Mitch Kupchak is known as a man who can get any deal done. After all, he managed to land Dwight Howard… and Steve Nash… in the same off-season. However, when he made those deals, I seriously doubt he believed they would produce these kind of early returns. As much as we want (and try) to evaluate this team now, it’s impossible to judge a team without all its pieces together, as Steve Nash and Pau Gasol remain sidelined.
December 15th is the first day in which teams can trade and move players that they may have signed in the offseason. Here’s what Mitch had to say regarding that,
If you’re happy with your team, then the date doesn’t mean much although you will probably get calls anyway,” Kupchak said Monday in a phone interview with this newspaper. “If you’re not happy with your team, you’ll make calls.”
Mitch clearly isn’t proud of the record the Lakers have managed to earn this season, and neither is anyone else who follows them. D’Antoni is way under .500 since becoming head coach and he has also shown disappointment with the record so far.
He’s not happy with the record he’s had since he’s been here,” Kupchak said. “But there’s been clearly an uptick in the tempo of the game and that’s something we were looking for.”
Mitch has made it clear that they are sticking with D’Antoni and no changes to his coaching job will be in the near future. Pau Gasol has also been in many discussions regarding the Lakers recently, as his play has suffered in D’Antoni’s new system. Mitch addressed the Pau rumors with a blanket statement:
“That has always been the plan,” Kupchak said. “Nothing has happened to change the plan.” (More regarding what Mitch said can be found here.)
It’s obvious that the Lakers have been a huge disappointment so far this season, and absolutely no one is thrilled with the product they are seeing on a nightly basis. Even so, it appears that D’Antoni’s job is safe, and Pau isn’t going to be moved. It makes sense that Mitch wants to see how the team reacts to getting Steve Nash back before he does anything drastic.
There’s no question the Lakers will improve when Nash returns, but history indicates that it will take some time for everyone to make adjustments. In the meantime, we can only sit back and hope they can turn it around, and most importantly, return to that championship form we all envisioned in October.