MT: Can you take us through your negotiations with Bynum’s agent leading up to the Oct. 31st NBA-mandated deadline?
Kupchak: Early on in the summer Andrew’s representative and myself did talk about the process, and basically what we both agreed on was the fairest thing for both parties would be to negotiate after (Bynum) was back on the court and has shown that he’s healthy, and also that he can get back to the level of play he was playing at in January. It’s not a process that could continue into the season, but where you have until Oct. 31 (due to the deadline). Keeping that in mind, there was some urgency to get something done with both parties feeling as if they had all the information they needed.
MT: So it was clear that both sides felt that they had seen enough, particularly regarding Bynum’s health?
Kupchak: We wanted to be comfortable, and Andrew wanted to be comfortable that he’s playing at peak condition so that he could negotiate best. We both got to the point where we felt we had the necessary information that we needed before the 31st and I think (Bynum) felt as if he was playing well enough to make a deal.
MT: Would waiting until the end of the season, when Bynum would have been a restricted free agent – allowing other teams to make him offers and the Lakers to match – have been a feasible option?
Kupchak: There are plusses and minuses from both viewpoints for the player and the team to doing something now vs. waiting until the summer, and both sides have to weigh that. If it’s aligned fairly, you can get a deal done.