Tuesday, February 1st, 2011 at 10:00 am  |  79 responses

Lakers GM Open to Making Trades

by Marcel Mutoni@marcel_mutoni

Whenever anyone asks the Los Angeles Lakers — be it coaches or players — about their struggles, to a man, they all smirk and say there’s nothing to worry about.

Despite the fans’ predictable panic, the team has maintained an air of cool, bored confidence. The benefit of having won the last two titles, I suppose.

One man who’s willing to publicly address the issues facing the squad is GM Mitch Kupchak, who admitted to the media that he’d be willing to shake up the Lakers’ roster if the right offer(s) came across the table.

Kupchak says he hasn’t sent any rival GMs emails or placed calls … yet.

From NBA.com:

“Regarding a trade, I may have to,” Kupchak said at the team’s practice facility a day after the convincing loss to the Celtics. “I’m not saying that I’ve made calls today or I’ll make them tomorrow. But I just don’t think that we’re playing as well as our talent level should allow us.”

Even speaking in his usual measured tones, Kupchak’s disappointment and frustration were obvious. More importantly, while saying he had not talked to owner Jerry Buss since being controlled by the Celtics in the fourth quarter at Staples Center, Kupchak said, “I’d be surprised if he feels any different.”

“I try to be as objective as possible, but I’m concerned that our performance is not living up to our talent level,” Kupchak said. “Our record is certainly OK. But we’ve lost a bunch of home games. We’ve lost a couple of big games at home. And to me, those are red flags … It’s something I may do in the future. I just don’t think that our talent level is playing as well as they can play. We have an incredibly high payroll and we do that because we have players that normally produce at a high level. And I’m not sure I see that now.”

A look at the roster — and more importantly, the sky-high salaries — shows that it won’t be easy to entice other teams to play the trade game. But, this is the NBA, and we’ve learned that virtually anyone can be shopped.

Later this week, LA will embark on a brutal seven-game road trip, and should they continue to come up short, Kupchak’s phone and inbox will surely begin to light up.

Interesting times in Hollywood, indeed.

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  • http://www.slamonline.com Eboy

    Who’s untouchable beside Kobe on that roster? No one. Pau can go. LO can go. Bynum? Artest? Maybe they go after Melo and Chauncey….but have to give up Bynum and Artest. Does that make them better? Hard to say. Phil’s last year, he’s not going to want prospects or picks….they want “right now” talent to make his final run.

  • http://Gmail Dirty Frank

    BLOW IT UP!!!


    looool. I guess that three peat talk is out the window now.

  • T-Money

    I know Lakers fans will go crazy if I say this but I’ll say it anyway. Regarding Drew, 15 mil is an awfult lot of money for 11 and 7. Considering that Vitti (one of the best trainer in the biz) doesn’t believe his body can sustain 30+ mins, what you see may very well be what you’ll get from here on out.

  • Fat Lever

    Dwight Howard, come on down, you’re the next contestant on how the Lakers Continually Pry The Best Big Men in the Game To Come to Their Team!

  • Yesse

    Get some young guys. Fat Lever, Dwight from Orlando to LA? Wouldn’t it look like Mr Diesel a bit too much?

  • Fat Lever

    T-Money, my thoughts exactly. Drew is grossly overpaid for his production. His salary is really based on his potential. How long before potential becomes reality? Seems like La La Land is still waiting on returns to that question. I say, he is what he is at this point.

  • Fat Lever

    I don’t think Dwight cares at this point. He realizes he’s going to be judged by titles, just like all the great centers at this point. Seems like his frustration is slowly mounting in ORL, although I’m just speaking from an outsiders perspective.

  • http://slamonline.com AlbertBarr

    @MUBWAR: Don’t be a fool…if any team could ride a mid-season aquisition to the finals it would be the Lakers. Do you remember how they got to the finals three years ago? Oh that’s right, a mid-season trade that netted them Pau Gasol. smh. Until they are eliminated from the post-season the Lakers three-peat chances are alive and well. And they have a boatload of pieces they could trade.

  • http://blog.mysanantonio.com/spursnation/ Anthony

    Trade Gasol for Kwame please.

  • http://www.twitter.com/chris_griff_3 Chris_Griff_3

    Andrew Bynum is probably who they’ll try to trade. Does anybody in the NBA see him as a franchise-type of Center, though?

  • http://www.double-technical.blogspot.com Zee!

    In Bart Scott voice: CAN’T WAIT!!!!

  • Krisjanis

    it would be bad if they decided trade ‘Drew, cuz he’s really a great big and if he would be healthy then there would be no question ’bout three-peat

  • http://hoopedia.nba.com/index.php?title=Russell_vs._Wilt nbk

    Not happenin

  • kobesBESTfriend

    Bynum and Odom for melo,nene,and chauncey!!!make it happen now!!!


    The cost cutting Nuggets won’t be making any trades with the Lakers.

