Lakers Make The Right Move With The Mitch Kupchak Extension Reviewed by Momizat on . Below is the list of who was selected with every Lakers first-round pick since they last kept it for themselves in 2007. The 2008 and 2010 picks were traded for Below is the list of who was selected with every Lakers first-round pick since they last kept it for themselves in 2007. The 2008 and 2010 picks were traded for Rating: 0
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Lakers Make The Right Move With The Mitch Kupchak Extension


Below is the list of who was selected with every Lakers first-round pick since they last kept it for themselves in 2007.

The 2008 and 2010 picks were traded for Pau Gasol, the 2009 pick was sold to the Knicks, the 2011 pick was traded to the Nets along with Vujacic for a future second-round pick, the 2012 and 2013 picks went with Walton to Cleveland for Ramon Sessions and the Heat’s 2012 first-rounder:

2008 and 2010
Transaction: traded to Memphis for Pau Gasol and a 2010 second-round pick (that became Devin Ebanks)

Players selected:  2008 – Donte Greene (now a free agent), 2010 – Greivis Vasquez (on fourth team in four years)

Transaction: sold to the Knicks for cash and 2011 second-round pick (Andrew Goudelock)

Player selected: Toney Douglas (currently on his fifth team in five seasons)

Transaction: traded to the Nets with Vujacic for Joe Smith and second-round picks in 2011 (Darius Morris) and 2012 (Robert Sacre)

Player selected – JaJuan Johnson (currently in Italy after one NBA season)

2012 and 2013
Transaction: traded to the Cavs with Walton for Sessions and Miami’s 2013 first-round pick (*Nemanja Nedovic)

Players selected: 2012 – Jared Cunningham (on his third team in two seasons), 2013 – Sergey Karasev (currently on the Cavs D-League team after averaging 1.8 ppg with Cleveland)

*-Nedovic, taken with the last pick of the first-round in 2013, was traded to Phoenix in the Steve Nash trade. Phoenix traded him to the Warriors on the day of the draft. He’s currently racking up DNPs on their D-League team after averaging 1.1 ppg with Golden St.)

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2014, 2015, 2016, 2017, or 2018
Kupchak also acquired a top-20 protected pick from Dallas in the Lamar Odom trade. That pick doesn’t lose it’s top-20 protection until 2018. Kupchak traded the pick to the Rockets, along with Derek Fisher, for Jordan Hill. Houston later traded it to Oklahoma City as part of the package for James Harden. The Thunder will receive the pick if the Mavs finish with a top-10 record in the league any year between now and 2017. At the time of writing, the Mavs have the 9th-best record in the league, giving them the 22nd pick if the season were to end today.

I’m not going to pretend that Kupchak would have drafted any of those aforementioned guys nor deny that plenty of current NBA players were selected after them. But that’s not really the point. The point is that five of those eight picks ended up either 27th, 28th, 29th, or 30th in the draft, two others were 19th and 24th, and the last one has to land between 21-30 for OKC to get the chance to use it before 2018.

When you’re the Lakers, it isn’t crazy to just assume your first-round pick will land in the 20s every year and treat those picks as no more valuable than second-round picks. A strong argument could be made that each of those picks was more valuable as a luxury tax coupon or an unknown commodity than the player that was eventually drafted with it. You could also make the case that nearly every one of Kupchak’s second round picks, either already has or will end up having, a more productive career than any of the players taken with those picks he traded away between the 2008 and 2014 NBA Drafts.

mitch-kupchakAs shrewd as Kupchak has been, he’s made his fair share of mistakes and I don’t consider the Nash or Howard trades among them. If there is one thing that I’m worried about, it’s how the new CBA has changed the rules by taking the full mid-level exception from teams more than $4 million over the luxury tax. That may have been the single greatest advantage that large market teams had over the smaller ones. The ability of teams like the Lakers and Knicks to spend $5 million on one (or two) free agents every year, no matter how far they were over the cap, gave Kupchak a chance to make up for a previous mistake without really hurting the team too bad financially. Since the new CBA went into effect, the Lakers exorbitant payroll has only allowed Kupchak to hand out one $3 million contract each summer. The margin of error has shrunk considerably. There are no more do-overs.

If Kupchak can keep the Lakers over the cap but below the $4 million apron, he will have one or two seasons to use the full mid-level exception before the Lakers will likely cross that limit. Since the Lakers can’t trade a first-round pick earlier than 2019 and they don’t have any young players on rookie contracts that other teams covet, those exceptions will likely be their only chance to fill in the missing pieces after they’ve hopefully used all their available cap space on top-tier free agents. How teams utilize their exceptions could be the difference between winning a championship or not. The Heat used exceptions to sign Shane Battier and Ray Allen. The Clippers have used theirs to sign Jamal Crawford and Matt Barnes.

