When Magic Johnson abruptly announced that he was stepping down as the Los Angeles Lakers’ president of basketball operations, the Hall of Famer gave reporters a number of reasons why he decided to quit. Johnson said he wasn't having fun in the position, and he indicated that he didn't want to fire head coach Luke Walton because owner Jeanie Buss was against the decision.

It’s been reported that there was plenty of discord in the front office among Johnson and others, and it's clear that a number of factors contributed to his departure. The notion that it would be hard for the Lakers to improve significantly upon what was a disastrous season might have also helped nudge Johnson out the door.

On Wednesday, ESPN's Jalen Rose said on multiple platforms that he believed Johnson quit because he knew the Lakers were very unlikely to acquire a superstar to play alongside LeBron James this summer. That theory makes some sense when you look at what Johnson has said in the past.

Johnson had publicly been very confident about the Lakers’ ability to sign not just one, but two stars. Before last year's free agency officially began, he even promised that he would step down as Lakers' president if he couldn't deliver multiple stars to Los Angeles.

“Like I told you when I took the job, it’s going to be a two-summer thing for the Lakers,” Johnson said at a June press conference introducing the Lakers’ 2018 draft picks. “This summer, and next summer, and that’s it. And if I can’t deliver, I’m going to step down myself. She (Jeanie Buss) won’t have to fire me. I’ll step away from it. Because then, I can’t do this job. But so far, so good.”

James signed a four-year, $154 million contract with the Lakers last summer, completing half of Johnson's goal. L.A. was unable to sign Paul George in free agency, even though that once seemed like a near guarantee. That made this upcoming summer all the more important because the Lakers will have a max salary slot available when seemingly half of the league's best players will hit the open market.

While it's unknown exactly what every top free agent will do, the writing has been on the wall for some time: the Lakers are very unlikely to acquire one of the true game-changers that will be free agents this offseason.

There are so many rumors indicating that Kevin Durant will sign with the New York Knicks that it almost feels like a foregone conclusion. If Kawhi Leonard leaves the Toronto Raptors for his hometown of Los Angeles, just about every insider seems to believe it will be for the Clippers, not the Lakers. Klay Thompson seemingly has no interest in leaving the Golden State Warriors to sign with the Lakers.

Los Angeles’ best hope probably lies with Kyrie Irving. In that case, all the Lakers have to do is convince Irving to turn down more money from the Boston Celtics and decline possibly teaming  up with his good friend Durant in his hometown so he can reunite with James, whom he couldn't get away from fast enough when they were with the Cleveland Cavaliers two years ago.

Maybe the Lakers will sign Jimmy Butler, but he's only a borderline All-Star that wouldn't alone make Los Angeles a title contender. Acquiring both Butler and Anthony Davis would make the Lakers a force in the West, though it's hard to believe L.A. and the New Orleans Pelicans will complete a deal unless Los Angeles gets very lucky in the lottery.

Johnson said he wasn't having fun because the tampering rules didn't allow him to speak with players on other teams. The job might have been harder than Johnson thought it would be, and his clashes with others in the front office negatively affected his time as the team’s president.

Johnson might have been able to deal with all of that if the Lakers were winning or if there was help coming this summer in the form of another star, but the odds are against Durant, Leonard, Thompson or Irving saving the day.

Kyrie Irving and Kevin Durant Kyrie Irving (L) and USA's guard Kevin Durant look on from the substitutes' bench during a Men's round Group A basketball match between China and USA at the Carioca Arena 1 during the Rio 2016 Olympic Games in Rio de Janeiro, Aug. 6, 2016. Photo: ANDREJ ISAKOVIC/AFP/Getty Images