NBA News Roundup, Saturday, May 18th: Jimmy Butler could join the Nets, Most Valuable Player Finalists announced, and more
With the NBA Finals now upon us, the playoffs are currently the talk of the basketball world, although there is no shortage of other stories emerging from around the league.
The 2019 draft is just weeks away, and teams will be hoping to strike gold by drafting either Zion Williamson or Ja Morant. Meanwhile, Anthony Davis continues to be linked with a blockbuster trade, and a host of stars including Kyrie Irving, Kawhi Leonard, and Kemba Walker are about to hit free agency.
So, with plenty happening around the NBA, here are the biggest news stories and rumors you need to know for May 18th.
Lakers will not replace Magic Johnson
As the Los Angeles Lakers prepared for their final game of the season against the Trail Blazers, Magic Johnson announced his shock departure from the organization. Johnson had been president of basketball operations since 2017, and he played a major role in bringing LeBron James to the franchise last summer.
There has been intense speculation as to who would replace the NBA legend, although ESPN's Ramona Shelburne is reporting that no direct replacement will be hired:
The Lakers have decided they will not hire a president of basketball operations to replace Magic Johnson.
General manager Rob Pelinka will continue in his role, reporting directly to ownership, the source said. Pelinka had previously been reporting to Johnson.
Buss considered several options after Johnson's departure, including replacing him, the source said. However, she has since decided to continue with Pelinka as her top basketball decision-maker.
The LA Lakers now face a busy summer as they attempt to attract a second All-Star to play alongside LeBron James.