Does Rob Pelinka deserve 2023-24 Executive of the Year award? Grading every move Lakers GM has made this offseason

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Does Rob Pelinka deserve 2023-24 Executive of the Year award?

The LA Lakers had arguably the most impressive offseason, characterized by some attention-grabbing transactions in free agency, thanks to general manager Rob Pelinka.

Since assuming the role of Lakers GM in 2017, Pelinka's career as an executive has experienced peaks and valleys.

However, his capacity to lead the Lakers to victory following the trades involving Russell Westbrook for D'Angelo Russell, Jarred Vanderbilt and Malik Beasley, as well as Kendrick Nunn for Rui Hachimura, two of the most impactful deals last season, should establish him as one of the NBA's boldest and most effective GMs.

During this offseason, the LA Lakers experienced a significant roster shakeup with several departures.

Dennis Schroder opted to join the Raptors, Lonnie Walker IV signed with the Nets, Malik Beasley found a new home with the Bucks, Troy Brown Jr. made the move to the Timberwolves and Cole Swider secured a spot with the Heat. Mo Bamba and Shaquille Harrison were waived.

However, the Lakers were also able to acquire and retain talent.

Pelinka successfully signed Anthony Davis to a contract extension worth $186 million over three years, stretching through the 2027-28 season.

Despite Davis' injury history, this move solidifies his status as a true franchise cornerstone. It also provides the Lakers with confidence that they will have a superstar on their roster, especially with LeBron James aging and expressing his desire to play alongside his son, Bronny, in the future.

The extension for Davis, despite its substantial value and concerns about his injuries, receives a B-minus grade due to the clarity it offers for the Lakers' future.

Pelinka's signing of Austin Reaves to a four-year contract worth $53,827,872 is widely regarded as one of the offseason's steals. Despite attracting interest from multiple teams, Reaves, who demonstrated his value as a dependable playoff performer, chose to join the Lakers for a deal that came in below what was initially reported. This move is an A.

D'Angelo Russell committed to a two-year contract worth $36,000,000, offering the team a scoring and shooting boost in the guard position. Despite his playoff struggles, Russell has the opportunity to bounce back in the upcoming season with more regular-season games as a Laker, potentially redeeming himself. This move is a C for the Lakers.

Pelinka's acquisition of free agent Christian Wood at the veteran minimum represents a shrewd move. Wood's addition addresses the Lakers' size, scoring and shooting needs at a cost-effective price point. This savvy move deserves a solid B-plus rating.

Pelinka's signing of former Heat guard Gabe Vincent to a three-year, $33,000,000 contract bolsters the Lakers' backcourt rotation and adds depth. While it raises questions about how Vincent, a dependable playoff performer and role player, will fit into the Lakers' system, it provides the team with valuable assurance. This move can be rated as a respectable B-minus.

Pelinka made a significant investment in Rui Hachimura with a three-year, $51 million contract extension. Although it might appear to be an overpayment, it introduces an intriguing prospect for the Lakers, particularly given Hachimura's promising playoff performance. This move also receives a grade of B-minus.

Pelinka's signings of free agents Taurean Prince, Jaxson Hayes and Cam Reddish, all of whom address the Lakers' scoring and rebounding requirements, collectively earn a grade of B-plus.

Magic Johnson thinks Rob Pelinka should win Executive of the Year

According to legendary Laker and former GM Magic Johnson, Pelinka is the frontrunner for the 2024 NBA Executive of the Year due to his offseason signings.

“I think he followed it up with another outstanding job, first from the trade deadline, and then he kept it going in the summer," Johnson said. "He did better than anybody in the summer.
“All the moves he made, he was the No. 1 GM in the NBA this offseason. No question about it. All the guys that we signed will help LeBron and the other guys because now we are deeper. Rob is going to be Executive of the Year.”

Jerry West remains the sole Lakers GM to have been honored with the NBA Executive of the Year award, achieving this recognition during the 1994-95 season.

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Edited by Joseph Schiefelbein