Lakers general manager Rob Pelinka agrees to four-year contract extension

The Lakers and Rob Pelinka, the team’s vice president of basketball operations and general manager, have agreed to a four-year contract extension, people who were not authorized to speak publicly confirmed to The Times on Saturday.

The deal for Pelinka runs through 2026 and shows once again that Jeanie Buss, the Lakers’ controlling owner and president, continues to believe in Pelinka and his vision for the franchise. This likely suggests that his job status could be in jeopardy if the Lakers have a miserable 2022-23 season, like they did last season when they didn’t even make the play-in game.

The Lakers were keen to extend Pelinka, one person said, with the two sides reaching an agreement a few months ago, around the time they were looking for a new coach.

Pelinka’s deal coincides with new Lakers coach Darvin Ham, who signed a four-year deal to replace Frank Vogel, who was fired.

Pelinka, 52, was hired as the Lakers’ general manager in 2017 after Buss fired longtime manager Mitch Kupchak. Pelinka was promoted to Vice President in 2020.

Pelinka partnered with former Lakers president Magic Johnson to bring LeBron James to Los Angeles as a free agent in 2018. Pelinka acquired Anthony Davis in a trade from the New Orleans Pelicans in 2019.

Davis and James led the Lakers to the 2020 NBA Championship in The Bubble near Orlando, Florida.

The Lakers lost to the Phoenix Suns in the first round of the 2021 playoffs and then failed to make the NBA play-in tournament in 2022, their 33-49 record is the fifth-worst in the Western Conference.

The Lakers then stumbled upon the sacking of Vogel, which took them to the 2020 title, and shortly after they beat the Denver Nuggets in the final game of 2021-22, the news broke. Vogel told reporters after the game that he was not told he was being fired.

Tasked with putting the Lakers in a better position than last season, Pelinka initially gave James a two-year, $97.1 million contract extension that runs through the 2024 season.

Pelinka traded for defensively-oriented guard Patrick Beverley and acquired younger players over the summer to give the Lakers more youth and athleticism than the veteran-laden team they had last season.

Pelinka was the longtime agent for the great Lakers Kobe Bryant and he was President and CEO of the Landmark Sports Agency. During this time, Pelinka developed a close relationship with the Lakers and the Buss family.

The Lakers, who play the Warriors in an exhibition game Sunday in San Francisco, open the regular season on October 18 with the defending NBA champion and play their first home game on October 20 against the Clippers at the Crypto.com Arena.

https://www.latimes.com/sports/lakers/story/2022-10-08/lakers-general-manager-rob-pelinka-contract-extension Lakers general manager Rob Pelinka agrees to four-year contract extension

Emma Bowman

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