Mitch Kupchak Discusses Lakers Financial Flexibility And Future Reviewed by Momizat on . With so many Lakers coming off the books next season, a lot has been speculated about the potential of the Lakers going after some marquee free agents next summ With so many Lakers coming off the books next season, a lot has been speculated about the potential of the Lakers going after some marquee free agents next summ Rating:
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Mitch Kupchak Discusses Lakers Financial Flexibility And Future

Mitch KupchakWith so many Lakers coming off the books next season, a lot has been speculated about the potential of the Lakers going after some marquee free agents next summer. The Lakers will only have about $12 million in committed salary next season (assuming Nick Young picks up his player option).

With this in mind, many believe that the Lakers may go after the likes of LeBron James and Carmelo Anthony, but that may not be the case. In an interview with Mike Bresnahan of the Los Angeles Times, general manager Mitch Kupchak said that they have to look beyond next season.

“You have to look beyond next year. You can’t say we have all this flexibility and we’re going to use it all next year,” Kupchak said. “You don’t know if you’re going to use it for a free agent or a trade or to sign back Pau or Kobe. We’re in the position where we can sit down at the end of the year and look and see what’s best for the organization. We’re in control, so to speak.”

Kupchak wasn’t able to speak of any names specifically, but Bresnahan pointed out that he alluded to the free agent class of 2015 that features the likes of Rajon Rondo, Kevin Love and LaMarcus Aldridge.

There are going to be quite a bit of quality basketball players becoming free agents over the next couple of years, and Kupchak will have his work cut out trying to bring some of these guys aboard.


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  • Laker J

    This is smartest perspective I’ve heard about free agency, 2014 may have the marquee players, but 2015 has the more complete team talent. The Lakers would be smart to not lock themselves by being over the cap after 2014. In 2014, who is the best PF, center, or PG available? Whereas, 2015 brings a better crop of players in those positions, so it is smart to keep cap space available for then.


    Still say we should just blow this season and get a top-5 pick

    • Eddie Lazaro

      and get a Greg Oden or Adam Morrison or Kwame Brown?


        This draft is projected to be like 1996 or 2003 draft and out of the top 5 picks in each of those drafts 8 have been all stars so chances are we will get an all-star.

        • Eddie Lazaro

          The thing is, “We Don’t Tank”, and as much as it is cheaper to groom stars from the draft, Mich is not a fan of it. West have a good eye for young talent and he is patience in grooming young stars. When Phil was hired in 1998, we went for the short cut, trading our drafts to fill the roster with most experienced players. Most drafts we have left stayed in the bench but the traded ones showcase their talent with their new teams. The present line up is ready for contentions and just need a couple of big bodies, enforcers in the middle. Though we have lots of not known names in the roster, we may have a couple of Stars in the making that can do a lot of good for this team & as much as everyone counting us out, I like our chances.

          • ANTHONYinCALI

            Well last time we sucked back in 2004-2005 we drafted Bynum and that worked out pretty well as it brought us 2 championships and it would’ve worked out even better if Howard wasn’t such a bitch.

          • Eddie Lazaro

            You see, It took not just Bynum, but Gasol for the team to get back the Championships. Phil never give Bynum enough chance to earn his minutes to be a factor before he got injured, and 5yrs since drafted to even make an impact. Howard is a very different case. He is an spoiled child in a big mans body who thought he can have everything by bitching, knows everything, and will never accept that he is the weak link, like he did in Orlando. He is a liability offensively and very inconsistent defensively. He can be great if he put his mind into it, but that’s a big “IF”.

          • ANTHONYinCALI

            I’m just saying i’d rather suck for a year in which we have like no shot at a championship then be mediocre and lose in the first round for the chance to get wiggins or parker or randle or smart etc.

          • Eddie Lazaro

            Easily said than done. Once you have the mentality of Kobe on your team, you can not tell him to throw the towel and raise you hands. That is not how he plays, also, Lakers don’t tank. When we had that disappointing seasons in 2005 & 2006, we were out of sync and the departure of Shaq plus the trading & retirement of major role players (Fox, Horry, Shaw) left a young Kobe to lead the team on his own, and with Rudy Tomjanovich (2005) health deterioration, that leaves the franchise in disarray. Phil came back in 2006 and even with him, was not able to do much with a talented roster because they are so young and there is not enough grooming experience to make a run. The big downfall was getting away from grooming drafts. Phil never like the idea of baby sitting college players. We did a lot of short cuts and kept trading our drafts for experienced players to fill roster. We have been doing that ever since he joined and that’s one of the reasons we are in salary cap problems right now. Draft is a very tricky thing but there is only one in the league who has the Best keen eyes for young talent, and that is Gerry West. If you look at West (Warriors & Grizzlies) ) latest performance, he kept all the young ones and first round drafts and make Superstars out of them which is the total opposite of Kupchak and Phil.

          • ANTHONYinCALI

            I’m not saying that we will do that I am simply saying that we should do that. This draft is can’t miss and I want to be a part of drafting the next big superstar and molding him as a laker for life.

