Rob Pelinka drew plenty of criticism for the Los Angeles Lakers’ shortcomings, and rightfully so.
He caved into LeBron James’ demands and traded for Russell Westbrook, even knowing that it was a mistake and a bad fit for the roster.
The team was severely hampered, salary-cap-wise, and he then caught more strays for his reluctance to move his first-round picks to offload Westbrook’s salary.
While all that criticism was earned, it’s safe to say that we owe him an apology right now, or at least we should give him his flowers.
Pelinka overhauled the Lakers’ roster in the blink of an eye, and they look like a legit threat to come out of the Western Conference right now.
That’s why Skip Bayless didn’t hesitate to shower him with praise, even stating that he should be in the running for Executive of the Year now:
“Rob Pelinka should be in the running for Executive of the Year,” Bayless said on Undisputed.
"Rob Pelinka should be in the running for Executive of the Year."@RealSkipBayless likes the new-look Lakers chances to finish 17-6 pic.twitter.com/ineqzK7J4H
— UNDISPUTED (@undisputed) February 27, 2023
The Lakers added a younger player with a higher upside in Mo Bamba to replace the disgruntled Thomas Bryant.
They flipped Westbrook and a first-round pick for D’Angelo Russell, Malik Beasley, and Jarred Vanderbilt, so they didn’t lose any playmaking, but they added more defense and shooting.
Rui Hachimura has also been a solid pickup, and giving up on Patrick Beverley was an example of addition by subtraction.
All things considered, the Lakers are now in a prime position to make some noise this season and for years to come, as several of these players are extension-eligible.
We should give credit where it’s due, and Pelinka sure silenced the doubters this season.NEXT: Mike Greenberg Makes His Thoughts About Lakers Clear