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Rob Pelinka says his role in the draft process hasn’t changed, even with Magic Johnson leaving the Lakers

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Despite Magic Johnson’s departure from the Lakers, Rob Pelinka says he’s going about business as usual.

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Los Angeles Lakers Introduce 2018 Draft Picks Photo by Jayne Kamin-Oncea/Getty Images

After lucking into the fourth overall pick at the 2019 NBA Draft Lottery on Monday, the Los Angeles Lakers will have to come together and decide what they’re going to do with the pick ahead of the draft on June 20. The question is: Who exactly is calling the shots?

While there has still been little-to-no clarity provided on that topic since Magic Johnson’s abrupt departure from the team in April, the large assumption is that general manager Rob Pelinka will oversee basketball operations in the immediate future.

Does that mean Pelinka is the new president of basketball operations? Not exactly, according to Pelinka himself. In fact, Pelinka told Lakers.com that his duties leading up to this year’s NBA Draft are no different than what they’ve been for the last two years:

Pelinka: My role as the GM right now is the same as it was when we selected Lonzo Ball with the second pick, which was our last high pick. My role hasn’t changed since then.

Still, there is some grey area as to what the makeup of the Lakers’ front office looks like.

If Pelinka is acting as the team’s president of basketball operations, does that mean the president of basketball operations position was dissolved altogether, or is team advisor Kurt Rambis filling in the blanks? Remember: Rambis was reportedly the leading voice in the Lakers’ search for a new head coach and according to Marc Berman of The New York Post, he will also play a part in their pre-draft process along with head coach Frank Vogel.

There’s no rule that says the Lakers’ front office has to spell out exactly what they’re doing, but after losing their president of basketball operations and fumbling a head coaching search, some clarity would be appreciated from the fanbase. Pelinka will have his first opportunity to clear the air on Monday, when the Lakers are scheduled to hold a press conference for Vogel.

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