Johnson discussed how he tried and failed to sign Anthony Davis to the Lakers last season, saying that if he pulled off the deal then he’d still be working with the Lakers.
“I'd still be there of course,” Magic said. “And I could have the coaches I wanted. Everything would've fallen into place. We would've had an even better shot at Kawhi [Leonard].”
If they had bagged AD before the trade deadline, the team was prepared to considerably reshuffle its roster. But when they didn’t get Davis, Magic had to appease the young stars he was ready to cede to get the New Orleans Pelicans star.
Following that misstep, Magic abruptly left his role as the Lakers' president of basketball operations in April, a post he’d held since February 2017. A major point of contention during his tenure was his desire to fire coach Luke Walton. As the team's president, Johnson wanted to exercise his authority and move away from Walton's coaching style. This didn't sit well with owner Jeanie Buss, whose hesitance hindered Magic from doing his job. The effect Buss had on Johnson's ability to make in-house decisions and GM Rob Pelinka’s propensity to whisper behind Magic’s back prompted him to relinquish his role with the franchise.