What has given me the most confidence as far as Kupchak’s ability to build the roster going forward, it’s in the things we’ve heard from him during this current rough patch. There was one particular answer that Kupchak gave Sam Amick of USA Today this week that I found particularly memorable:

Now the collective bargaining agreement changed considerably (after the 2011 lockout) the playing field. That’s just the way the owners wanted it, and as a manager all we’ve ever said is just give us the rules and we’ll play with the rules.”

There are a few different reasons as to why I found it particularly memorable. For one, it tells me that the franchise isn’t into dwelling on why it’s in it’s current state. The Lakers have never complained about the failed Chris Paul trade, at least not publicly. Nor have they complained about how the owners changed the rules by taking some of the old tools away and giving them nothing but an amnesty provision with which to help their $100 million roster adapt.

151006531ab023-kings-lakersI might be wrong, but when Kupchak says it’s “just the way the owners wanted it,” it sounds to me like the organization feels as if the new CBA was intended specifically to punish them and they won’t give them the satisfaction of seeing them this way for long. Can you blame him? Even though the moves they’ve made under the new CBA haven’t worked out the way they’d hoped, they haven’t stopped them from trying to be great again, despite limited trade assets and being well over the luxury tax threshold.

The fact that they nearly pulled off the Chris Paul trade, got Dwight Howard for nothing but Andrew Bynum and a 2017 first-round pick, and then got Steve Nash for nothing but a trade exception, a future first-rounder and the pick that became Nemanja Nedovic, had to piss the other owners off. It must have felt like one of those movies where the bad guy puts the protagonist in handcuffs, locks him in a trunk, throws the trunk in shark-infested water, and somehow the hero shows up in the final scene to save the girl and kill the bad guy before he harms her.

Not only do the Lakers seem motivated by a collective will to win but Kupchak’s comments give me the impression that they are also motivated by a certain spite for some of the other owners. I can’t help but wonder if the Lakers decision to amnesty Metta World Peace wasn’t so much about saving money than it was about keeping that money out of the pockets of  the cheap owners who tried to punish them. As if to say, “Be careful what you wish for, you just might get it.”

We’ve seen Kupchak oversee four championships and two other Finals appearances with barely any assets. I’m anxious to see what he can do now that he’s actually got a few tools to work with. I’m not saying that the Lakers will contend again anytime soon or even get back to the playoffs next year. I’m only saying they have the right person in charge and it gives me peace of mind knowing that the Buss kids feels the same way.
Lakers’ Mitch Kupchak: ‘Will NOT Consult’ With Kobe On D’Antoni’s Future, Plus Signs Extension

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About The Author

Andrew Ungvari is a Los Angeles native and a Lakers season ticket holder since 1989. Follow him on twitter @DrewUnga.

Number of Entries : 48
  • Josh

    I know this is not exactly a news site, but I didn’t think it was your personal blog… How about write about the team’s decision to extend Mitch, rather than berating fans who mistakenly think it was a bad decision?

    • PlayerHaters

      LOL fuck it. Let em tell it like it is. Those “fans” need to shut their fucking mouths. But yes you are right, this was more of a personal attack than it was a news story

    • lemonchip

      um, it’s called an opinion piece? he also provided evidence for his statements

      • Josh

        You’re right. It’s filed under Editorials. The site is just not very well constructed. I didn’t even know they had an Editorials section until I just now looked at the breadcrumbs for this article. I thought all articles on the site were an attempt at news.

      • Josh

        By the way, I agree with the author. I just don’t like him calling out part of the fan base and laughing at them because their opinion differs from his own. He might as well be AD or independentbynature.

        • lemonchip

          I see what you’re saying. I agreed with him too. He probably took that route to highlight how “absurd” he believes it is to think this was a bad move

          • Guest

            The intent wasn’t for me to hurt anyone’s feelings for disagreeing with me and I apologize if I’ve done so. I’m open to anyone trying to convince me that Kupchak wasn’t deserving of an extension. The Lakers even sent out an info-graphic today showing the moves that Kupchak has made since 2008.

            The fact that there isn’t another active GM in the league who can claim to have had a hand in five titles and seven conference championships in just the past 14 years is enough to convince anyone to stand down from disagreeing with the move.

            The bottom line is that it was hyperbole. Not a personal attack. If you disagree with Kupchak’s extension, I’d love to here why. You took something I wrote in only the first paragraph and tried to paint the entire piece with it — as if the subject of the entire post was Lakers fans and not Kupchak.

    • AndrewUngvari

      The intent here wasn’t to hurt anyone’s feelings for disagreeing with me and I apologize if I’ve done so. I’m open to anyone trying to convince me that Kupchak wasn’t deserving of an extension. The Lakers even sent out an info-graphic today showing the moves that Kupchak has made since 2008.

