There has been a bevy of factors behind the Lakers’ collapse to the bottom of the league over the last few seasons. One that has received major national criticism, in particular, has been the team straying away from the modern analytics movement.
Most NBA teams have made the investment in using analytics in both day-to-day operations on the court as well as their roster-building process. While the Lakers did employ a department leading this charge, everything we have heard about it has pointed to it being out of date relative to the rest of the league.
It appears as though those days may be behind us. After a report that the Lakers’ director of analytics, Yuju Lee, has stepped down from the position, Anthony Irwin of Silver Screen and Roll now reports that Magic Johnson and Rob Pelinka are aggressively trying to bolster that department:
The Los Angeles Lakers are looking to make major changes to how their analytics department is used within the organization, a source close to the team tells Silver Screen and Roll.
Magic Johnson and Rob Pelinka are looking to fill as many as seven new positions to beef up the analytics department.
While my first reaction here is to sell myself to the team for a job, my second reaction is one of cautious optimism. The old school method of team-building was part of the reason behind giving two massive overpay deals to Timofey Mozgov and Luol Deng, moves that have hamstrung the Lakers.
Johnson’s reputation with the Los Angeles Dodgers where he has delegated key jobs to others and where he has created a top analytics program makes this an even more promising decision by the Lakers.
This is some of the best news we’ve heard about the new regime thus far.