Lakers Front Office Under Major Pressure to Upgrade Roster During 2015 Offseason

The Los Angeles Lakers are in desperate need of a major roster upgrade. But with the February 19 trade deadline looming, the front office has yet to pull the trigger on a single swap.

Management may simply be biding its time until the 2015 offseason. Or it may have a last-minute trick up its sleeve.

In the interim, the purple and gold franchise continues to plummet at 13-40—on track for the worst season in its proud 67-year history.

With 29 games left to play, the Lakers are just 15 losses away from last season’s abysmal record of 27-55.

And as the pressure mounts, so does the rhetoric. One of the organization’s most famous and visible alumni stepped into the spotlight Tuesday and ripped Lakers Executive Vice President Jim Buss.

Appearing on ESPN’s First Take, Magic Johnson accused Buss of "trying to do it himself" rather than empowering general manager Mitch Kupchak.

"If Jim would say, 'OK, Mitch, you run the show,' I think it would be better for the Lakers too," said Johnson. "Mitch Kupchak knows what he's doing. He’s great. He’s smart. He’s hard-working. He’s at every practice."

The implication, of course, is that the notoriously reclusive Buss is not a regular presence at Lakers facilities yet is the one ultimately responsible for the major basketball decision-making.

The awareness of drumbeats of discontent seems to be growing within the Lakers' inner sanctum, and it has manifested itself in self-ultimatums. 

Last season, as reported by the Los Angeles Times, Buss pledged to his siblings that he would step down if the franchise was not contending for a Western Conference title in a few years.

More recently, Jim and his sister Jeanie Buss, president of the Lakers organization, were interviewed by Ramona Shelburne for ESPN The Magazine.

When asked for her ...

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