Lakers 'on the right path’ after Anthony Davis trade, says owner Jeanie Buss

The Lakers owner gave general manager Rob Pelinka a vote of confidence during an interview with the Times at the NBA awards show Monday.

Los Angeles Lakers general manager Rob Pelinka and coach Frank Vogel.   -  (Getty Images)

Jeanie Buss thinks the Lakers are headed in the right direction. The Los Angeles owner gave general manager Rob Pelinka a vote of confidence during an interview with the Los Angeles Times at the NBA awards show Monday.

“I have 100% confidence in Rob Pelinka running our basketball operations,” Buss said. “I’ve always had confidence in Rob. Whatever the speculation is out there, we don’t need the outside media to validate what we do. I’m very happy. I think we’re on the right path but there’s still more work to do.”

The Lakers and Pelinka complete one of the biggest trades in NBA history earlier this month when they acquired Anthony Davis from the Pelicans in exchange for Brandon Ingram, Lonzo Ball, Josh Hart as well as three first-round picks.

The Lakers will now look to add a third star to pair with Davis and LeBron James. They’ve been linked to Kemba Walker, Jimmy Butler, Kawhi Leonard and Kyrie Irving, among others. But, if the team makes no more moves to shed salary after the Davis deal, it’s only expected to have around $23 million available this offseason and will not be able to offer a max contract.

READ | Kawhi Leonard rumors: Lakers believes it has ‘strong shot’ to sign superstar

The Lakers reportedly have shown some level of interest in Bobby Portis, Marcus Morris, Al Horford and Brook Lopez, as well.

“There will be a lot of changes,” Buss said. “Lakers fans, be patient. We’re going to get there. We’re not going to stop until we’re all proud.”

Magic Johnson surprisingly stepped down from his position as the Lakers president of basketball operations before the last game of 2018-19, which expanded Pelinka’s role in the organization.

"It was a surprise when Magic turned in his resignation," Buss said, via ESPN. "I didn't see that coming. But everything else has been pretty much as any organization moves forward and changes going into a new season. So as much as has been speculated as to what the Lakers are doing, to me we are in a really good place and we are following our path, and our plan, going into the next season."

READ | Magic Johnson points finger at Pelinka for the ugly end of his Lakers presidency

The Lakers finished the season with a 37-45 record and missed the playoffs for a sixth straight year. They fired former coach Luke Walton in mid-April and hired Frank Vogel to replace him.