      The fact that there isn’t another active GM in the league who can claim to have had a hand in five titles and seven conference championships in just the past 14 years is enough to convince anyone to stand down from disagreeing with the move.

      The bottom line is that it was hyperbole. Not a personal attack. If you disagree with Kupchak’s extension, I’d love to here why. You took something I wrote in only the first paragraph and tried to paint the entire piece with it — as if the subject of the entire post was Lakers fans and not Kupchak.

      • Dragon7s

        That’s twice you’ve made reference to something that I thought was new and interesting yet no link to said info was given.
        I don’t mind looking for the info but when you obviously have it at hand, you should link it for the benefit of your readers.

        Having said that, I think the article was well-written and articulate (which can’t be said for most of the writers on this site).

        • AndrewUngvari

          The infographic can be found on the Lakers twitter feed. Just replace the [dot] with an actual period:


          Which was the other reference you were referring to? The Peter May article about Chris Grant? The article was titled
          “Props to Chris Grant — Somebody Who Finally Stood Up to the Lakers” and was about him trading Bynum for Deng instead of for Pau. May, a former Celtics beat writer, basically campaigns for the entire league to not trade with the Lakers. The funny thing is less than a month later Grant was fired by the Cavs. You can find it here. Again, replace the [dot] with an actual period. LakersNation flags any comment with a link as spam so it’s the only way that I can post it. It’s the same reason I didn’t provide any links before.


      • Josh

        Andrew, I think I commented that I agree with your assessment on Mitch. In my mind he is one of the best current GMs in all of sports. When you open your article with laughing at fans–the very fans who are reading your article–it is hard to care to read the rest, especially a second page. I did read it all, and I agree that Mitch is great and deserves his extension. I agree that any fans who disagree need to be more level-headed and think clearly about the big picture–but I wouldn’t call them an embarrassment and their opinions hilarious.

        • AndrewUngvari

          Josh, it shouldn’t have been interpreted as anything more than humor. There are plenty of Lakers fans who are miseducated. I know because I interact with them all day, every day. If you search for ‘Kupchak extension stupid’ on Twitter, you’ll see the fans who I’m referring to.

          These are the same fans who don’t know that the Lakers can’t just sign any free agent they want or think that Steve Nash’s contract is what’s preventing the Lakers from being good.

          Frankly, I should be more embarrassed by overly sensitive readers who interpret what is so obviously hyperbole as offensive than by anyone who thinks Kupchak should be fired.

  • PlayerHaters


    • Jim213

      lol dp

      • PlayerHaters

        *sigh* why do you keep saying that? Saying dp is dumb smh

        idgaf bout no picture

        • Jim213

          It’s more so the alias. smh lol

          • PlayerHaters

            Hmmm… yes i see what you mean young samaritan
            How could i have misunderstood such a simplistic and yet very detailed statement that had valid meaning to it? I must say, young lad, that i apologize for my outlandish behavior. Jolly good then. Good day, sir, I SAID GOOD DAY

          • Jim213

            I say carry on bloake, cherio.

  • Jim213

    As one who criticizes FO for their past bad moves your view of ‘Kupchak has made his share of mistakes, just as every other GM before or after him has.’ is correct tho the results relating to the whole FO speak for itself.

    However, “we also need not pretend that Lakers fan should be crying about never having had any of the players selected with those picks.’ Pretty stupid to bring this up (real talk). No one is sobbing about not selecting draft picks back then but it’s more the consequences that have left the team talentless today (excluding Mr. 24).

    Just like any competitive business bad moves come at a price as currently the team finds itself at the bottom tho some say it’s a cycle but other consistent team’s say otherwise. But if FO fails to change the fortunes of the franchise this off season or in 2015 (being passing up or not landing a star player) sounds like you’ll be making up excuses to why FO failed to close out deals.

    No team can stay at the top forever but bad moves stagnate the process to being consistent (too many). I’m not the type of person who accepts excuse after excuse after excuse after excuse. Being there’s next year or the next or the next or the next, this isn’t the Knicks organization we’re talking about here. Making excuses is BS for failing to look after business dealings or acquiring the right pieces to remain relevant.

    Worst LA Lakers team in history! Injuries have hurt the season but it’s no excuse for this less than consistent roster to finish with 25 wins or less. No free pass.

    • AndrewUngvari

      Not only did you miss the point I was trying to make but you’re wrong if you don’t think there are a lot of Lakers fans who blame Kupchak for not using the draft to get younger. Let me try to be a little more specific:

      You can blame Mitch for giving out the contracts that needed to be dumped but you can’t blame him for the decision to use draft picks to dump those contracts. However, if your position is that they wouldn’t need to dump those bad contracts if he hadn’t given them out in the first place, then it’s important to note that no one significant was selected with any of those picks — and that’s because the picks they dealt were in the last four picks of the first round five out of eight times. In other words, you can’t blame the absence of those picks for their current predicament.

