Lakers' long term planning was at stake according to Magic Johnson.
The same NBA insider who broke the story of the Lakers turning down DeMarcus Cousins, has now published the reason behind the contentious decision. Marc Stein has learned that current president of basketball operation Magic Johnson decided against the proposed move because he didn't want to wait until February to field a competitive roster.
The report indicates that Magic and Jeanie Buss, controlling owner and president of the Lakers franchise, reached the decision together. All aspects of Lakers' planning are generally handled by the highest level of management, including ownership. The Buss family has every business running things on the operational end. Both parties came to the decision based on a shared belief that "signing a player, however talented, who could miss half the season" was bad for team chemistry.
The Lakers are not the Golden State Warriors, and can't afford to simply sign and stash roster player, or so they believe. Before LeBron set off on his European holiday, he is rumored to have told Magic and the Lakers' front office to hold off on making hasty decisions. All aspects of planning account for a four-year plan, at the very least. No player is bigger than the Lakers' crest, save for King James. For now Lakers' fans will have to do with good faith, until Magic overstays his welcome as a team executive.