The Los Angeles Lakers and president of basketball operations Rob Pelinka have reportedly agreed to a contract extension through the 2026 season, according to multiple reports. This is the second extension of Pelinka’s time in Los Angeles with this one reportedly having been agreed upon over the summer.
Lakers VP of basketball operations and general manager Rob Pelinka signed an extension through the 2025-26 season, aligning his deal with new coach Darvin Ham’s, league sources confirmed to ESPN. The deal was reached around the time of Ham’s hiring. Yahoo had it first.— Dave McMenamin (@mcten) October 8, 2022
Pelinka receiving his extension at the same time Ham was hired makes sense to allow him the security to negotiate trades throughout the summer. With the Lakers in a precarious situation heading into this offseason between a looming LeBron James extension and the need to move Russell Westbrook, Pelinka needed some sort of leverage and security to be able to negotiate with opposing teams without them hanging that over his head.
Now, how much he deserved that extension is up in the air. There are two fair arguments to make, starting with the fact that he is barely two years removed from winning an NBA title in his first season wholly in charge. At the same time, he deconstructed the same title team he helped build in that span with only LeBron James and Anthony Davis remaining from the Bubble Lakers.
Ultimately, the extension more served the purpose of allowing him to negotiate with general managers without having his feet held over the fire more than being any sort of reward. It’s still a surprising move, nonetheless, but it doesn’t particularly change anything in the future.
Tying him to the same timeline as Ham’s tenure makes sense and by 2026, it’s probably safe to assume it’ll be in the post-LeBron years. Until then, Pelinka can navigate the final years of LeBron’s time in Los Angeles with some security and likely his last chance to prove his competence as a lead basketball decision-maker.