      The truth is, the Lakers are where they are right now because they lived for the present with no regard for the future. They had a championship squad and every intention to remain that way.

      When the new CBA went into effect, seven of their eight highest-paid players were signed either as free agents to solidify a defending champion’s quest to repeat (MWP in 2009 and Blake in 2010) or were rewarded with an extension after a season in which they made the Finals:

      2008 (Bynum)
      2009 (Gasol and Odom)
      2010 (Kobe and Fisher)

      *Luke Walton was the lone exception

      Do you think they didn’t know there would be a lockout in 2011? Of course they did. But it didn’t stop them from handing out those contracts because they never placed anything above winning. They knew Kobe, Pau, MWP, and Blake would all be under contract for three more years after the new CBA would begin but they didn’t care. Even with Walton, Fisher, Odom, and Bynum under contract for only two more years, it wasn’t like they were going to have cap space in 2013. Those four other salaries alone were going to cost them $60 million for this current season. The cap for this season is $58.7.

      Taking away the full mid-level exception cost them the chance to sign one significant free agent in each of the past three offseasons. Instead they only had the mini-MLE and ended up with Josh McRoberts, Jodie Meeks, and Chris Kaman.

      I’m not exactly sure what you believe were the ‘circumstances that have left the team talentless today’ but none of those was any more significant than the league changing the rules while eight players on the team were under contract for at least two more seasons and close around $100 million with the luxury tax.

      If there are any other circumstances that have left them talentless it’s in how they lost some of their best players with either little or no immediate compensation. Trading Bynum for Dwight Howard was nice but losing Dwight for nothing hurt. Trading Odom for just a trade exception left them with an empty void in 2011-12 and then using that exception in 2012 for two injury-plagued Steve Nash seasons hurt them as well. Should they lose Pau as a free agent this summer, the same can be said about him.

      Explaining the reasons as to how or why something happened doesn’t always need to be perceived as an excuse. There’s a reason why three players on the team are making $9 million or more, two are making around $3 million, and everyone else is making either $1.5 million or less.

      The new CBA was to designed to create a middle class. That’s fine and dandy for everyone else but not for a team that was already committed to paying so many guys so much money for so long. The rest of the league got a three-year head start on the new CBA. That’s not an excuse. That’s a reality. In spite of that, they still went out and made moves. They didn’t work out but they tried.

      Nobody is expecting you to accept excuses but you should understand that none of the other 29 teams have ever been in a hurry to help the Lakers get better. If you don’t believe me, go find Peter May’s article on Sheridan Hoops about Chris Grant.

      So if teams don’t want to help them, they’re not allowed to trade a draft pick sooner than 2019, and the rules of the new CBA don’t allow them to spend more than $3 million on one player every year, how did you expect them to field a competitive team before finally having cap space this summer?

      If you’re going to hold the front office responsible for the team’s poor record, do so after they’ve finally had the freedom to make significant improvements. Until then, you just come off sounding like you’re spoiled and misinformed (real talk).

      • Jim213

        Reread the first paragraph, ‘Kupchak has made his share of mistakes, just as every other GM before or after him has.’ IS CORRECT, THO the results relating to the WHOLE FO SPEAK FOR ITSELF.’

        However, agree and disagree with this short paragraph. ‘The truth is, the Lakers are where they are right now because they lived for the present with no regard for the future. They had a championship squad and every intention to remain that way.’

        FO hasn’t been looking out for themselves $ given the bad contracts (no insurance policy). The Spurs have done a good job of mixing up the stars with solid role players that currently still has them competing for championships. They’ve been the most consistent team for awhile during the regular season. so impart disagree with this excuse being bad planning/forecasting.

        No one is spoiled or misinformed,FO should’ve acknowledged bad moves to hush everyone up and move on. But given the team’s history expect better from this front office. Competitiveness (not necessarily titles every year) is what I expect out of the brand not excuses. They’re only frustrating the masses more (others mostly not myself) believing that everything is alright when the record SPEAK FOR ITSELF.

        The only thing I really hold this FO responsible for is this team’s current condition given their lack of planning/forecasting. Not solely blaming the player as FO are the one’s who brought them in. They currently have two of the worst pg’s in the NBA and seem to be okay with their return next season. Things won’t change for the better if some real changes are made.

        That is THE REALEST TALK PLACING RESPONSIBILITY ON THOSE WHO HAVE THE POWER TO MAKE CHANGES. Business! tho not complaining about rating being down close to 50% but it’s the result of bad planning so if things remain don’t expect things to change for the better next season. Competitiveness is not being spoiled it’s representing the brand.

