Worth the read
Kupchak on the concept of tanking: "It's inconceivable to me that a general manager would try to convey that message to anybody."
Kupchak did acknowledge the distinction between "tanking" and "rebuilding," the latter of which is simply necessary in certain situations.
Kupchak discussed different ratios of trying to win this season vs. planning for next year. Can change by the week/month.
Kupchak declined to say what his current ratio is, but it could go from 90-10 in Nov. to 50-50 in Dec. to 20-80 by Feb., for example
Kupchak said the repeater tax is a "looming black cloud," but there's a big diff. between being a bit over the tax and millions over.
Kupchak on the 2014 Draft Class: "Right now, I would say one through 10 is as good as I've seen in a long time."
Kupchak said LAL made a conscious decision to mostly clear the books for 2014-15, not wanting several aging players on long-term deals.
They "broke ranks" to re-sign Kobe, "but we still feel like we have significant flexibility this summer and next summer," Kupchak said.
I asked Kupchak if they wanted to avoid committing a max deal to someone this summer they weren't fully sure they wanted: "That's right."
Not just free agency LAL looking forward to w/clean books, but ability to take on other players in trades, etc.. "Flexibility" the key word.
Kupchak on Kobe: "One of the premier free agents was going to be Kobe Bryant. He'll no longer be a free agent. We have acquired him."
Kupchak likes Marshall so far, but says you really can't evaluate an NBA player in only 4-5 games. You just know if you want to see more.
Kupchak on N. Young: "He's been great. Whatever he decides to do w/his opt out, we'd certainly like to see him be a Laker for a long time."
Here's the link for the entire Kupchak piece: http://on.nba.com/1cWGxTz He talks extensively about @paugasol at the end of the interview.
Read More here: http://www.nba.com/l...mitchkupchak_qa
Excerpt from his thoughts on tanking
MT: Particularly in recent years, there's been dialogue whether amongst fans or media members endorsing "tanking," or essentially losing on purpose to try and increase the number of lottery balls for draft prospects. How do the Lakers look upon that idea?
Kupchak: I've been here over 30 years, and it's never something that's been discussed or talked about. When we go into every season – like most organizations – we're excited about the season and think we can win a lot of games. Expectations vary, of course, but we are always going to do the best to win games that year, while also thinking about the following year. There is no way to believe that a team would, on purpose, do a terrible job in the summer and a terrible job in the draft because they want to lose games the next season. Now, I'm sure once the season begins and things go or don't go your way, the speculation as to what may happen if things continue may arise. We've been through years like that, and there's never been a discussion in midseason in this building where ownership would say, "It's best to lose." That's never taken place. Now, I don't even know how you convey that message to the coach if it were the goal. Coaches are defined by their record; it's intuitive that they do not want to lose. It's inconceivable to me that a general manager would try to convey that message to anybody. So it's never happened here and it never will. It's the worst message you can ever give to anybody.
MT: For the teams that are simply young and don’t know if they can win that season, is there a big difference between “tanking” and “rebuilding?”
Kupchak: There are certain teams with young players and assets with a goal to still win games, but they may remove themselves and say, realistically, we're probably going to be a sub-.500 team. That's different from tanking. Tanking is intentionally instructing the coach to lose, and that’s (not acceptable). Rebuilding is another matter.
Breaking down the "tax" that everyone is afraid of and how Mitch already has answers for it
MT: How much does the repeater tax penalty impact your thinking when considering the roster for this season and the coming two in particular?
Kupchak: You have to be out of the luxury tax in two out of five years to avoid a repeater penalty. If we stay in the tax this season, it will be three consecutive seasons as taxpayers. Now, how that impacts future decisions depends on the mechanics of each deal. Like anything else, if there is a debt that you have to pay, you'd like to get it behind you as soon as possible. But ownership here has never been afraid to be in the tax. If you're $30 million over the tax as a repeater, that's a tax bill of about $130 million. But if you're in the tax and it's only $1 million over, it's around $2.5 million. So you’re still a repeater in the latter situation, but that’s a big difference.
Hope you enjoy and can take a lot away from this, Mitch's working on something, he usually doesn't do so many Q&As so close to each other. Glad he intends on signing Nick Young to multiple years whether he opts out or not. I also like his perspective on the tax.
Mitch knows what he's doing, doubting him is idiotic imo.
Edited by Majesty, January 11, 2014 - 02:05 PM.