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Justin Verrier ESPN Staff Writer 

The Pelicans released the following statement from owner Tom Benson regarding the trade of DeMarcus Cousins: "I could not be more excited to add DeMarcus Cousins and Omri Casspi to the Pelicans. I know that everyone is thrilled with the anticipation of DeMarcus and Anthony (Davis) and Jrue (Holiday) and the rest of our team hitting the floor on Thursday night against the Houston Rockets. We are only a few games behind in the playoff hunt and I want to bring an NBA Championship to this city. I think this trade puts us in a position where we are now more improved and can make a run. The NBA All Star Weekend was a great weekend for New Orleans and Anthony was a worthy MVP, and then we topped it off with a trade for one of the best players in the NBA," said Tom Benson, Owner of the New Orleans Pelicans. "I was appreciative of Mickey (Loomis) for keeping me updated daily during the trade talks and I was 110% behind the decision. I hope all of our fans welcome DeMarcus and Omri with open arms to our great city."

Baxter Holmes ESPN Staff Writer 

Lakers president and co-owner Jeanie Buss on hiring Magic Johnson as president of basketball operations: "This isn't about going back to Showtime. We're not trying to turn back the clock. The Lakers have figured out how to win in every era and certainly, the game has evolved and the rules have changed and we know in our discussions about evolving with the game and looking at what the modern NBA is all about. This isn't about going to the past and recreating Showtime. You can't recreate Showtime…This is about the future and about finding the right team for the style that [Lakers head coach] Luke Walton wants to play." (Via Spectrum SportsNet)

Marc Stein ESPN Senior Writer 

The one move widely expected from the Lakers' Magic Johnson-led front office this week is trading Lou Williams. No need for LW when tanking

Ramona Shelburne @ramonashelburne

The Lakers have had discussions with sports agent Rob Pelinka about becoming their new GM. I'm told this could happen in next few days.

Tom Haberstroh @tomhaberstroh

Since rewarding Kobe Bryant --who was rehabbing from a torn Achilles-- with NBA's richest contract, the Lakers are 84-220, 2nd-worst in NBA.

Chris Haynes ESPN Staff Writer 

Toronto Raptors will assign rookie forward Pascal Siakam to D-League's Raptors 905 this week, league sources tell ESPN.