In this episode of the Laker Film Room Podcast, Pete and I talk about Rob Pelinka, the moves he made this summer to build out this Lakers roster, and the challenges he faces ahead.
We start out talking about how Pelinka was viewed when the summer began, how the front office (and organization in general) was seemingly in shambles in the wake of Magic Johnson’s resignation and press tour, and the questions that surrounded Pelinka as a capable and viable leader of the franchise’s basketball operations.
After establishing that backdrop, we turn to discussing whether we had Pelinka correctly pegged as someone who could (or, more accurately, could not) add value to the team as the principal architect of a roster that we hoped would be able to contend for, at the least, a deep playoff run.
We transition quickly to some of the moves he made to construct this team and dive into the idea that he, seemingly, constructed this team thoughtfully in terms of fit, both in terms of skill and personality. We start out discussing the trade for Anthony Davis, but then move on to some of the free agent targets and the retention of specific players from last year’s team and how all of that came together.
Throughout this entire discussion a few foundational ideas come out:
- After the Lakers did not sign Kawhi, they recovered well to build the roster they did.
- Rather than go after a group of players with diverse skill sets, the Lakers seemed to target more duplicative players where individual strengths were stacked on top of each other (shooters, specific types of defensive players) in order to build out the team.
- That the resulting roster is one that is clearly very good (at the time of this recording the Lakers were 14-2), but also still lacking in certain areas that may or may not be able to be covered up by the transcendent play of their two superstars.
This was, really, a good discussion that is, I think, particularly timely. As we discuss on the pod, it’s hard to say how much of what we’re seeing with the Lakers was prescient decision making and how much of it was, at least partially, a product of luck or things breaking their way. In the end, though, Pelinka deserves a round of applause for building out this team the way he has and while Pete and I certain acknowledge the limitations of what we do and do not know about the exact hows/whys behind it all, we did want to acknowledge his role in it all.
You can listen the full episode below.
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