Lakers head for disaster by backing Rob Pelinka

Although the trade deadline passed nearly two weeks ago, the Los Angeles Lakers remain embroiled in rumors and potential internal conflict. General manager Rob Pelinka has tried to quell the flames, but recent subtle comments from LeBron James have only amplified the chatter.

On top of that, the Lakers’ playoff hope is in jeopardy, adding another layer of concern about the future of the franchise. However, Los Angeles could make another massive mistake involving Pelinka that could lead to James leaving.

Rich Paul denies Klutch Sports is unhappy with Rob Pelinka

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Beyond LeBron James expressing he’s not closing the door on a return to the Cleveland Cavaliers and wanting to play his final NBA season with his son Bronny James, another storyline has gained traction.

Longtime Bleacher Report NBA writer Eric Pincus recently wrote that Rich Paul and Klutch Sports were unhappy with Pelinka’s decision not to trade Russell Westbrook and a first-round pick to the Houston Rockets for John. Wall. Paul was quick to respond to the noise, letting Stephen A. Smith know that Pincus’ report was not the truth.

“Rich Paul called me yesterday and asked me to quote him on the history of him and Klutch Sports and basically the fact that they wanted the Lakers to trade Russell Westbrook and a first-round pick to Houston for John Wall,” Smith said on ESPN’s “First Take.” on Monday via the New York Post.

“He wanted me to state categorically that there was absolutely, absolutely no truth to it. He never did that. He didn’t do that.

“The people who wrote the story never contacted him to get any insight from him on this. It’s an absolute lie and he said, ‘Could you please tell me Do me a favor and quote me and tell the world that I specifically said it was a fucking lie. It’s not the truth. It never happened.'”

Paul can deny the report, but it’s hard to look past remarks from James during All-Star weekend that suggest internal frustration. Now the Lakers may be making another huge mistake that could disappoint the star further.

The Lakers prepare for a colossal nightmare by supporting Rob Pelinka

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The Lakers’ struggles in the 2021-22 campaign have shed more light on Rob Pelinka’s employment status.

The decision to trade for Russell Westbrook has already come back to haunt the franchise. Los Angeles holds a 27-31 record sitting in ninth place in the Western Conference standings.

After enjoying a quiet trade deadline, Pelinka’s decision-making only raises more concerns. James is frustrated with the situation to the point where he is considering major roster changes in the upcoming offseason.

The 18-time All-Star has a solid relationship with Pelinka, but the franchise isn’t getting the job done with his current roster. Much of that blame lies with the front office for not building a strong enough roster around James and Anthony Davis.

Despite all of this, Marc Stein of The New York Times reports that Pelinka has “unwavering support” from the property.

“James can boil about the unsuccessful Lakers deadline all he wants, but that doesn’t make Pelinka’s hand any stronger,” Stein wrote via his SubStack. “It’s equally fair to wonder how much he alienates the Lakers in the process. Pelinka has the unwavering support of Lakers owner Jeanie Buss and is firmly entrenched as a pillar of the club’s four-pronged trust alongside Buss and the power couple of Kurt and Linda Rambis.

In other words, Pelinka is firmly secure in her position. There’s a legitimate chance this could backfire as the team doesn’t maximize James’ remaining window to compete for an NBA title. Pelinka’s decision-making, no matter how influential the star striker is, doesn’t cut it.

If the Lakers have a disappointing offseason, it could cause James to look for other options outside of Los Angeles.

The Lakers must undergo massive changes in the next offseason

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The Lakers are less than two years away from winning an NBA title, but it’s obvious that massive changes are needed.

If the franchise wants to keep Pelinka, it must do everything to reconfigure the team around James and Davis. Westbrook showed his style of play didn’t match the other two stars.

Los Angeles will have to bite the bullet and move more draft assets to trade the nine-time All-Star. The team will be able to add future first-round selections this summer to sweeten any potential deal. Management must also discuss Frank Vogel’s future as the team’s struggles suggest it may be time to part ways.

Ultimately, the Lakers have plenty of issues to deal with in the upcoming offseason and hold no margin errors to fall short again.

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