        • AndrewUngvari

          Again, everything you’ve mentioned here is something that was explained in my previous comment. You hold the front office responsible due to their lack of planning and I explained to you that they opted to re-sign nearly every significant player on their championship teams instead. As a result of having no cap space and trading away their draft picks, they had nothing left to replenish their roster with.

          I don’t understand what you mean by “FO hasn’t been looking out for themselves $ given the bad contracts (no insurance policy).” I would love for you to explain it, especially the no insurance policy part.

          The Spurs have been as consistent as they’ve been for a few reasons. Their three best players took less money than they could have gotten elsewhere to strengthen the overall roster. They also used their second round picks on guys like Scola, Ginobili and Splitter until they were ready to bring either bring them over, or in the case of Scola, traded him to Houston to dump another salary.

          The Lakers have never been cheap when it comes to paying players what their worth and they’ve used their second round picks on players because they keep trading away their first round picks.

          Saying the Spurs are competing for championships every year is also not entirely accurate. They’ve underachieved in so many recent postseasons that nobody is even surprised anymore when they get bounced early.

          As bad as these past two regular seasons have been, and as uncertain as the future may be, the Lakers have still won two titles since the Spurs last won one.

          As for acknowledging bad moves, I’m not exactly sure what you’re expecting. You don’t need a public declaration from a team acknowledging that they made a mistake. It’s classless to do to the individual, even if it’s true.

          You’re telling me they have two of the worst PGs in the NBA, and I’ve already told you why they won’t have the means to replace them until this coming offseason. The moment Ramon Sessions opted out of his contract after that awful postseason, the Lakers went shopping for a PG. Sessions and his agent tried to take advantage of the fact that the only other PG on the roster was Steve Blake and they didn’t think they’d be able to do better than him.

          Nobody is saying they’re cool with them just because they plan on bringing them back. It would be foolish to use the stretch provision on Nash and get stuck with him on their books for two additional years, just as it would be foolish not to bring back Kendall Marshall when his option is for less than $1 million and Nash can’t stay healthy. That doesn’t mean they’re content and have no desire to improve the roster.

          Nobody is saying that you shouldn’t expect greatness from the Lakers. You just need to have realistic expectations. If all you have for nine players on your roster are minimum contracts, you shouldn’t be surprised at the quality of play. There’s a reason those guys were all available.

          Do people think the front office isn’t going to do everything they can to improve now that they finally have a first-round pick and cap space to work with? For people like Magic Johnson to make it seem like the Lakers were either unaware of their deficiencies or that they could snap their fingers in the middle of the season and improve their roster with all the injuries wasn’t helping.

          Seasons like this happen. Be lucky they rarely ever happen to our favorite team. Thanks for the input. Much appreciated.

          • Jim213

            Input no no no truth (pun). Given the CBA limits, FO best manage their cap more efficiently. “FO hasn’t been looking out for themselves $ given the bad contracts (no insurance policy).” Ex. Given Nash’s age and miles I’ who’ve had in place a contract clause limiting possible effects that may result like we observe today.

            However, if Nash remains for another season it’s mostly related to not using a stretch provision on him or possibly him being utilized as an expiring trade contract next year. No need to bring up FO moves as it’s been brought up months back. Not saying that things won’t improve as it’s more so the decisions themselves that speak for itself. Hopefully this isn’t repeated anytime soon. However, my argument isn’t about Kupcake himself more so basketball operations as a whole.

          • Dragon7s

            As far as the predicament the Lakers were put in this season, I was surprised that the article didn’t explain why the Lakers committed to those contracts that didn’t work out, which was that Dr. Buss was on his death bed and the Lakers were trying to put together one last championship team, new CBA be damned. We all know how that turned out but to blame the FO for doing what they did needs to be explained in it’s full context, otherwise it makes your argument seem valid. ;)

          • comrade24

            In their defense Nash had been a perfect example of longevity until he came to L.A. Despite his age, at the time the only thing that made me leary about Nash was his lack of defense. I guess FO was hoping Howard in the middle would make up for that. But Steve being able to play through a whole season was never really a concern

          • AndrewUngvari

            I know exactly what article you’re referring to and I still wish that had been the case. The good news is even though there have been plenty of jokes made about this year’s team, most people acknowledge that injuries were the main reason for their poor record. Even Jerry West has publicly mentioned how impressed he’s been with how hard the team played in spite of all the losses.

            Don’t forget that they were 10-9 when Kobe rejoined them and 13-13 before all the other injuries plagued them. They beat 7 of the 9 teams battling it out for the eight playoff seeds in the West, including games against OKC and the Clippers and road games against the Rockets and Trailblazers. They won more games thru the first 26 games of the season than they did in the last 53.

