It's becoming pretty evident that Magic Johnson doesn't need to be part of the Lakers' front office to leave his mark on the fan base.
With free agency almost here in the NBA, the Los Angeles Lakers will most likely try to add another impact player. Although they might be out of the sweepstakes for Kyrie Irving, other star guards are available.
One possibility for Los Angeles is a reunion with D'Angelo Russell. He didn't leave the team on the best terms, but the team's management is under a different regime.
Johnson wasn't exactly Russell's biggest fan during his time in Los Angeles. The Hall of Famer thought he needed time to mature before he could see drastic improvement on the court.
Russell may have used those words as motivation when he was traded. This past season with the Nets, the former No. 2 overall pick averaged 21.1 points and 7.0 assists per game.
Even though Johnson won't be making any decisions for the Lakers this offseason, he believes the team should welcome back Russell in free agency.
During his conversation with The Athletic, Johnson said "He’s better now. He’s a different player. He’s more mature."
This is a pretty dramatic shift in Johnson's view of Russell, and it's not exactly sitting well with fans in Los Angeles.
Johnson's exit from the Lakers wasn't very graceful, but that isn't too surprising when you consider the remarks he made on ESPN's First Take.
The Lakers would benefit greatly from adding Russell in free agency. And yet, the damage might already be done from his first stint with the illustrious franchise.