cupcake.O.C. Register: It was appropriate in light of the Lakers’ offseason headaches concerning Kobe Bryant: A bottle of aspirin was sitting on Mitch Kupchak’s desk.

Kupchak, the Lakers’ general manager, discussed the team Tuesday and explained how aggressive he has been in the trade market, though he declined to answer specific questions about Bryant. Since the Lakers’ season ended, Bryant has demanded immediate upgrades to the roster, lobbied for Jerry West to return to front-office power over Kupchak and Jim Buss and asked to be traded.

“I think enough has been said,” Kupchak said of Bryant’s situation.

Despite all styles of conjecture, the Lakers do not intend to trade Bryant, the NBA’s leading scorer the past two seasons, and still hope to make peace with him.

Kupchak was pointed, however, in saying he has been working to find a good move — presumably one that would help appease Bryant and make the Lakers more immediate title contenders.

“I would say we’ve been more aggressive than we’ve ever been,” Kupchak said.

Continue reading ‘Kupchak trying to upgrade Lakers’

  • Just_A_Laker_Fan

    I won’t believe Mitch until I see him with another players holding his Laker Jersey in the local news sports……

  • lakerfan81

    Everyone is saying we could have had Boozer. According to him and his agent LA was never considered. Besides that its easy to say that now after how well he played this year and in the playoffs but when he was available he was just an unproven player that had been injured basically his entire career up until that point. So people need to drop that. Also Artest was available but hes psychotic and was a huge risk that at the time the lakers were not (and probably should not have been) willing to take. I don;t know about Baron davis though. Maybe they could have gotten him. But just because Kobe says they could have does not make it true.

  • Justin M.

    Im bored of all this stuff. When something really happens ill be hyped up again. till then piece out.

  • Justin M.

    Tired of rumors, ill start commenting again when actual moves are made. Peace

  • gcdeen

    We can still push for Artest and I think we should regardless of his off the court antics. He’s a proven defender and scorer. Just imagine him and Kobe on defense, no one would get to the interior. And then have someone like JO to provide the weakside or center defense, we’d lead the league in defense. I see a lot of potential trades that don’t make sense, but here’s mine to make the Lakers a contender once again.

    1. Maurice Williams for the mid level exemption ( 5 years, $30m) For those of you that don’t know him, check out his stats, he’s 17 ppg, 6 assists a game.
    2. J. O’Neal for Lamar and Bynum 2 second round picks or #19 pick.
    3. Artest for Brown and #19 pick or 2 second round picks.
    4. Bonzi Wells and Luther Head for Brian Cook and Sasha Vujacic (in the works according to Pincus on hoopsworld.com)
    5. Kobe stays a Laker

    Everyone thinks offense, this team would be SIZZACK on defense. Defense wins championships! We have more than enough scorers w/ Kobe and new players. We still have Luke, Mo Evans and Turiaf off the bench. I should be the GM, not that bozo Kupchak! Lakers for life!

    GC Deen

  • lakerfan81

    GC Deen

    The only problem with what you are saying is that it leaves nothing else besides what you have listed. You have no PF. Are you going to start Vlade at PF? Its not a sure thing that Mihm can play again. So you have no C if you start JO at PF. You’d have a great Starting 5 (4?) but you would not have any back up in the front court. What are you going to do if JO gets injured or picks up 6 fouls against Duncan or Yao. It won’t work. 1,2 and 4 work. I think a team of:

    PG: Mo williams
    SG: Kobe
    SF: Wells or walton
    PF: JO
    C: Brown/ Mihm (mihm if he can play again)

    Bench: Walton head farmar Turiaf Evans
    possibly could contend. This is risky as you are tying up all your cap room for 3 or 4 more years. Now if you could get some dumb GM to take Vlade contract ( though I aomong many other people thought it was a good sign at the time) for some expiring contracts than you will havbe more space next off season to work with.

    Here is the thing with everyone trying to play GM. I will give a couple of rules for a Good GM. (i.e West, paxson (though wallace gets paid way too much), whoever the spurs GM is).

