L.A. Times: Kobe Bryant is trying to nail down a second consecutive most-valuable-player trophy, but he won’t be the only one in the Lakers’ franchise considered for an award.

General Manager Mitch Kupchak and Coach Phil Jackson will get some support for executive of the year and coach of the year, respectively.

“We’ll finish up either with the best or second-best record in the league,” forward Lamar Odom said. “They did their jobs.”

Kupchak presided over the trades for Pau Gasol and Trevor Ariza last season, not to mention the drafting of Andrew Bynum with the 10th overall pick in 2005.

Kupchak, in his ninth season as the head of basketball operations for the Lakers, has never won the award, which is determined by a vote of about 125 media members. Kupchak finished second last season to Boston’s Danny Ainge.

Jackson has won nine NBA championships but has been coach of the year only once in his 18-year career, when the Chicago Bulls went a record-setting 72-10 on the way to the 1996 NBA championship.

Continue reading ‘Phil Jackson and Mitch Kupchak could be in line for awards’

  • John

    I honestly think the GM of the year award should go to the Denver Nuggets Gm for making the Iverson/Billups trade earlier this season. It has really turned the franchise around. For coach of the year it will probably go to Mike Brown of the cavs or Van Gundy of the Magic. Everyone expected the lakers to be one of the best teams in the league, but I don’t think many people thought that the Cavs would be this good.

  • Smush Walton

    What specifically has Mitch done for this year?
    Unloading Vlad Rad for Shannon Brown and Adam Morrison.
    I applaud this move as just getting rid of the Space Cadet was a huge improvement, but unfortunately Phil does not play these guys. I think he needs to give more of Jordan’s minutes to Brown! Sun Yue? He should have been playing full time from day one in the D league! He is a major project!

    Seems to me other teams (Cleveland, Denver) made significant moves to improve this year whereas Mitch for the most part “stayed the course” with Luke, Jordan and Sasha. The fact of the matter is that Mitch would not have made the trade for Pau Gasol if Bynum had not gotten hurt last year and I think we all know where we would be right now without Pau! Personally I would give Mitch the Clouseau award as he stumbled into a great trade (Pau). Now if he can somehow package up Luke, Jordan, and/or Sasha and get a consistent player, preferable a legitimate point guard of the future (not like Farmar who is a turnover machine with a poor shot and no D), then I would definitely give Mitch GM of the year!

  • Michael_23

    It’s probably going to be the GM of Denver whoever that is landing Billups.

  • Smush Walton

    Mitch was asleep at the wheel when James Posey was available. He snoozed while Billups was on the block. When Mo Williams was looking for a home Mitch was out to lunch.

    How long did Mitch sign Walton for – 6 years? And who was it that drafted Farmar? I believe that would Mitch.

    And without a doubt Mitch would not made the deal for Pau if Bynum had not been hurt.

    So Mitch for GM of the year?
    NOT A CHANCE!!!

  • LakersFirst

    [Comment ID #67324 Will Be Quoted Here]

    With your ranting and negativity, what you fail to realize is that Mitch has done a fantastic job as a GM.

    1. Yes, trading VladRad was important, but I’m sure you don’t know why this was done. Moving VladRad’s 3 years and $18M contract was important so the Lakers could resign Trevor Ariza (he is an unrestricted free agent this year) and LO, who is also an unrestricted free agent. Don’t you want Trevor Ariza resigned? Well the Lakers don’t have Bird Rights to him, so they need to free up money to do so. In return, we acquired Shannon Brown, who is a pretty decent player (a little wild) but not bad and Adam Morrison who if anything has upside. But like I said, the deal was done for financial purposes.

    2. Speaking of Trevor Ariza, you failed to mention that Mitch also acquired Ariza. Mitch traded Brian Cook and Maurice Evans for Trevor Ariza who has proven himself a valuable player to the Lakers.

    3. The Lakers did not have to make major moves in the offseason like Cleveland and Denver did. The Lakers got to the finals last year without two players that are starters this year – ANDREW BYNUM AND TREVOR ARIZA. No NBA GM would make a move when you went the finals the year before without two key players. That would be GM suicide.

    4. People, such as yourself, don’t give Mitch enough credit for the Pau Gasol trade. Sure the acquiring Gasol is a no brainer, but Mitch had to come up the personnel to make the trade. Kwame Brown and his $9M expiring helped, but the Lakers had to also trade Javaris Crittenton (whom Mitch drafted) and Marc Gasol (a player that Mitch also drafted) not to mention Mitch had the cleverness to throw in the Aaron McKie contract to make the financials work (people forget that Mitch resigned McKie and then traded him to Memphis to make the numbers work).

    Despite what you say, Mitch did not “stumble” into a great trade. Mitch got the players together that was incentive enough for Memphis to get them to trade Gasol to the Lakers.

    5. Again, you forget to mention that Mitch was responsible for the drafting of Bynum, Farmar, Luke and Sasha (3 of the players you obviously don’t like). But remember one thing, Luke, Farmar and Sasha are like any other NBA bench player – inconsistent. With the exception of Ginobili and and Jason Terry, most NBA players come off the bench for a reason – they are inconsistent.

    6. With regards to James Posey, the Lakers did talk to him but he wanted too long of a contract. Remember, the Lakers are over the salary cap and we’re strapped with how much they could give him.

    7. Chauncey Billups would’ve been a nice acquisition, but remember, he has 4 years and $50M left on his contract. He contract is WAY too big, especially since the Lakers will have resign Ariza, LO and the fact that Kobe will most likely opt out of his current contract and resign for more money.

    8. As for Mo Williams – he too has a rather legnthy contract, about 5 years and $44M left. Not to mention, Mo Williams was not all that last year when he was with the Bucks. This is the first year where he has had an impact (remember, people were ridiculing Milwaukee for giving Williams the contract that he now has)

    Mitch may not win GM of the year this year, but he’s done his job. The Lakers are contenders for the championship. He’s better than what you and most Laker fans make him out to be.