Magic Johnson is now free from the threat of being pulled up for tampering and can talk about any NBA player after quitting his post as the Los Angeles Lakers’ president of basketball operations earlier this year. The NBA legend may have left the Lakers but is keen to see his former franchise land the best players available in this summer free agent class.

The 59-year-old was instrumental in the Lakers signing LeBron James on a four-year deal last summer and wants the Lakers to target players on a similar level this summer. The 2019 free agency class is the best it has been in recent years with many elite level players likely to be looking for new homes.

Johnson wants the Lakers to target moves for Boston Celtics’ Kyrie Irving and Toronto Raptors' forward Kawhi Leonard. Both the players are certain to opt out of the final year of their deal with their current employers but are yet to indicate if they will leave or re-sign.

The former Laker, however, admits all teams will have a “Plan A and Plan B”. The first approach will be to the elite level players and failing to land any of them they will target the players next on the list.

“I would say Kawhi and Kyrie are the two guys,” Johnson said during his interview on ESPN’s “First Take” on Monday, as quoted on “One of those two.”

“I’m sure there’s a plan A, and there’s a plan B,” he added. “You go after the superstars, and then if that doesn’t happen, you pivot.”

Magic Johnson
Magic Johnson discusses the upcoming Los Angeles Lakers' season at UCLA Health Training Center in El Segundo, California, Sept. 20, 2018. Meg Oliphant/Getty Images

The Lakers are desperate to land a top free agent to help James get them back to winning ways after suffering a sixth straight season out of the playoffs. They have $32.5 million in max salary cap space going into the offseason and are hoping to land one of Irving, Leonard or Kevin Durant.

Johnson has made it clear that despite his acrimonious exit from the Lakers, he will always be committed to his former employers, and will help them recruit the best players. The former president of basketball operations who won five NBA championships with the Lakers said: “Listen, I’m a Laker, man, If they call me, I’m going.”

Apart from Irving, Leonard and Durant, the other members of the 2019 free agent class consist of Klay Thompson, Kemba Walker, Jimmy Butler, Khris Middleton and Tobias Harris among others.