            Contrary to what you think, there is an excuse for finishing with 25 wins. Missing 300+ player games due to injury in a conference where a 50-win team might miss the playoffs is excusable. Do you know that only three Lakers have have missed fewer than 20 games this season: Wesley Johnson, Jodie Meeks, and Jordan Hill. Their three highest-paid players will end up missing 165 games combined. I’m not saying they would have been a playoff team had those guys all stayed healthy but I think it’s safe to say they would have won at least 40 games instead of 25.

            I don’t know what you mean about possible contract clauses on Nash’s contract. Why are people talking about pre-Lakers Nash like he didn’t play 62 of 66 games or get voted in as an All-Star reserve his last season in Phoenix? Sure he was old but he was the best conditioned athlete in the league and didn’t have any debilitating injuries.

            Are you saying that they should have had a clause in his contract that would have reduced his salary if he missed a certain amount of games due to injury? That was never going to happen. Even if his full salary wasn’t guaranteed for the third year, whatever amount WAS guaranteed would have still counted against the cap if they were able to buy him out. Just like the $1.5 million they bought out Chris Duhon with that’s currently counting against this year’s cap.

            You mentioned the front office not managing their cap more efficiently. You realize the cap this year is $58 million and Kobe and Pau alone are making close to $50 million. The Lakers haven’t had cap space since they signed Shaq in 1996. So you can say they didn’t manage their cap efficiently but they’ve won five championships since they last had cap space.

            The truth is that draft picks are more valuable and expiring contracts are less valuable under the new CBA than under the old one. That’s one of the reasons why the Lakers didn’t trade Pau to Phoenix. Because luxury tax penalties are higher, teams aren’t as interested in making deals at the deadline that add to their payroll. Luxury taxes are determined by a team’s payroll at the end of the season. The Lakers felt they could get more for Pau in a sign-and-trade after the season than the Indiana first-round pick that Phoenix offered. At the time, the Pacers had the best record in the league so it would have been the last pick of the first round.

            The fact that more people are mad that Nash is making $9 million of next year’s cap than they are about Kobe making $23.5 million of it tells me that fans just want someone to blame for this mess. They would never blame Dr. Buss for the contracts he gave out or the coaching hire he made, so they blame Jim. They would never blame Kobe’s contract for only having enough cap space to sign one great free agent this summer, so they blame Nash’s contract.

            It was a horrible season filled with ridiculous amounts of bad luck. Be grateful we’ve never had another one like it.

          • PlayerHaters

            BRAVO young lad, BRAVO!
            I disagree with the 40-win though. From what we’ve seen at the beginning of the season, it would be safer to assume a 35-win record. 40 would’ve been way too much for this roster.

            Other than that, SPOT ON, good sir, SPOT ON

          • Jim213

            Don’t forget Jerry West has brought up that not having draft picks has hurt the franchise. Yes, you’ve expressed your view on this already too (draft picks). But we can’t compare a Laker lifer to a player that hasn’t contributed to the history of the franchise (tho it’s not his fault, injury). So as Magic’s also brought up his contract relates more to Kobe’s overall contributions to the brand.

            The masses have yet to see Nash play half a season and tho one can’t expect him to bounce back like his younger days FO could’ve absorbed hit better with a few contract clauses. But still disagree on the 25- wins for this season as no excuses to playing more consistent as 5-7 more wins could’ve been attained if to’s, defense, and consistency had been addressed better. However, we wouldn’t be close to drafting a top 5 prospect if this had taken place so there are pros and cons in everything. Just don’t make a habit of it (stinking).

        • comrade24

          Not to bring up bad memories, but the Lakers did have a solid plan to keep the championships coming in, but the Chris Paul trade got nixed by the league which started a snowball effect. I believe if that trade wouldn’t have got shot down Chris Paul and Dwight Howard would both be Lakers and we prob would have raised at least one more banner since then. But, the past is the past, the future is unwritten.

          • Jim213

            Agree, but it’s a lesson learned for FO. Best to have a plan b or c aside of just believing the so called best option will get done.

          • AndrewUngvari

            I don’t know what the failed plan a that you’re referring to is. What needed a plan b or a plan c?

          • Jim213

            The goal for last year’s off season was to resign DH. FO was too confident that DH would remain in the purple and gold. As DH had certain conditions which weren’t going to be met by FO. Thus, he went elsewhere and after he signed with the Rockets rather than having a second or third plan/option (which could’ve involved finding some good starting role players) FO initiated the rebuilding phase as a result.

            However, having other viable options if DH left could’ve helped to keep this team more competitive (which doesn’t involve bringing in another star at that time). They went with young and inexperienced players this year to help the coach implement his system better but given the injuries and the inconsistencies of this roster it is what it is.