    1. With the salary cap as it is now Only franchise players should get max salaries. Here are the players in the leauge right now that are franchise players. Kobe, Duncan, James, Wade, Nowitzki, Nash, probably Yao Garnett though he is getting old and will probably take a smaller contract after next season. In the future maybe Howard, Bosh, after Duncan leaves maybe Parker.
    2. All-star caliber players should not get more than 8-13 mil a year these players include JO (probably in the higher range) Odom (as talented as he is should only be making 8-9 million), ginobili (8-9), bibby (8-9), Artest (8-9 even if he is psychotic), Marion (should only be making (9-10), Amare (should only be making 10-12 right now later he might be a franchise player), Lewis (8-9 he is not a franchise player) etc. etc.
    3. It is probably better to have one franchise player and good quality role players (a la spurs) then it is two have max salary players (unless its someone as dominant as Shaq and Kobe were).
    4. don’t make any trades that pick up other teams garbage contracts unless you are getting a player that automatically makes you a contender. For example the proposed trade of JO and foster for JO, Bynum and Brown (the dumbest trade ever suggested).
    5. If you can not contend for a title and are way over the salary cap do not trade for long expensive contracts. Trade for cap space and young talented players. For example the lakers when they traded shaq should have taken less talent in return but got a bunch of expiring contracts If they had done that they would have more cap space right now and wouldn’t be in this mess they are in now. Once you have cleared cap space and developed you young talent then you can try to get a franchise player in FA or two solid all star caliber players.

    the problem with most GM is that they are willing to sign players to too large of contracts just to get them to play their. For example Bibby, and lewis will probably be signed to contracts that are much too expensive. If a marquee player wants to big of a contract then pass him by and sign a lesser name for a smaller one.

    Heres some advice for future franchise players who will be seeking huge contracts in a couple of years (James and wade). If you really want to win do not take a max salary drop a few million dollars (make 13-15 million instead of 19-20) that way your team has room to get good players around you.

    Here once again is probably the best thought out description of the options that the lakers have right now.

    http://www.forumblueandgold.com/2007/06/17/kobe-or-not-to-kobe/

  • kb2481

    all u guys whappin abut is get kq and keep odom get kg and keep odom

    well am $%@! tired of hearin that if l awantsd kg they hav eto and will put lo in that trade cause minisota wont except more crap kwame bynum 19th pick and radam for kg thats just like putting more crap on a team thats already crapped out

  • kb2481

    so i dont want anymore of u dumbasses to say get kq and keep odom or else u guys are assholes

  • Ricky

    lets get some thing done as soon as possible, i am optimistic the lalkers will come out alright at the start of next season.

    come on mitch, you can do it! at least give your best effort man hehe :)

  • Kobe_Fan24

    I have to agree gcdeen on the trades he listed. I think the houston trade is good for us because brian cook sucks and vujacic is just an average defender with a three point shot. but in return we get luther head who could shoot the lights out and a good player in wells if he plays the way he did for sactown. Kwame for artest and picks is good. If we dont get jo(i dont think its happening because mitch doesnt want to deal bynum and odom) so that might be out of the picture. I could see mo williams signing for the mid-leveL(if not then dont forget bibby is out there for a cheap price and could be packaged to LA with artest for kwame,luke,mo and a 2nd round pick). I also agree with lakerfan81 on Gms. a team should not pay to much for a playe(like the ones he listed). Players should be smart enough and take less money to get better talent around them. These changes would mean getting at least past the first round and the ability to go all the way. LAKERS FO MAKE SOMETHING HAPPEN ALREADY DAMMIT. IM TIRED OF WAITING I WANT TO SEE CHANGES NOW.

  • gcdeen

    hey lakerfan81,

    thanks for the educated reply. most people on the blog spit out junk like this kb2481 guy who can’t spell worth a damn. I realize there are cap issues. I’m banking on Mihm coming back in July like he said on Lakers.com, although this may not be realistic. I believe he also said that he would play for low dollars since he felt he “owed” the franchise. Turiaf is similar. Yeah, realistically, maybe my dream team doesn’t work but it’s always nice to have high hopes for the Lakers.

    Another problem I see w/ my scenario is the fact that we would have a lot of expiring contracts of O’Neal, Kobe, Wells and Artest, we’d be well over the cap in a few years.

