had an interesting run with Magic Johnson as the president of basketball operations, culminating in his surprise resigning at the end of the season. Johnson would go on to rip the Lakers front office in subsequent TV interviews while still maintaining he planned to be a part of the Lakers recruitment of top free agents.
After the latest reports, Magic was initially said to be a part of meetings with Leonard before Ramona Shelbourne stepped in to clear things up.
Magic Johnson Can’t Be Part of Lakers’ Kawhi Leonard Free Agency Meeting
For all the drama that can follow Magic, one thing is undeniable – the man can recruit. LeBron James has said that talking to Magic was a big reason he settled on the Lakers and having him as a recruiting weapon is a dangerous tool. Unfortunately, he isn’t allowed to do so in an official capacity – despite Magic even saying that Leonard wanted him in the recruitment meeting.
Along with Magic (probably) finding a way to recruit Leonard in an unofficial capacity, Lakers’ owner Jeanie Buss will (obviously) be a big part of the pitch to lure Leonard to Los Angeles.
LeBron and Anthony Davis are both set to be brought in as recruitment weapons on the hunt for a third star. While it is likely that James and Davis have already had extensive conversations with Leonard, no other organization can match the star power the Lakers will put on display to try and snatch Leonard away from Toronto.
Other Top Lakers Free Agent Targets
Along with Kawhi Leonard, the Lakers have also been linked to a few other free agent targets. While Leonard remains top dog, Jimmy Butler, Kyrie Irving, and D’Angelo Russell all still sit somewhere in the mix. Though Irving is likely to take his talents to Brooklyn, that opens the door for the Lakers to potentially take a run at Russell should they strike out on Leonard.
Jimmy Butler has been a constant Laker target for the entirety of the offseason up until this point and while Philadelphia is expected to open up the checkbook for him, reports dating back years all say Butler has been dying to find his way to Los Angeles.