HoopsHype Mitch Kupchak rumors

May 23, 2014 Updates

The Lakers are still early in the interviewing process, but Scott said he came away from the meeting feeling positive about his chances. "I left the room feeling pretty good about the way it went," he said. "I don't feel I'm a very arrogant guy, but I think that I am the perfect guy for this job. I've got a great relationship with Kobe. I know the team. I know the roster. I watched them all season long." Los Angeles Times

May 22, 2014 Updates

Scott interviewed with both Lakers general manager Mitch Kupchak and vice president of basketball operations Jim Buss on Tuesday, a development was first reported by ESPN. “I had a great time talking with those guys,” Scott said on SiriusXM NBA Radio with hosts Frank Isola and Malik Rose. “Obviously I go way back with Mitch. We were teammates for a while and won a couple of championships together, so it was good. That’s basically all I can tell you. It was good, I had a lot of fun talking to them. Hopefully we’ll be talking again soon and we’ll see what happens.” Los Angeles Daily News

May 21, 2014 Updates
May 17, 2014 Updates

Because of the rookie class’ potential, Kupchak said he may seek acquiring additional first-round draft picks. “We may look to get a pick some other way because we have guys we interviewed who aren’t going to be gone before the second round, but they’ll be around after (our current pick),” Kupchak said. “You only get so many assets in this league. Draft picks are an asset. There’s cap room, draft picks and players. Those are assets you can use to rebuild a team.” Long Beach Press-Telegram

Yet, Kupchak maintained his stance from last month’s exit meetings that the Lakers are open toward trading their current first-round pick should they find a suitable offer. “It may be a factor,” he said. “You can only trade a pick if you have a trading partner, too. So their willingness and what they would be willing to give up would be dependent on the pick.” Long Beach Press-Telegram

Bryant has recently alluded toward the Lakers’ failure to seek his approval on the last two coaching hires. The Lakers did not consult with Bryant on Brown. But Bryant reported in 2012 telling executive Jim Buss he considered D’Antoni his top choice before realizing Phil Jackson was a candidate. “The decisions will be made by Jim Buss, myself and the basketball operations people,” Kupchak said. “From time to time, I’ll go to Kobe and we talk about a lot of different things. But he will not make the decision, nor does he want to be part of hiring a coach.” Long Beach Press-Telegram

May 12, 2014 Updates

Q: You’ve been criticized for the contract extension that was given to Bryant. How does it factor into the way you build this team over the next two seasons, with salary cap implications and so on, and how would things look different if you’d given him less money? Mitch Kupchak: When we gave Kobe the extension, we took a lot of factors into consideration, including the factors you just mentioned. We felt it was the thing to do. We’re still in a position to be a big player in the free agent market. Signing Kobe when we did, we felt, gave us one of the top two or three free agents that would be available this summer. We had the rare opportunity to get that done and not have to wait until July 1. Everybody can debate whether they would have waited or not, but our mindset was: ‘This is somebody we can get done now, and we still have a chance to be a player financially with free agency.’ Cap space is valuable and you don’t want to misuse it. You do have to use it, but you don’t have to use it going forward unless you want to. NBA.com

Q: Does that pull any focus away from the draft? Mitch Kupchak: Yeah, but as you mentioned, May 20 is the lottery, and it’s hard to focus 100% on the draft until you know where you’re drafting. If the stars all line up and you get No. 1 instead of No. 9, there’s a difference, and it’s impossible to schedule workouts because the agents won’t cooperate until they know where you’re drafting. That part of it has proved uneventful, and probably won’t change until the 20th. We are working on setting up some interviews, and we’ve been successful, but you’re not going to really get moving on it until the agents know where you’re drafting. NBA.com

Q: So if an agent thinks his client is going to be drafted in the Top 3, he’s not going to arrange a workout with a team drafting sixth or seventh? Mitch Kupchak: That’s right. Every agent has a different approach to his player. For example, if he thinks his player is a top 10 or 15 pick, he may be happy with that and not work out for anybody. Having said that, players that may or may not be first round picks want to come work out, because they want to prove to you that they’re better than where they are projected. They may not be happy being a projected second round pick and feel they have nothing to lose. The draft order is the most important thing right now. NBA.com

Q: To shift over to the coaching vacancy, does having only three players on the roster right now for next season change how you approach the hire? Mitch Kupchak: You do take into consideration the make up of your roster. Although I won’t rule out hiring a coach prior to the lottery on May 20, I think it’s likely that we don’t, because that’s really the first step in terms of additional information for this franchise. Let’s find out what kind of pick we have. That may even help us decide what direction to go with for our coach. It will be a consideration. NBA.com

May 8, 2014 Updates

Williams cooled down the Lakers rumors, first reported by the Los Angeles Times earlier this week, by telling Fox Sports Radio host J.T. The Brick that he has no interest in following many of his former players into the NBA. “I’ve always felt that I’m a college coach and that’s where I belong,” he said. The UNC coach was asked about the Lakers job during an interview promoting an upcoming Coaches Vs. Cancer charity event in Las Vegas. The Lakers’ general manager Mitch Kupchak is a UNC graduate who has a close relationship with Williams. “Mitch Kupchak is one of my best friends in the whole wide world, there’s no question there. But I’m a college guy,” Williams said. “If somebody calls and offers me the greatest job in the world, it better be really good because I feel like I’ve got about the greatest job in the world.” Wilmington NC News

May 7, 2014 Updates
April 30, 2014 Updates
April 20, 2014 Updates

For her part, Jeanie uses the word "empowering" to describe the current situation with Jim, and Lakers General Manager Mitch Kupchak, trying to fix the basketball side of the franchise. "Jim has assured me that they have a plan in place, that the team will be better next year and we will be back in contention shortly," Jeanie said. "He's very confident in that plan and so I have to believe he knows what he's doing and what he's trying to accomplish. We have to be patient and give him that opportunity." Los Angeles Times

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