Source: Lakers will not hire replacement for Magic

The Lakers have decided they will not hire a president of basketball operations to replace Magic Johnson, a team source told ESPN.

General manager Rob Pelinka will continue in his role, reporting directly to ownership, the source said. Pelinka had previously reported to Johnson.

Johnson abruptly stepped down from his position on April 9 as the Lakers were preparing to play their final regular-season game against the Portland Trail Blazers.

Lakers president and controlling owner Jeanie Buss issued a statement saying the team would “work in a measured and methodical fashion to make the right moves for the future of our organization.”

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.

“My role as the GM right now is the same as it was when we selected Lonzo Ball with the second pick, which is our last high pick,” Pelinka said earlier this week when asked if his responsibilities and role have changed since Johnson stepped down. “My role hasn’t changed since then.”

Kurt Rambis will remain as a special advisor.

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