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 again shows that Jeanie Buss, the Lakers’ controlling owner and president, continues to have faith in Pelinka and his vision for the franchise. This likely puts to rest that his job status could be in jeopardy if the Lakers have a miserable 2022-23 season like they did last season, when they failed to make even the play-in game.
The Lakers had been keen on extending Pelinka, said one person, with the two sides coming to an agreement a few months ago, around the time they were searching for a new coach.
Pelinka, 52, was hired in 2017 to be the Lakers’ general manger after Buss fired longtime executive Mitch Kupchak. Pelinka was promoted to vice president in 2020.
Pelinka joined forces with former Lakers president Magic Johnson in bringing LeBron James to Los Angeles as a free agent in 2018. Pelinka acquired Anthony Davis from the New Orleans Pelicans in 2019 in a trade.
LeBron James praised Las Vegas fans and hoped NBA commissioner Adam Silver would listen to his appeal to one day buy a Vegas expansion team.
Davis and James led the Lakers to the 2020 NBA championship in the “bubble” near Orlando, Fla.
The Lakers lost in the first round of the 2021 playoffs to the Phoenix Suns and then didn’t make the NBA’s play-in tournament in 2022, their 33-49 record the fifth worst in the Western Conference.
The Lakers then bumbled the firing of Vogel, who led them to the 2020 title, with word leaking soon after they had defeated the Denver Nuggets in the final game of 2021-22. Vogel told reporters after the game that he had not been told he was fired.
Pelinka has been tasked with putting the Lakers in a better position than last season, and he started by giving James a two-year contract extension for $97.1 million that runs through the 2024 season.
Pelinka traded for defensive-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 Lakers great Kobe Bryant, and he was president and chief executive of the Landmark Sports Agency. During that time, Pelinka developed a strong relationship with the Lakers and the Buss family.
Victor Wembanyama is a 7-foot-4, 18-year-old basketball star from France who captivated NBA scouts and executives with his talent against G League Ignite.
The Lakers, who play the Warriors in an exhibition game Sunday in San Francisco, open the regular season Oct. 18 at the defending NBA champions and play their first home game Oct. 20 against the Clippers at Crypto.com Arena.
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