The Los Angeles Lakers are at a crossroads as it pertains to the future of the franchise. Jim Buss’ self-imposed deadline looms large as the Lakers are set to finish with a sub-.500 season for the fourth straight season. Magic Johnson’s re-acclimation with the team has only served to fuel that storyline.
There is another former Laker now being linked to the front office – one whom the franchise and its fans hold in high esteem and know plenty about.
According to Tim Kawakami of The Mercury News, Jerry West is interested in a return to the Lakers:
Multiple sources indicated to me that West might be intrigued by an offer from the Lakers, but he also feels very connected to the Warriors’ quest for championships.
Kawakami also reports that West’s contract with the Golden State Warriors will expire in July and there have been no discussions about a potential extension.
There are a lot of factors to consider. Chief among them is West’s age. At 78 years old and following a recent collapse and subsequent hospital visit, one must wonder how much longer the Logo wants to continue working in basketball.
From the Lakers’ standpoint, however, there are very few things that could go wrong with adding West in some capacity. After all, he was the mastermind behind drafting Kobe Bryant and signing Shaquille O’Neal in free agency, moves that ultimately paid off in five championships.
West’s son, Ryan, has been involved in the Lakers’ front office for a long time, seemingly pointing to another reason for a reunion.
If West does indeed make a return to the Lakers, it would not necessarily be at the expense of any of the members of the current front office. He has not been a direct general manager or team president for some time, instead working as a consultant of sorts in Golden State.
In that role, Jerry West could provide quite a lot for the Lakers. The only worry here is hasty decision-making from ownership to turn over the leadership of the franchise at a time when it seems poised to take a big step forward.