Magic Johnson
Magic Johnson, pictured at “The Legend of Tarzan” movie premiere in Hollywood, California, on June 27, 2016, wants to eventually “call the shots” for the Los Angeles Lakers. Reuters

A week after Magic Johnson was hired by the Los Angeles Lakers as an adviser to team president Jeanie Buss, it’s looking more likely that his role with the organization could expand in the near future. In an interview with USA TODAY Sports, the NBA Hall of Famer indicated that he wants to eventually be the Lakers’ ultimate decision-maker.

“Working to call the shots, because it only works that way,’’ Johnson said when asked what he hopes his role with the franchise will be. “Right now I’m advising. I get that. But at the end of the day, then we all got to come together and somebody’s got to say, ‘I’m making the final call,’ all right? And who’s that going to be?

“So, we’ll see what happens.”

If Johnson becomes the one “calling the shots,” that probably would mean taking over for Jim Buss. He’s been the Lakers’ executive vice president of basketball operations since 2005, but there have been indications that Jim would relinquish his position if the team isn’t successful. As recent as two years ago, Jeanie Buss, who is also the team’s part-owner with her brother, said Jim would step down if the team couldn’t reach its goal by 2017.

The stated goal was for the Lakers to make it past the second round of the playoffs this season. While it’s not even the All-Star break, it’s almost certain that LA will fall short of that objective. Sitting above only the Phoenix Suns in the Western Conference standings, the Lakers won’t come close to making the playoffs, let alone winning two postseason series.

The Lakers find themselves in their worst three-year stretch in franchise history. LA totaled just 48 wins in the last two seasons, and they are about to miss the playoffs in three straight years for the first time since they came into existence in 1948.

General Manager Mitch Kupchak has been unable to lure top free agents to come to LA in recent seasons. Johnson’s involvement with the team could change that.

Even if the Lakers continue to struggle, Johnson won’t be ready to take over for Buss this season. Confident in his ability to evaluate players, the former Laker is still learning about the business side of the NBA.

“The main part for me is really learning the other part that I didn’t know, and that is to understand the CBA, the salary cap, where we are in terms of the salary cap and who’s a free-agent-to-be,” Johnson said. “You’ve got a lot of young players so you’ve got to learn when are their contracts coming up, if you can give them the max deal, give them an extension, all those types of things you’ve got to learn. It’s a lot of things, but I’m excited. I’ve been working on all of those things, and then meeting with the staff.”

Johnson played his entire career with Los Angeles, winning five championships from 1979-1991. He took over as the head coach of the Lakers for the 1993-1994 season, but he resigned after a 5-11 start.