The Los Angeles Lakers went from a better than expected start to the 2016-17 NBA season to a disappointing stretch in December shedding doubt on whether this team can turn the corner and end the playoff drought this year. Lakers general manager Mitch Kupchak has said time and time again that he doesn’t see the team breaking up this talented young core of players and reiterated that sentiment on Thursday.
In an interview with Mike Bresnahan of Spectrum SportsNet, Kupchak continued to express doubt that the team would make a move before the NBA trade deadline on Feb. 23:
Mitch Kupchak looked ahead to upcoming trade deadline + told me no one was untouchable in this league but he liked the Lakers' current mix.
— Mike Bresnahan (@Mike_Bresnahan) January 6, 2017
Although it doesn’t seem likely that the Lakers make a trade before next month’s deadline, anything can happen in the NBA with different scenarios potentially popping up in the next few weeks. Jimmy Butler is a player that has been linked to the Lakers on more than one occasion and recently surfaced in trade rumors once again.
Kupchak, however, seems reluctant to part ways with the players that make up the team’s young core as he told Bresnahan, via Lakers Nation reporter Serena Winters:
— Serena Winters (@SerenaWinters) January 6, 2017
In the weeks leading up to the NBA trade deadline, the Lakers will almost certainly be mentioned in a trade rumor or two. Los Angeles is always linked to big-name players, and that may not change even though it seems apparent that the franchise doesn’t want to make a move.
A few notable names that have rumored to possibly be on the move or are consistently mentioned in trade rumors include Paul Millsap, Paul George, DeMarcus Cousins, and Butler. The Cleveland Cavaliers made the first significant trade on Thursday acquiring Kyle Korver from the Atlanta Hawks, but that could be the first of many moves to come or possibly the only one that really makes headlines before or on Feb. 23.