Magic Johnson ‘Cautiously Optimistic’ About JJ Redick Reportedly Becoming Lakers HC

zach bacharContributor IJune 21, 2024

LOS ANGELES, CALIFORNIA - APRIL 25: Magic Johnson speaks during a ceremony celebrating Michael Cooper's induction into the basketball hall of fame at halftime of a basketball game between the Los Angeles Lakers and the Denver Nuggets at Arena on April 25, 2024 in Los Angeles, California. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and or using this photograph, User is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement.  (Photo by Allen Berezovsky/Getty Images)

Allen Berezovsky/Getty Images

Los Angeles Lakers legend Magic Johnson gave his seal of approval on the team’s decision to hire JJ Redick as head coach on Thursday.

Johnson wrote that he’s “cautiously optimistic” about the hire in a post on X, complimenting Redick’s 15-year career in the NBA .

Earvin Magic Johnson @MagicJohnson

I’m cautiously optimistic that this new hire is a success for both the Lakers and JJ Reddick. I enjoyed watching him as a player – great 3-point shooting, high basketball IQ, passion for the game, and mental and physical toughness. If he can bring how he played professionally to…

The Hall of Fame point guard also acknowledged that hiring Redick was “just the first step” for the Lakers, as general manager Rob Pelinka must “improve the roster” in order for Los Angeles to contend alongside other Western Conference foes.

Earvin Magic Johnson @MagicJohnson

Naming a head coach was just the first step. Even bigger than naming JJ Reddick as the Head Coach, Rob Pelinka’s next step must be to improve the roster if we are going to compete against all the powerhouse teams in the West like the Nuggets, Timberwolves, Mavericks, Suns,…

Johnson is well aware of the responsibilities that come with making decisions for the Lakers, as he previously served as the president of basketball operations for the organization from 2016 until 2019.

According to ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski, Los Angeles gave Redick a four-year contract. Pelinka and owner Jeanie Buss met with Redick “over the weekend” before he was offered the job on Thursday morning.

Per Wojnarowski, Pelinka hired Redick due to his “ability to connect with players and his basketball IQ.” That could help the Lakers throughout the free agency process, as they look to bounce back from a disappointing first-round playoff exit in 2024.

Los Angeles also has several internal free agents to monitor, most notably LeBron James. The NBA’s all-time leading scorer has a $51.4 million player option for the 2024-25 season and has yet to make a decision on it (via Spotrac).

While Johnson is hopeful about the addition of Redick, he’s also focused on the roster moves that the Lakers will make during the offseason as they attempt to rise towards the top of the West standings once again.

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