Report: Magic Johnson to meet with Lakers players amid trade deadline fallout
The Los Angeles Lakers were fully entrenched in trade deadline drama and intrigue, although the organization failed to land its key target. Now, the team will have to deal with the fallout.
With some players reportedly somewhat shaken from being involved in trade deliberations in the team’s aggressive bid to land Anthony Davis, Lakers president of basketball operations Magic Johnson is expected to meet with the entire roster in the coming days, according to two people with knowledge of the situation but not authorized to speak publicly on the matter.
The hope is, according to sources relaying details of the planned meeting in Philadelphia over the weekend to The Los Angeles Times, is that such an exchange can help the team reset and refocus for the season’s stretch run.
Johnson reportedly intends to tell the players to “stay the course and to focus on the task ahead” with 27 games remaining and the Lakers (28-27) currently out of postseason positioning.
Further, Johnson hopes to foster an open, collaborative environment where players will feel comfortable to conduct an open dialogue with team management.
Johnson specifically is expected to focus most on the fallout of the Lakers’ failed but dogged pursuit of Davis. Lonzo Ball, Brandon Ingram, Kyle Kuzma, Josh Hart and Kentavious Caldwell-Pope, all of whom were dangled to the New Orleans Pelicans, presumably are the players most likely to benefit from such discussions.
Whether or not Johnson will choose to address reports concerning the status of embattled head coach Luke Walton, however, is unknown, although Lakers general manager Rob Pelinka did give the embattled head coach the dreaded vote of confidence this week.