All of the Lakers focus at this time is on the draft and Mitch Kupchak is at the NBA pre-draft combine in Chicago checking out the best prospects in the NBA draft.
But Kupchak knows that next season will be big for the Lakers, and Kobe Bryant in particular. Kupchak needs to bring in some new blood, but in an interview with ESPN’s Andy Katz during the combine, Kupchak spoke on Kobe and expects him to be ready for opening night:
Fortunately, we signed a good player in November in Kobe Bryant. He’s been working out everyday at our facility, he looks good […] I think he’ll be ready to go. He was probably ready to go a month ago.
Bryant is the ultimate competitor and it is good to know that he is already getting prepared for next season. He expects the Lakers to turn things around immediately, and knows he will be a big part of that.
Kupchak has a tough task in front of him. He admitted in the interview that the team is trying to win now and doesn’t expect a long rebuilding process. He also has to be careful about mortgaging the team’s future.
The Brooklyn Nets traded a number of draft picks to acquire Kevin Garnett and Paul Pierce only to be eliminated in the second round and now have no way to build their team. The Lakers can’t put themselves in that same position.
Bryant will do everything in his power to turn this team around. With a new coach and new players on their way to Los Angeles, it will be a very interesting season for the Lakers.
Lakers GM Mitch Kupchak Q & A: Kobe Bryant, NBA Draft, Coaching Search