    The biggest questions that remain are, why did we trade Butler for Brown? And why didn’t we void out Radmanovic’s contract when we had the chance after that snowboarding thing? Yeah, I may not have all the $ figured out but I sure as heck could have figured out these 2 decisions.

    I just hope the Lakers do something and do it soon. If we don’t see moves by July 1st, we might as well pack Kobe’s bags.

    Why aren’t we looking at Randolph? Gasol has better numbers than O’Neal also.

  • Ricky

    i have been proposing the lakers and pacers deal for as long as i heard it has existed. i truly believe that the lakers should negotiate a deal with the pacers to acquire jermaine o’neal. what the lakers need to do is package andrew bynum, kwame brown, vladimir radmanovic and the 19th pick for jermaine and possibly a low-salary player (orien greene) whatever the lakers do, they must keep odom!! phil really likes odom and lamar is capable of doing things most players his size cannot, therefore his versatility is invaluable to the lakers. then the lakers need to address their pg predicament. i think they should use their mle to sign mo williams. he plays well, he’s young and averages 17 ppg and 6 apg. the brian cook for luther head trade rumor sounds inticing cause the lakers need a guard, he is a good shooter, and can score in bunches. the only problem i have with this trade is it leaves the lakers short at the 4 spot. i think that if lakers management (kupchak) can actually try a bit harder in negotiating, then i believe the lakers can tweak the roster enough to have them become contenders once again.

    some proposed trades:

    1. jermaine o’neal and orien green for bynum, brown, radmanovic, 19th pick

    2. cook for head and filler since heads contract will not match cook’s.

    3. brown and 19th pick for artest

    4. use mle on veteran pg

    lakers tentative roster

    C: o’neal, mihm
    F: odom, turiaf, cook (possible trade for head)
    F: walton, radmanovic??
    G: kobe, evans, head
    G: williams, farmar, sasha

  • gcdeen

    Sounds ok, probably not a contender however. I can’t whole heartedly endorse Lamar. Although he played well in the playoffs, he won’t win games for us. He just doesn’t have the killer instinct which makes him the mediocre player that he is. His inconsistency killed us for at least 5 to 10 games this past year plus he’s very injury prone and makes too much money. I say dump him.

    So many possibilities, I hope Mitch does better than he’s done in the past. Everyone knows he can’t see talent. Look at Radman, Sasha, Brown, Shammond who?, oh, and don’t ever forget Brian Grant. In fact, has any of his draft selections or trades made an all star team? Remember the good ole days when Jerry West was making all these decisions for us.

    Bynum. I agree w/ Kobe’s supposed digital camera interview, ship his azz out of here, we should have gotten Kidd! Kobe may bitch a lot but his words speak the truth.

  • kb2481

    gcdeen

    u r one of those assholes

  • kb2481

    thats makes 2 ppl on my list

  • kb2481

    also u should get alife

  • kb2481

    not be a gm for lakers cause u asshole who would except J. ONeal for Lamar and Bynum 2 second round picks or #19 pick. forget jo just trade those and other ppl for kg way better scorer rebounder and blocker plus kg doesnt get injured alot u got it all wrong

  • gcdeen

    hey kb2481,

    obviously we all want kg otherwise we wouldn’t be on this site. however, everyone and their mama knows that he’s a pipe dream. by the way, speaking of mama’s, yo mama! peezout!

  • kb2481

    by the way, speaking of mamas, yo mama!

    ya when u said tat i felt srry for u u dont got a mom

    u just want a mommy pllz bitch dont try to change the subject if u cant talk dont talk caus eu kno shit abt lakers allright

    next time keep u trap shut

  • http://gunit.com gggunit

    fack kobe fack the world D WADE in da house

  • lakersforlife77

    We better make atleast one move on or before draft day or we are in some deep shit.

  • lakersforlife77

    kb2481, no need to insult gcdeen, after all his suggestion is practical and yours is fantasy. Sorry guys but we’re not getting kevin garnett. I would love to get kg but it’s not going to happen until kevin garnett pushes himself to get out of minnesota, and if he does he won’t be coming to the lakers. But also, Jermaine Oneal is not a good pick up if we have to give up odom you’re right about that kb2481, you just could’ve said it in a lighter tone.

