Magic Johnson tackled various topics in a recent appearance on ‘Espn First Take,’ including his plan to attract free-agents next summer, his thoughts on Kyle Kuzma as ‘The Steal of the 2017 NBA Draft’ and the trade rumors surrounding power forward Larry Nance Jr.

Lonzo Ball key piece to Magic’s Grand Plan

The Lakers regained its status as a destination for free-agents ever since Magic stepped in as the team’s top executive. The former alpha-dog of the 80s ‘Showtime Lakers’ has even taken his recruiting job to the extreme that he sometimes forgot about the league’s strict rule on tampering.

The NBA slapped the Lakers with $500K fine after they found out that Magic and general manager Rob Pelinka violated its anti-tampering rule when they contacted Paul George’s agent one full year before the player hits the free-agency market. Magic said he learned his lesson from the incident, but nobody believed it will stop the Lakers from fielding feelers to other incoming free-agents such as George, LeBron James, and Russell Westbrook.

In fact, Magic and his team have already the blueprint on how to make the Lakers enticing to any player. The Lakers executive is really confident Lonzo Ball will play a big part in making the team exciting to watch again. Magic apparently wants this Lakers team to emulate the run-and-gun Showtime Lakers with Ball as the modern version of himself.

“Number one is pace of play. We have to be a running basketball team. If we’re able to run with Lonzo Ball at the point guard it’s going to be beautiful to watch,” Johnson said on ESPN First Take.

Johnson added that making the playoffs won’t be the basis whether or not the Lakers will have a successful campaign next season. He just wants his team to take baby steps to possibly becoming more competitive in the future.

Trade rumors and steal of the 2017 Draft

Johnson dispelled trade rumors surrounding Nance Jr, who has been mentioned in trade chatters as of late. The Lakers president made an assurance the incoming third-year power forward will suiting up for the Lakers on opening night, despite his admission that they are receiving offers for the big man.

Magic is apparently high on Nance, whom he called a ‘fundamentally sound player.’

Another player that’s getting Johnson excited is forward Kyle Kuzma. The no.27 pick in the 2017 NBA Draft had a head-turning performance during the Lakers’ Summer League campaign, where he showed his shooting skills and great chemistry with Ball. Magic said Kuzma has the potential to turn into a great player, and perhaps wind up as the steal of the 2017 NBA Draft.