Lakers general manager Rob Pelinka has a cloudy future with the organization beyond this season, according to Jake Fischer of Bleacher Report.
The Lakers are perhaps the NBA’s biggest disappointment after acquiring Russell Westbrook in an offseason trade. Westbrook has not proven yet to be a fit alongside LeBron James and Anthony Davis (when healthy), and Westbrook and the Lakers reportedly have mutual interest in moving on.
Several opposing executives indicated to Fischer that Pelinka, a former agent, has not been easy to deal with when it comes to trade talks. The Lakers tried to deal Westbrook ahead of the Feb. 10 deadline, to no avail.
“He wasn’t returning some teams calls at [this year’s] deadline,” one general manager told Fischer.
“He was an asshole as an agent,” an assistant general manager added, via Fischer. “He had the most powerful players and if he wanted the player moved, he would’ve eviscerated you as a staff to get whatever he wanted. You can’t do that to people, and then expect them to work with you when you join their side.”
While the Lakers could keep Pelinka after the season, the possibility also exists that they could hire someone above him to oversee basketball operations, taking the final say away from Pelinka.
Either way, the Lakers are a mess, given the high expectations, and changes are expected to be a part of the offseason. Just how major those changes are, well, remains to be seen.
If the downhill slide continues, you can almost be sure that Frank Vogel will be replaced as coach. And if that happens, you had better believe the man who hired him could be a goner, too.
Sam Amico is senior NBA writer at Hoops Wire. Follow him @AmicoHoops.