  • rmeazy82

    Can Kupcheck just make a move? I dont give a shit about what he got to say he been talking the last 3 seasons I want to see something happen. When I say that I don’t mean the free agent signing of anonther arron mckie, or shamond williams, or vladimir i want someone who will make a MAJOR IMPACT! Make it happen for once Kupcheck

  • lakersforlife77

    Next week is going to be a big week, leading into draft day, we’ll have to see what happens. All I know is they better make a move, even if it is that oneal trade, which I don’t think is that significant of an upgrade, but even so they have to make a move, the future of the lakers depends on it.

  • lakerfan81

    Lakersforlife77 you can not make trades that eat cap space and don’t make the team better. By doing that you are basically destroying the teams future for many many years. If you are to make moves that do not make the team better they have to clear up a whole bunch of cap space as quickly as possible (by next offseason). Apart from building a team that can contend right away that is the only way to save the teams future. So you can not overpay for someone just to appease Kobe.

  • kgmvp

    I just hope that Mitch Kupchack make great off season moves

  • kb2481

    am a very big kobe fan but i like lakers too and i think lets trade kobe to chicago. ok now all the la fans hate me but listen to dis

    if we trade kobe rad and 19th pick for deng duhon thomas brown and 9th pick then we will have
    mo will
    mo evens
    lo
    deng
    pj

    bench
    farmar
    shasha walton
    thomas
    turiaf
    duhron
    mihm
    9th pick plus shamond and 2nd rounder pick
    kwame

    good for next years playoffs going to secound round but next year
    08-09

    wave shasha shamond kwame contract and have much cap room and the free agentswill be great cause all these ppl are free agent kg brand kidd baron davis gilbert areans jo maggete
    then sign kg or areans or baron davis and then ull have

    mo will
    baron or arenas
    lo
    deng
    kq

    bench
    farmar
    walton
    evens
    turiaf
    pj
    mihm thomas
    duhan 9th pick and 2nd rounder plus sign veteran players

    then champions for 3-4 years

    watto u say la fans good enough
    for me its great building a great young team

    6-7 years later it will be

    mo will
    arenas or baron
    lo
    deng
    thomas

    bench
    farmar
    turiaf
    evens
    9th pick and 2nd rounder
    mihm
    and other picks
    walton

  • punkjones

    There goes Kupchak with another incredibly inspiring interview. Is it over yet? Am I still asleep? He continues to amaze with the absolute lack of confidence he instills in all Laker fans and players. How can one guy be so boring? It’s hard to fathom. I think I’d rather have a conversation with Danny Ainge. Ouch. Will someone please get rid of this guy? Isn’t his contract expiring soon?

  • punkjones

    BTW –
    I agree for the most part with GCDeen. I like where you’re coming from and I’m thinking the same things. Only thing I would say is keep Brown. I know he’s a cake-throwing, no offense, bad hands knucklehead, but he is a hell of a low post defender and we’re going to need that in the west, period. You trade Lamar and Bynum for JO straight up, you take Luther Head for Brian Cook (or Wells too and get rid of Sasha, whatever it takes), and trade Walton straight up for Artest. Supposedly Kings wanted (according to Charlie Rose) both Bynum and Walton for Artest. If Bynum is off the table, traded to Indy for JO, then you revisit with just Walton. I don’t see how the Kings would not do that deal. Walton has value. Artest is destroying their team. I don’t think they’re going to ge better value than Luke Walton for Artest, period.

    As you said, Artest, Head, Kobe, JO in the starting lineup is intense. Add Brown at center and you’re really talking about something. That is a one hell of a daunting defensive line up. Nobody’s going into that lane with Artest, JO and Brown setting up in there. That is sick!! So much better than what we have right now it’s not even funny. Mihm can be resigned for backup. Whether he can play or not remains to be seen. In the interim, Turiaf is a hell of a backup for 4 or 5.

