Los Angeles Lakers vice president of basketball operations and general manager Rob Pelinka has agreed to a multiyear contract extension, league sources told ESPN.
The Lakers announced Friday that they had promoted Pelinka to the VP title, and sources say that included the negotiation of an extension onto the original five-year deal Pelinka signed in 2017.
Pelinka had been hired as the GM under former president Magic Johnson, who resigned in April. Pelinka has played a role in calming the tumult surrounding the Lakers in the aftermath of Johnson’s departure and moving the franchise back into the elite of the NBA.
Pelinka’s hiring of Frank Vogel as head coach and the addition of role players including Danny Green and Dwight Howard have so far played a significant part in the Lakers’ current status as the No. 1 seed in the Western Conference.
Pelinka signed a five-year contract as GM in 2017, leaving a successful career as a player agent. His clients had included Lakers star Kobe Bryant.
“I think people should really sing Rob’s praises a lot,” Bryant said on Showtime’s “All The Smoke” series this week. “Because they were killing him. … Being able to stay the course. And Rob and I have talked about that stuff. When he and I talk, we don’t talk about this move or that move, it’s more so him as a friend. It’s just saying, ‘Rob, you’ve been there with me. Now it’s just you going through it. You know how we handle it, it’s you just stay the course.’ All this storm is going on and you just stay here — just do your job, do your job, do your job, do your job.
“But man, I mean what he’s done with that team in two years? From the contracts that they once had and were tied up to what they have on this roster now? I mean, they’re the biggest team that I’ve probably ever seen. Their length, speed, old-school big, tough, tough, athleticism. So, they look fantastic.”
ESPN’s Dave McMenamin contributed to this report.