          • Eddie Lazaro

            Drafting is a very big and tricky proposition. There is no sure superstar, even the ones groomed for talent faltered as history will tell you. From Oden, Kwami Brown, Adam Morrison, Darko Milicic, OLOWAKANDI, Sam Bowie, etc.
            Even Anthony Davis of the Pelicans is not a guarantee. We can even include Tracy McGrady, Allen Iverson and Gilbert Arenas to the list, where are they now? It is pity that teams are not even taking them as part of their bench players. I love to see the Lakers groom their drafts. It is cheaper and long term beneficial. But teams who wants to contend right away will most likely go for FA to get players that will fit each team’s system, it’s roster, with cohesion and chemistry. The story of Magic, Mj, Kobe and Lebron are once in a blue moon scenario and don’t even come regularly in every 5yrs. The “Elites” are fruits of natural talent plus hard work, dedications and personal goals, creating dominance and separations away from the common group.

          • ANTHONYinCALI

            The last time a draft like this happened was in 2003 that’s a decade ago. We are do for a big time draft. I’m not saying to tank for the 2011 draft but to tank for 2014 which will show the world that it is worthy to be compared to the great classes of 2003 and 1984. This is not a championship season we have nothing to lose but lots to gain.

          • Eddie Lazaro

            Do you really know how much is at stake, even on a loosing year at Staples esp Lakers. The operations, concessions, seats + merchandize + NBA & International sales? It is more than 1/2 billion dollars a year. Small market teams can afford to tank. revenues are not even half of big markets, not much to loose, plus they get profit sharing from big markets like LA & NY. Welcome to the new CBA salary cap. Like what I said before. IT IS EASY SAID THAN DONE IF YOU ARE NOT THE OWNER. I also told you about the Draft, it is not that simple. THERE IS NO SURE GUARANTEE of SUPERSTARS. It is always a gamble, and there is always something to loose. I like your idea, but it is not possible, not right now, especially TANKING, NOT AT ALL.

          • ANTHONYinCALI

            People would still come, especially if they just *happen* to lose games at an unexpected pace. A financial hit would be taken for the betterment of the franchise in the future. A gamble? sure but look how it’s worked out for teams in drafts as highly touted as this one.

          • Eddie Lazaro

            You are conflicting your own statements. You want to tank and now you are saying people will still come if they loose at unexpected pace? What betterment will it be if they loose money. THIS IS BUSINESS! there is not a touted draft that was assured to win Championships, if there is, every year will be won by the teams who’s got the top drafts, BUT IT DIDN’T. Which teams are you talking about. The only one in the history that had top draft even made it to the finals on their rookie year was MAGIC with LAKERS. The majority of top drafts did not even made playoffs. Those ones that TANK went to small market teams that have so little stakes than the rest of the league. We can both agree to disagree, but what ever you have in mind is not feasible, they will not do it, at least not now. In the new generation, the only first overall drafts that stayed with their team, made impact & WIN Championships are MAGIC, HAKEEM, ROBINSON, & DUNCAN. The rest of them are thru FA or trades, most are not even the top of their class (Jordan, 3rd, SHAQ/Magic=FA, KOBE/13th Hornets TRADE, NOWITZKI, 9th, LEBRON/Cavaliers=FA, WADE, 5th, Pierce, 10th, etc).

            If you are talking about 1984 where they got Hakeem, Bowie, Jordan Perkins and Barkley as your top 5 and Stockton 16th & 2003 with Lebron, Milicic, Melo, Bosh, Wade, only Jordan and Wade became Champions on their DRAFT TEAMS. The rest joined other teams thru FA or TRADE to be a Champion, some did not even win. So since 1984, 30yrs ago, less than 5 players have won Championships from their original draft teams, where is your proof now.

          • ANTHONYinCALI

            They were hall of famers though. LeBron left because the cavs weren’t that great and in a small market; the Lakers wouldn’t have that problem as we always get free agents so there isn’t a point for them to leave. Also Hakeem won two with the rockets. The Lakers aren’t some small market team they are the 2nd biggest market and an alpha world city. Nobody is leaving them if they’ve played their entire careers with them and have had success. I am not arguing if the Lakers will do it. I’m saying that they should do it.

          • Eddie Lazaro

            We can all wish, Fine and Good, but the owners have different views. We are just spectators riding on a roller coaster with them, thru ups and downs, their rise and fall. The only way out is to get off and ride another but I will never go there. I will ride with the Lakers where others think it’s on decline now, hoping the brewing roster will tell them otherwise. On to another shocking season, a much deeper contention to Championships. Can’t blame the others for taking my team out of the equations, barring injuries, they will be in for a very big surprise this season. Big Time!

    • Jim213

      Bro, if they decided to blow the season that still won’t guarantee us a top 5 pick though we’d have a shot. Most of our success has been through free agency though our top 3 all time Lakers have came from the draft! IMO Magic/Kobe tie#1 and J West #3. Why West #3, he was originally drafted with the Minneapolis Lakers and helped to establish Laken land in LA.

      Although J West made numerous trips to the NBA Finals he did win a ring. But nobody has done more for the BRAND than J West=Lakerman Brand/NBA Logo. All these players J West/Magic/& hopefully KB24 finished or will finish their career as Lakers since they were drafted by the franchise. Kareem/Wilt/Shaq finish my top six.

      These three centers came from free agency and has prior success with other teams too. Although, that doesn’t take anything away from them being true Lakers. It just so happens that my NO the top 3 all time happened to come from the draft… so I get we’re you’re coming from bro. But we ain’t TANKING.

  • Marty Susman

    I still believe both Nash & Gasol will be gone prior to the next draft. As soon as the Lakers show signs of not even making the playoff’s both will be gone in favor of 1st round picks…

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