    All of you saying not to do a deal if LO has to go are barking up the wrong tree. LO is nice, but he’s fool’s gold on the Lakers. He has a ton of talent but shows only brief flashes of it. JO is a huge upgrade at power forward. Don’t tell me about the numbers. JO is a legitimate scoring threat, LO is consistently inconsistent on offense. LO has no go to move whatsoever. Drive left. Miss the layup. Charge in the last two minutes of the game. Really now. We’ve watched him on the Lakers with Kobe for three years running. Someone dare to tell me that it’s working.

  • lakerfan81

    The problem with any of these trades is that if Kobe still wants to leave then you are stuck with huge salaries for the next 3 years and will basically one of the worst teams in the league. High risk, high reward. But the laker management needs to really think about what they do. If Kobe is going to leave anyways (I honestly have no idea you can’t take anything said in the media as fact it is all rumors trying to be passed as facts to make money)then trading Bynum and Odom for JO would be disastrous, picking up Artest would also be disastrous but not as big a problem as picking up JO. So there are pros and cons to any available option.

    Option 1. Try to appease Kobe and bring in O’neal or artest (or both if possible, which is doubtful) pick up a PG or Veteran for the MLE.
    Pros: Might calm Kobe down (if he is still as upset as the media is trying to make him sound) Might be able to contend next season.
    Cons: tying up the teams financial situation for years and years and trading aways the teams building talent for the future. If Kobe still wants to leave you’d basically have to have a fire sale next off season to try and get as much cap space as quickly as possible.

    option 2: Make small trades, like the cook and sasha for Head and Wells. If you could unload Vlade contract for cap space that would be even better. Hope Bynum develops really fast. Decide whether to use the MLE to sign a FA.
    Pros: Get to keep Kobe for at least one more season (the only way hes getting traded is if He refuses to play and if he does I say Dr. Buss calls his bluff). The lakers were playing great at the beginning of the season then everyone hot injured. I don’t think they were as good as their record indicated but they were close. Making a couple small trades and assuming development from younger players the lakers would be better. Also get to keep your young talent in Bynum and Farmar.
    Cons: You still probably wouldn’t contend. Then you’d have to have a fire sale with Kobe to get as much cap space as quickly as possible.

    option 3. Trade Kobe. If you do this you have to not try to get equal talent in return. First of all thats not possible and you don’t want to repeat the Grant mistake so don’t take any big contracts.
    Pros: If done properly you could clear up to 20-30 million in cap space in 2008 to pick up a free agent and you would still get to develop Bynum, Farmar, Walton and whatever young talent you got in return for Kobe.
    Cons: no Kobe, no Kobe, no Kobe. I could keep repeating that but you get the point. Who would you market to sell the seats, you would probably have to lower prices, But people still went to watch the lakers when they had Van exel and Divac.

    Obviously option 1 should and probably is what the lakers are trying to do. But before you trade all your young talent away for a huge contract you have to know for sure what Kobe’s intentions are. If hes leaving anyways then its not worth it.

    Apart from option 1 option 3 makes the most sense from a basketball point of view but it doesn’t make since from a business point of view (at least in the immediate future). since this is a business I don’t see the Buss’s even considering option 3 right now.

    So that leaves option 1 and 2. They are both risky and it all depends on what Kobe wants to do. If he’s leaving no matter what then I say go with 2. But I don’t think anyone knows what Kobe’s going to do (not even Kobe). But right now the laker management holds all the cards not Kobe. After next season he has more leverage but right now he does not. The lakers will probably do option 1. But they need to look into every possibility not just JO. They need to look at other trade possibilities such as Garnett, Artest, Bibby, Gasol, randolph, Camby (though I don’t think he is available). They have to find the best trade possible, one that will appease Kobe and still leave some kind of financial future for the team.

    So what should the lakers do? As Bob Dylan said “the answer my friend is blowing in the wind”.

  • somelakerfan1

    i agree with kb2481 with tradin kobe to chicago. if he wants to win let him go to chicago and let him win there
    we will get some good players like deng thomas and pj probablly will make it to the playoffs then next year with the big free agensy we could get kg plus baron or gilbert then will have

    mo will
    gilbert or baron
    deng
    lo
    kg

    bench
    farmar
    shasha mo evens
    thomas walton
    turiaf
    pj
    mihm bymun brown

    very very good championship team probaly we could do 3 in a row again

  • rmeazy82