Warriors

Warriors

The Los Angeles Lakers need a direction and a leader. Not on the court, but off it.

After president of basketball operations Magic Johnson abruptly stepped down Tuesday prior to the Lakers' season finale against the Trail Blazers, the Lakers and LeBron James are left with an even more uncertain summer than they were facing before Johnson's impromptu press conference. 

Who will Jeanie Buss hire to replace Johnson and lead the Lakers into the future? Will general manager Rob Pelinka and head coach Luke Walton survive this shakeup? Can the Lakers still attract a marquee free agent to pair with James after the amount of dysfunction that enveloped the organization for the better part of a decade?

First, Buss must find Johnson's successor, and her first call, in ESPN's Adrian Wojnarowski's opinion, should go to someone who resides just up the coastline: Bob Myers.

"She needs to start treating the Lakers as what they are: a big-market, destination organization, not just for players but for management," Wojnarowski said on "SportsCenter." "And the Lakers have to go out and pursue the biggest, best executives in the league and find out who might be interested in running the Lakers. Bob Myers in Golden State, starting there. That's really the first call the Lakers need to make. This is still the preeminent attractive job in the league despite all the difficulty with the Buss ownership group."

 

Myers certainly should be the Lakers' first target.

The Warriors president of basketball operations helped build one of the best dynasties in NBA history.

After being named general manager in 2012, Myers had a strong draft in which he selected Harrison Barnes and Draymond Green, putting the finishing touches on what would be a championship core.  Myers won NBA Executive of the Year three years later after signing Klay Thompson to a contract extension and refusing to trade him the previous offseason for Kevin Love. He once again was named Executive of the Year in 2017 after signing Kevin Durant the previous offseason.

Myers has shown he's one of the brightest front-office minds in the NBA.

Is there a chance he could leave the Warriors for the glitz and glamor of the Lakers? It's impossible to tell. But after seeing his team win three titles and possibly a fourth this season, Myers could view the ruins of the Lakers as a new challenge for him to take on.

L.A. has James, a young core, cap space and the Lakers' brand, so never say never.

[RELATED: Why Magic was never cut out to run Lakers, challenge Warriors]

Of course, after the absolute circus that has gone on at Staples Center this season, Myers might choose to keep piloting the Death Star in the Bay Area instead. 

One thing is certain: the Lakers have a lot of work ahead of them, both when it comes to building their team and repairing their image. They have almost unlimited resources to woo one of the NBA's best executives to turn around the ship, but they must start treating themselves like the marquee franchise they are.

If they want to truly return to prominence, all they have to do is copy the blueprint of the Warriors. Or, just poach the guy who helped create it.