As he spent his childhood admiring Magic Johnson for delivering five NBA championships to the Showtime Lakers, it became “very special” for Lakers forward Tarik Black to have a face-to-face meeting with the team’s president of basketball operations. But instead of becoming either star struck or intimidated sitting in his idol’s presence, Black used his exit meeting last week to have “real conversations” both with Johnson, general manager Rob Pelinka and Lakers coach Luke Walton.

So, the inquisitive Black asked Johnson and Pelinka a series of detailed questions regarding himself. The most pointed one: “Where do you see me in five years as a player?” Because of how Johnson and Pelinka answered his questions, including that one, Black walked away the meeting expressing confidence he will remain on the Lakers for the 2017-18 season.

“I don’t know what kind of story will be created if I sat here and said no,” Black said. “That’s a given and the honest truth. I believe I will be. But once again the NBA is passion, basketball, business. You can’t avoid that.”

Black also cannot avoid the reality that he has a non-guaranteed contract with the Lakers for next season worth $6.65 million. With the Lakers (26-56) finishing the 2016-17 season with the NBA’s third-worst record, Pelinka and Johnson have both suggested they will seek to retain the majority of their young roster while becoming aggressive during trade and free agency talks. The Lakers also will have clarity on their summer rebuilding project once on May 16 during the NBA draft lottery. Then, the Lakers will find out if they can keep their top-three protected pick otherwise owed to Philadelphia as part of that Steve Nash deal.