Woj: Lakers 'Not Aligned Really on Any Level' Entering 2019 NBA Offseason

Kyle Newport@@KyleNewportFeatured ColumnistApril 3, 2019

Los Angeles Lakers' LeBron James stands in front of head coach Luke Walton during the second half of an NBA basketball game against the Washington Wizards, Tuesday, March 26, 2019, in Los Angeles. The Lakers won 124-106. (AP Photo/Jae C. Hong)
Jae C. Hong/Associated Press

As they look to reconstruct their roster, the Los Angeles Lakers are reportedly entering the offseason in a state of disarray. 

Per ESPN's Adrian Wojnarowski, the Lakers are "an organization right now that is not aligned really on any level" as they close out their sixth consecutive losing season.

Wojnarowski noted that the chain of command in L.A. has been problematic. Owner Jeanie Buss, president Magic Johnson, general manager Rob Pelinka, coach Luke Walton and superstar LeBron James have reportedly not all been on the same page this season.

Johnson and Co. were able to land James last offseason, but as Los Angeles Clippers executive Jerry West told Sports Illustrated's Jack McCallum, that was "not a tough free-agent signing" because the four-time league MVP "wanted" to be a Laker.

Outside of James, though, the franchise has not attracted any premier players in recent years. In fact, southern California native Paul George didn't even take a meeting with the team last offseason despite years of speculation he would wind up in purple and gold.

Now, the Lakers face another crucial offseason. But before they can chase star free agents such as Kyrie Irving, Kevin Durant or Klay Thompson, they must put an end to any dysfunction.

Walton has been at the center of attention since James signed last year. Wojnarowski and ESPN colleague Dave McMenamin reported less than a month into the season that Johnson had "admonished" Walton amid a 3-5 start.

With a 35-43 record, Walton is now 96-146 in nearly three full seasons as the Lakers' head coach. One win in the team's final four games would guarantee a continuously improved record throughout his tenure, but with James now in the mix, the Lakers have championship aspirations.

Walton's job may not be the only one in jeopardy, though, as the season winds down, with Wojnarowski reporting there is work to be done for the organization to become aligned. 


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