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Los Angeles Lakers VIDEOS

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

Los Angeles Lakers general manager Mitch Kupchak said star guard Kobe Bryant has told the GM that the 2015-16 season will be Bryant's last with the Lakers. "He has indicated to me that this is it," Kupchak said Thursday in a radio appearance with SiriusXM NBA Radio. ESPN.com

Bryant is scheduled to make a league-high $25 million in his final contract season -- his 20th -- with the Lakers. But there's speculation that Bryant could play beyond next season, and Bryant said he hasn't ruled out that possibility. "I think first and foremost, he's on the last year of a deal," Kupchak told SiriusXM NBA Radio. "There have been no discussions about anything going forward. I don't think there will be." ESPN.com

"I think it is clear," Kupchak said. "He's on the last year of his deal. There have been no discussions [about playing beyond next season]. He hasn't indicated that he wants to continue to play. "But if there is a player out there like that, that won't come here for that reason, then we don't want them. Every great player is demanding and focused, and if you don't want to play for a guy like him that's driven to do nothing but win championships and work hard, then you shouldn't be here. You should go someplace else." ESPN.com

May 21, 2015 Updates

There’s a long list of teams already prepared to pursue Carroll this summer, including the Celtics, Lakers and Pistons. He boosted his scoring average from 12.6 points to 16.2 before the injury, and was shooting 51.3 percent from the field and 41.6 percent from the 3-point line. The Hawks want to keep Carroll, but his price has been driven up. With his defense and versatility, one league exec estimated his next deal at more than $15 million per year. Sporting News

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

 

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