Lakers GM Mitch Kupchak Q&A: No. 7 Draft Pick, Kobe, Coaching Search Reviewed by Momizat on . Please enable Javascript to watch this video PAGES: 1 | 2 | 3 Lakers general manager Mitch Kupchak hopped on a conference call Wednesday morning to discuss gett Please enable Javascript to watch this video PAGES: 1 | 2 | 3 Lakers general manager Mitch Kupchak hopped on a conference call Wednesday morning to discuss gett Rating: 0
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Lakers GM Mitch Kupchak Q&A: No. 7 Draft Pick, Kobe, Coaching Search

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Lakers general manager Mitch Kupchak hopped on a conference call Wednesday morning to discuss getting pushed down to the seventh pick in the NBA draft. Kupchak also spoke at length about their current position in the coaching search, including how their main priority in a coach is getting the most productivity out of Kobe Bryant. Check out the full transcription of the conference call below.

Question: Danny Ainge (President of Basketball Operations for the Boston Celtics) was quoted saying he didn’t think there was anyone who could come in and change the face of the franchise. With Boston drafting one spot ahead of you do you feel the same way with the seventh pick?

Mitch Kupchak: “I wouldn’t say it was bad luck. We were hoping to get lucky but as you know we could have dropped down to number nine. You know, we were hoping to get lucky or in worst case stay where we were, but it could have been worse. And, as far as what Danny said that’s up to him. We think drafting at No. 7 there’s going to be a good player available there. Maybe Danny is talking more about a guy that changes the face of an organization from the get go. But, you know you can’t really evaluate these things until years later when you look back on it. Damian Lillard is a great example. I don’t think anybody thought you know looking through the draft he would turn into a player as quickly as he did. But looking back on it, it’s a heck of a selection. So we’ll be able to get a good player and we’re hoping that three or four years from now we can look back on it, and he’s even better player than we thought.”

Question: When you look at that field. What kind of impact do you think a player at #7 could make for you guys?

Kupchak: “Well it depends. Most of the players in the draft for the last 15 to 18 years, there have been young developing players. And, some of them make a contribution quicker than others. There’s certainly a couple guys that played more than two years. There’s some kids who played four years that might make a contribution quicker. I’m not saying he would be somebody we would consider or not consider at seven. My point is, typically we’ve kind of gotten used to it over the years that you do have to work with the younger player. Those are the guys that get drafted the highest. Whether they’re freshman or sophomore it may take a year or two.”

Question: Could such a player be a starter on your team?

Kupchak: *Laughs* “Right now. We only have four guys on contract.”

Question: How does the lottery happening effect the rest of your off-season? You kind of indicated that would be the starting point for evaluating a coach and the start of free agency?

Kupchak: “Yeah, it’s another piece of information. It doesn’t get us any further along in hiring a coach. But, it is another piece of information. And, right now the day after the lottery, it doesn’t really affect our approach to the off-season beginning July 1st.”

Question: Do you see yourself becoming more immersed in the coaching search beginning next week. Maybe early June? Or do you feel the wheels have already started turning pretty substantially?

Kupchak: “I’m sure names will come out within the next couple of days, but we started our process and we plan to continue the process in terms of talking to potential coaches whether they’re informal or formal interviews. We’ll do both and I would not anticipate hiring a coach within the next two or three weeks, but we’ll interview definitely more than three or four probably.”

Question: Could you characterize where you are in the process. Have you begun interviewing coaches or are you still in the gathering stage?

Kupchak: “Yes, we have begun.”