            However, the Lakers find themselves in close to a similar situation as 2013′s off season being lacking solid consistent all around help. Brought it up since 6/2013 being FO should’ve focused on bringing in some good experienced starting role players (depth) foremost and worry about acquiring another star player in 2015 (tradedeadline or FA). But as we observe today they still lack key players at starting positions to have better odd’s of a more competitive 2014/2015 season.

          • AndrewUngvari

            What are starting role players? Are you talking about starters or role players? They were way over the luxury tax. All they could offer was $3 million to one player. They gave it to Chris Kaman. All they could offer anyone else was the veteran minimum. You’re not going to bring in anyone considered good on both ends of the court with nothing but that to offer. This summer will be a different story.

            Let’s hope they pull it off. Go Lakers!

          • Chrmngblly

            I like Mitch. I appreciate his ability to even imagine these trades at all. The things the FO will be damned for, in my eyes is NOT knowing the league would have the final word in making the CP3 deal and NOT looking into Howard’s eyes at the trade deadline and pulling the trigger.

            The CP3 deal might have been politiced through proper channels–we will never know. Nobody has more fury than a bunch of owners who feel disrespected.

            I realize it was a JB call, but Mitch should have lobbied to either sign Howard or trade the big vagina at the trade deadline. A blind man could feel he had no heart for playing with the Lakers, although it was phenomenally stupid to bring in the best big-man in the game and give him the worst big- man’s coach in the game, MDA. How do you explain the dysfunction?

          • Jim213

            Smh, role players on the starting rotation. Lakers currently have enough bench players to build a 2nd unit out of but they need a starting PG, PF (2), and a Center at starting positions who’ve demonstrated all around consistency within their positions. Brought it up last off season but should’ve acquired Lil Nate (who signed for cheap w/Denver).

            Could’ve acquired other players at starting positions for cheap to but settled for players who’ve seemed to be past up by others. They had less than $10 mil (given all the guaranteed contracts) but could’ve initiated a trade or better yet passed up on Kaman ($3.5 mil while being under utilized). but it is what it is as best to avoid similar mistakes in the upcoming off season.

          • AndrewUngvari

            They didn’t have $10 mil. I don’t know where you got that from but it’s wrong. They had nothing but minimum contracts and the mini-MLE that they gave Kaman to offer to free agents. Teams are allowed to give minimum contracts to any free agent, regardless of how far they are over the cap.

            Nate’s a lot of fun but he would have been useless on this team. For starters, the only thing Nate is good for is offense. Scoring isn’t really this team’s problem. The reason why he was so perfect for that Bulls team last year was because they lacked scorers so they could live with him taking so many shots per game.

            But he’s also one of the league’s worst defenders and it’s the reason why he’s been on a different team in training camp for each of the last five seasons. He’s also making $2 mil, so the Lakers would have had to give him the money they gave to Kaman because they couldn’t have offered him more than the $1.1 mil they’re paying Nick Young.

            I don’t love Kaman but I get signing him after Dwight left.

          • Jim213

            Nate would’ve done a better job at helping to hold the fort down (Kobe out) given his experience. Kaman being signed was the worst move of the off season given the limited amount of involvement this season (FACT). It was more around the $7-8 mil (less than $10 mil) of available cap they had but they could’ve done more tho chose to give second hand players an opportunity..

            The team has literally been unable to close out games which Nate could’ve done a better job of tho his defense is less than up to par but the same goes for many of the players brought in this year tho given Nate’s ability which goes for driving inside and clutch moments he’d been a better fit for cheap. He literally held the fort down during D Rose’s absence in 2012 which goes for bringing the energy.

            Nate deal was 2 yr’s for just over $4 mil, Kaman’s deal $3.5 mil which I call savings especially as Nate would’ve been utilized more this season than Kaman. They could’ve gone after S Dalembert or Bernard James for less or another center who’d best fit the coach’s system. Given Pau’s been starting most of the time it wouldn’t have mattered to go cheap on another big and focus more on a more stable PF or even another pg.

            All this has been brought up months back so the proof is in the pudding. Best to stay on top of things (FO) or it’ll be well over a decade before they return to some form of consistency.

          • AndrewUngvari


            We’re done. They didn’t have $10 mil, they didn’t have $7-8 mil. They didn’t have any cap space AT ALL. They had nothing but one $3 mil contract and minimum contracts. Stop ignoring facts. The Kaman contract didn’t work out but they didn’t have a lot of options at center, especially with so little money to offer.

            They weren’t going to sign Nate when they just lost their starting center and already had plenty of guards under contract and Pau needed surgery on both of his knees.

            If they gave Nate their mini MLE they wouldn’t have been able to give Dalembert more than Dallas gave him: 2 years/$7.5 million.

            Thanks for the discussion. There’s no sense in continuing it.

