Magic Johnson Says He Will Step Down If Lakers Don't Sign Top FA in Next 2 Years

Adam Wells@adamwells1985Featured ColumnistJune 26, 2018

CHICAGO, IL - MAY 17:  NBA legend Earvin 'Magic' Johnson attends Day One of the NBA Draft Combine at Quest MultiSport Complex on May 17, 2018 in Chicago, Illinois.  NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and or using this photograph, User is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement.  (Photo by Stacy Revere/Getty Images)
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Magic Johnson is so determined to bring the Los Angeles Lakers back to prominence that he will walk away within two years if things don't get better. 

Per Bleacher Report's' Eric Pincus, Johnson said he would step down as president of basketball operations if the Lakers don't sign top free agents over the next two summers. 

“If you’re judging us on one summer, that’s ridiculous," Johnson said, via Tania Ganguli of the Los Angeles Times. He added that Lakers owner Jeanie Buss "won’t have to fire me" because he would resign if the team continues to miss the postseason. 

Per USA Today's Sam Amick, Los Angeles is "widely seen" as the greatest threat to sign LeBron James away from the Cavs if the four-time NBA MVP opts out of his contract. 

ESPN's Ramona Shelburne noted the Lakers tried to discuss a Kawhi Leonard trade, but the San Antonio Spurs "basically shut the door on" those talks. 

The Lakers have already prepared their pitch to Paul George, who also has an opt-out with the Oklahoma City Thunder, that includes a video with a voiceover, per Sports Illustrated's Scooby Axson

Johnson has long been confident that the Lakers would attract at least one top-tier free agent in the next two offseasons, as he told reporters in February after freeing up additional cap space by trading Jordan Clarkson and Larry Nance Jr. to the Cleveland Cavaliers. 

“Wouldn’t have made the [trade] if I wasn’t confident," Johnson said. “We have got to take the next step."

Per Keith P. Smith of RealGM, the Lakers have a league-high $58.4 million in projected cap space this offseason. 

Johnson took over as president of basketball operations for the Lakers in February 2017. The team went 35-47 last season, their best record since 2012-13, but it wasn't enough to keep them from missing the playoffs for the fifth straight year.