Question: In regards to the coaching search, when you are looking at the candidates, what variables are you considering when it comes to hiring a veteran coach or a young coach? (Click next page for the answer)

Next Page: Kupchak On The Likelihood Of Trading The Pick

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Serena Winters is the Lead Reporter for Lakers Nation. Besides out-eating the rest of the staff, she's most known for carrying snacks with her to all media events. Make sure to follow Serena on Twitter at @SerenaWinters

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  • Julio

    Lakers FO is in serious trouble of losing all credibility and all respect from their own fan base and the players and media in the NBA.It’s just sad that the Lakers FO can’t figure it out.Fans will be begging to fire Mike Dummy before he even coaches a game it’s really not smart for the Lakers to even interview a loser like Mike Dummy.It’s reaching for straws when you bring in a hated man from a 4 year absence from coaching and someone everyone already hates.It’s doom and gloom as long as the Lakers FO remains in power with the same mistakes and the same cheapskate owner Jimmy Buss.If the Lakers are willing to trade the lottery pick and pay some big money i am pretty sure the Bulls would send Coach Thibs over to the Lakers to start the new era of the Lakers.Or maybe the Lakers FO should stop being cheap and start spending on great players and coaches.

    This is a disgrace and unacceptable to see the Lakers FO mess with the Lakers fan base like this.It’s time for them to realize we are not as stupid as they think we are.Stop insulting the Lakers fans intelligence and start building a winner and a fun team to watch.They just don’t care and that’s very sad.Start caring and have some pride and feel the pressure it’s on you Lakers FO make the smart move and hire a eager young coach from college or a assistant coach that is smart and a winner.

    • kungufgrip

      Julio… you are truly a moron. You should consider becoming a Clippers fan so you can jump on the bandwagon.
      1. The Lakers had an exciting team last year. It’s not the FO fault that the entire team became injured. You could argue that the talent we acquired last season over exceeded expectations.
      2. It doesnt matter what coach you hire until you reload the roster. Who cares about Thibidou. You need players first. The chances of them hiring Dunleavy are slim and none. They just started the interviewing process as they have said 10 billion times.
      3. The Lakers traded Bynum (who basically never played again) for a run at Howard. It didnt work out. The team would do the same trade 10 out of 10 times.
      4. If you expect that FO is just going to spend and we will be a title contender next year you are delusional. Its slightly more complicated than that.
      5. Maybe its time for you to realize that you might be stupider then they are when it comes to operating an NBA franchise. Im fairly certain they intend on building a winner. Its obviously just not going to happen this week.

      • Lakers4life

        1. Lakers were so exciting that their TV ratings drop nearly 50%?
        Exceeded expectations? Worst record in franchise history in LA? Oh my.. what were ur expectations?
        2. Hiring the right coach does matter. It helps you bring in free agents.
        3. Getting D12 of course was great. But you have do part 2 of the equation. Retain the free agent! How do you retain star free agents? Hire the best coach possible perhaps? Hire a coach who knows how to coach big men, not just guards?
        4. I think any hope of contending next year went out the window with getting the 7th pick.
        5. The irony of calling someone else stupid…

        • Nexzen

          You realize he said exciting team that got Injured right? If lebron, wade and bosh were injured, Miami’s tv rating would drop too…

  • jack

    Marcus smart anybody?

  • VillainKing

    Draft Marcus Smart at 7th pick Lakers..

  • Alex

    Ettore Messina

  • Alex

    Also strongly consider a coach from overseas his name is David Blatt.My intuition tells me David Blatt will turn the Lakers around into champions if he is hired.But if Lakers don’t want Messina then David Blatt is the guy to get.I said hire Messina because i figured he is much easier to hire and talked to as he is in the states sometimes and he has already worked for the Lakers in the past as a consultant.But yes David Blatt would be the best coaching hire possible for the Lakers but it will be much harder to get Coach Blatt than Messina.But David Blatt is well worth the trouble and money.

  • balous

    Hire Byron Scott. He has taken two teams deep into the playoffs in New Jersey and New Orleans. I don’t think that he got a fair shake in Cleveland because as soon as he got there, Lebron left. So he was left with a bunch of role players. The Lakers fans love him. He has championship experience. He may even have a bit of influence on Kyrie Irving, who is becoming a free agent soon. Scott may be able to get the most of out Kobe and I am sure that the triangle will not be a part of the offense so that satisfies Jim Buss. He has worked with Jason Kidd, Chris Paul and Kyrie Irving, so he knows what to expect from a good point guard. Honestly, he is the only well known coach out there that would fit.

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