          • Jim213


            “They weren’t going to sign Nate when they just lost their starting center and already had plenty of guards.” They signed four guards at the same time!!! Farmar, Young, Henry aside of Meeks, Blake, and Nash?!?! Incorrect…

            But in ACTUALITY it’s a bad business move to sign a player to a $3.5 mil contract and under utilize him the entire season. When they could’ve sign two bigs to minimum or vet contracts, Argue about it but it’s not taking anything away from Kaman more so being an FO ineffective move but it is what it is…

            Nate took the contract b/c no one would offer him a big contract so he went with the 2 yr deal that offers leeway (player option for 2 yr.).Smh, those are factual check them for yourself but you’re not going to let it go I understand but just throw in more factual proof. You can check it yourself… look forward to more arguments from you though this is the only one i believe we disagree on being FO bad moves not necessarily kupcake.

  • dennis a

    I always thought that Kupchak would be out the door once his contract his over. He didn’t seem to have the full autonomy that he wanted. I’m sure he had a long, hard look and told Jim Buss that he wanted more power when it came to player and personnel transactions. I’m sure Jim obliged him, otherwise there wouldn’t have been an agreement on the contract extension……do you guys agree?

    • comrade24

      i’m hoping that’s the case. Mitch i trust, Jimmy not so much.

  • Lakers4life

    No doubt Kupchak is one of the best GM when not handcuffed. Mitch knows basketball and he is a great negotiator. He stood up to Jim Buss when he wanted to trade Kobe. Refusing to trade 24 no matter what. But why isn’t he standing up to Jim now? I think he wants to retire as a Laker no matter what. This has resulted in 2 coaching disasters. I hope he asked for Jim to stay out of his way now that Jim’s way is a road to years like this.

    • AndrewUngvari

      I don’t know what makes people think that Jim ever stood in the way of anything Mitch has wanted to do or that Mitch won’t stand up to Jim. Who told you that Jim wanted to trade Kobe? That’s not true. Dr. Buss didn’t either but he at least acknowledged he might have had to. Dr. Buss is also the one who made the decision to hire D’Antoni over Phil. Just look up Phil’s recent Q&A with Sam Amick of USA Today. He’s not the only who has said. Mark Heisler and Peter Vecsey have been writing it since D’Antoni was hired.

  • Michael Woo

    The reason it was a good thing to resign Kupchak is because he’s the last link to the glory days? That’s your argument? Using that reasoning, maybe we should put Magic, Kareem, and Worthy back on the floor, too. Everything and everyone has a season. You see the evidence everywhere, all the time. I’m not endorsing Kupchak or disqualifying him for the job, but to resign him to his present position just because he’s old enough to be a living piece of memorabilia is a poor reason. The game has changed. Trading and drafting rules have changed. Has the Lakers’ philosophy changed? No. It’s still based on trading draft picks and/or young players for existing talent. See where that has gotten the Lakers in 2014? I’d rather have a link to The Lakers’ future glory days, thank you.

    • Michael Woo

      By the way, if you’re embarrassed to have me as a loyal reader, you won’t have to worry about it any more. See ya.

      • AndrewUngvari

        Did you read the article or just the first three sentences? There was plenty of evidence listing what Kupchak has done during his tenure and the changes to the CBA that affected the Lakers more than any other team in the league.

        That’s quite the leap to go from me saying they should retain the guy who presided over multiple championships and learned from some of the greatest basketball minds of the past 40 years to suggesting that they put Magic, Kareem, and Worthy back on the floor.

        I have no problem at all losing a reader who either thinks of Kupchak as a living piece of memorabilia or thinks that’s what I wrote.

        See ya, Michael.

  • PlayerHaters

    So who here thinks Jay-Z would body Drake in a beef? Anyone?

    Drake don’t want none

    • comrade24

      Better question: Who wins in a fist fight between Phil Jackson and Greg Poppovich?

      • PlayerHaters

        LMAO dammn thats a tough one. hmmm…

      • Josh

        My money’s on Pop…unless Jeanie steps in. Dude’s nasty.

  • comrade24

    While we’re speaking about the site… why isn’t there a LakersNation app in the appstore? The other Lakers apps i’ve found “LA Hoops 24/7″ and “Lakers Unofficial Fan Lounge” are poorly designed, not up to date, and frequently just regurgitate articles from this website. You guys need your own app!

    • AndrewUngvari

      There is! You can find links to both the iPhone and the Android versions here. Just replace the [dot] with an actual period:

      You can find the link to the iPhone one here: http://bitdotly/1gTCJVz

      • comrade24

        is it in the apple store? i can’t find it using that link. takes me to some spanish site

        • AndrewUngvari

          That’s weird. Maybe it’s down for maintenance. I’ll see what I can find out and update you.

      • comrade24

        aha! got it! thank you so much!

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