Lakers GM Mitch Kupchak sat down to talk trades and the state of the team!
Lakers.com: With the Feb. 18 trade deadline approaching steadily, we sat down with Lakers General Manager Mitch Kupchak to get his perspective on the current mindset of the franchise.
Kupchak offered his analysis of Ron Artest’s progress, shared his thoughts on Kobe Bryant’s similarities to Jerry West and his view of Bryant playing through injuries, and discussed whether or not the next NBA Collective Bargaining Agreement impacted his current decision making.
Below is the transcript of our conversation:
MT: Clearly this is a championship caliber team, but with the trade deadline approaching, we have the requisite question regarding whether or not you’re looking to make any minor tweaks to the roster?
Kupchak: Our team hasn’t aged significantly in one year, and the one change we made (Ron Artest – Trevor Ariza) arguably could make us a better team … we don’t know until the season is over. We’re happy going into the postseason with this group intact, but we have until the 17th to look at ways to improve the team via a trade. I don’t anticipate anything major with our core group. However, we’ll look at ways to better manage our roster. A word that is always used is ‘tweak’, you used it yourself; I don’t know how you define that, but it could be something that makes a difference. But again, I don’t anticipate any of our core players being involved in anything prior to the trade deadline.
MT: Is it fair to say that a tweak could be motivated by both on-court and salary-based considerations?
Kupchak: What we would look to do is put the organization in a better place to win, and there are a lot of ways to do that. That may mean this year, by trading a player for a player, or next year or the year after that because you better managed your salaries today and that puts you in a better position a year from now to sign a player. Everything we do is geared towards putting the organization in a better position to win, whether that’s for this year, this summer or next year, I don’t know right now. It’s hard to judge what’s going to happen in the next 12 days or so.