HoopsHype Mitch Kupchak rumors

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May 24, 2015 Updates
May 23, 2015 Updates

Late last season, Los Angeles Lakers coach Byron Scott spoke of Lakers rookie guard Jordan Clarkson in the same breath as Oklahoma City star guard Russell Westbrook, saying that while Clarkson wasn't on the same level, he did at least play a similar style and have similar athleticism. Now Lakers general manager Mitch Kupchak is making the same argument. "If there’s a player in the league that plays like him, it’s Russell Westbrook," Kupchak said during a Thursday radio appearance with ESPN's Colin Cowherd. "Now, I’m not saying for a second that Jordan Clarkson is the next Russell Westbrook, but he’s that kind of a ball-handling guard. ESPN.com

May 22, 2015 Updates

In radio appearances Thursday, Lakers general manager Mitch Kupchak discussed the draft pick and what the Lakers might do with it, although he pointed out that it’s still early, that they’re still fielding calls from teams interested in the pick and that they still must work out and interview draft prospects in the coming weeks. “It looks as though we’ll use our pick this year,” Kupchak said during a radio appearance with ESPN’s Colin Cowherd. ESPN.com

Kupchak didn’t commit to the idea that the Lakers would be taking a center, but his comments certainly leaned that way. “Clearly, at the top of the draft at this time, there are two bigs, and we have the second pick,” Kupchak told Cowherd. Of course, which center the Lakers might select depends on who is available. At the moment, the Minnesota Timberwolves hold the first pick and it appears as though the Lakers will need only to choose whichever center the Timberwolves don’t take, meaning they’ll end up with either Towns or Okafor. ESPN.com

That said, he admitted the team has had recent success with draft picks. The Lakers have built a core of young talent, specifically with guard Jordan Clarkson, who was recently named to the All-Rookie first team, and forward Julius Randle, the team’s seventh overall pick out of Kentucky in the 2014 draft who broke his leg in the team’s first game last season. “If we do end up using this pick in the draft, and let’s just assume we get a big player – which if you look at our roster, you might say, well, that’s what they need -- then you can say, hey, they have three young players going forward that might be fun to build around,” Kupchak said during an appearance on SiriusXM NBA Radio with hosts Rick Fox and Jared Greenberg. ESPN.com

May 21, 2015 Updates

Kupchak went on Fox Sports Radio with host Bill Reiter (audio here) and addressed the rumors: I saw something about that this morning, and my first thought was, ‘Let me call [Lakers coach] Byron [Scott] and let him know that the agents are doing their job, and pay no attention.’ Not that I think Byron reads any of that stuff, but someone may call him and say ‘Hey, guess what I just read?’ Nothing to it. We’re incredibly happy with Byron. That’s what representatives and agents do. They try to create a marketplace for their guy, and I’m not saying that’s exactly what happened here, but we’re very, very happy with Byron, and after I hang up with you I’m going to call him or text him. NBCSports.com

The Lakers will look at dynamic Ohio State point guard D'Angelo Russell but preliminary indications are they want to go big, The Times has learned. In fact, General Manager Mitch Kupchak is fond of saying that a good big man is often more valuable than a good little man. The similarities between Okafor and Towns end after their height and age — they're each 6 feet 11 and the 19-year-olds declared for the June 25 NBA draft after their freshman seasons. Los Angeles Times

May 19, 2015 Updates
May 18, 2015 Updates
May 15, 2015 Updates
April 28, 2015 Updates

If you've arrived at the completely logical party, hosted by the estimable Dallas Mavericks coach Rick Carlisle, that Rajon Rondo shall not be welcome on your team under any circumstances at any price tag, it's probably for the best. Lakers co-owner Jim Buss and general manager Mitch Kupchak, however, are not there. So there remains a distinct possibility in today's space-and-shoot NBA that the Los Angeles Lakers will be the torchbearers for the old school and sign the pass-first (nay, pass-only) Rondo to a free-agent contract this summer. But what should be made clear, according to team sources, is that Buss is not the believer he was earlier in the season when it comes to Rondo, and Kupchak is toting enough healthy skepticism that he sees Rondo as value only at a certain low price. Bleacher Report

April 18, 2015 Updates

In regards to the Lakers' philosophy for rebuilding, Kupchak said, "Our basic philosophy is to use the three tools available to us -- that's the ability to make a trade, the draft and cap room during the offseason. There's no way to etch a plan in stone that you know you can execute. You don't know who's going to be in the draft and we don't know which free agents are going to be free agents. "A lot of them don't have to declare until June 30. All you can do is set yourself up. We feel that we are set up to take advantage of all three of those ways to improve the team." ESPN.com

Kupchak acknowledged that the Lakers really don't know how free agents this summer will respond to the expected "windfall" in 2016 free agency. It might make sense to re-sign with existing teams on one-year deals and enjoy the deep 2016 market, limiting the Lakers' spending options this summer. "You really have to change the way you think about valuing players," Kupchak said. "A player today who is a $5 million player may be a $9 million player just a year from now. And that could be hard for a lot of people to wrap their arms around." Bleacher Report

The 76ers' rebuilding approach is one of the most aggressive and controversial in professional sports -- and Lakers general manager Mitch Kupchak doesn't appear to be much of a fan. "I still don't understand what they're doing," Kupchak said Thursday at the Lakers' practice facility, where the team conducted exit interviews after its 2014-15 season ended the day before. ESPN.com

April 16, 2015 Updates

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