  • 6marjons

    queue melo trade rumour

  • hambone

    artest,blake,barnes,character for melo amd a 2nd round pick,artest`s lack of offence is killing the lakers he looks like hes never touched a ball before when hes dribbling and shooting

  • robb

    Just bring Dwight Howard

  • http://Jesus_07_whit@yahoo.com alvin whitaker

    I’m sorry but artest, fiisher, is their small but big problems.fisher can’t defend anymore and artest can’t shoot when it counts thats like playing two and half men oh i did’nt mention they start.

  • robb

    Melo plays zero defense and Kobe and him are scorers. Bad idea.

  • matt604

    lol @kobesbestfriend, im a laker homer but even im wondering what youre smoking on

  • http://www.need4sheed.com Tarzan Cooper

    They wont be doing aanyhing. ……. Dwight is going to san antonio as a free agent.

  • http://Jesus_07_whit@yahoo.com alvin whitaker

    trade drew and artest for dwight, and a second round pick. yes i agree because boom boom artest,he can’t shoot out side and he looks like a tank, when he trys to go inside.LA’s offence has some problems!

  • http://Www.dimemag.com Royal

    A personality like Dwights going to San Antonio….idk

  • monkeyball

    If the Nuggets trade Melo and Billups or Melo and Nene for Bynum and Artest they’re idiots. Artest, for one, is having his worst season ever, and that’s under the supposedly benign influence of Phil and Kobe.

  • http://Jesus_07_whit@yahoo.com alvin whitaker

    are you kidding me dwight wants a championship and become the next holly wood star.

  • http://slamonline.com Kap

    Why not trade Gasol? He looks like the one who is slowing down this year. Those who question Bynums ability need to look at LAs defensive numbers when he has played this year he makes them a much better team. He’s no Dwight Howard but I think he could be the second best Center if he’s healthy and gets the chance.

  • dahon

    trade Kobe for Melo…trade for a young good SG

  • LakeShow

    baahh. its whatever. three-peat either way…

  • LakeShow

    i say trade gasol. dudes a p<ssy

  • http://slamonline.com Saviour

    EBOY FAIL…you think they’ll trade Gasol? B*tch please, he’s not going anywhere anytime soon…he’s the rock with Kobe, I say Ron or AB go, in fact; I’ll bet the house on it.

  • JTaylor21

    Don’t you just love Laker fans. They have already turned on the one guy most responsible for lakers making it to the finals 3 straight years and winning it twice. This sounds similar, oh yeah they did the same thing to shaq.

  • dahon

    why trade gasol? since he came to LA, LA won West Finals every year…get Melo and get young guards for more defensive perimeter/slasher

  • dahon

    if Odom be traded, thats sad. khloe will file for a divorce on real TV

  • http://www.walshsportsblog.com Kevin

    Unless the Lakers are winning every game, people think the sky is falling. Phil knows better- lets see where LA is in June.

  • http://slamonline.com Kap

    They shoulda signed Tmac for the low low when they had the opportunity. He’s starting to ball again in Detroit.

  • http://slamonline.com Kap

    Jim Buss has said several times that Bynum is untouchable.

  • toinefan88

    Love this. Celtics baby!

  • http://idunkonthem.blogspot.com/ albie1kenobi

    guarantee that nothing’s gonna happen. i still don’t see any team beating them 4 out of 7 times. maybe celtics IF they are healthy, but that’s it.

  • http://Www.dimemag.com Royal

    People act like the lakers are 7 or 8 seed or something ….. LA will finish the season top 3 in there conference…..Yes they have struggled but if I was the GM or Owner I would ride it out with roster that they have now….anyways they wouldn’t get equal value for who they trade anyways

  • JD

    they should go for what happened on my game of 2k11, Odom for Nash.

  • Sparker

    much as i’d like to write off the lakers, there is still this: there were serious questions about them last year too… until game 5 vs. the thunder, when they found another gear and never looked back. it’s no long season, and their issues are almost entirely psychological. phil has been trying to solve these issues by calling them out in various ways. now kupchak is getting into the act. it must be frustrating, but these guys aren’t going to turn it on until they have to.

  • http://youtube/use/Uncle05Sam Earl

    @ MUBWAR (3rd comment) Yeah, “looool” all you want. You’re still wrong.

  • Gabe

    Trade Kobe to the Knicks! we will give you Anthony randolph AND Eddie Curry!

  • http://slamonline.com Kap

    cosign Gabe


    Bynum: The most over rated player n the L. He’s what? 6? 7 yrs in? He is what he is AND injury prone. I call another injury 2 him b4 the season ends. I hope he doesn’t,but that’s his track record

  • http://www.twitter.com/JoshElam JE

    Yeah, Eboy, I don’t disagree with you often, but Pau is untouchable. Artest could go, but Bynum and/or Odom would have the most trade value.

  • Red Star

    This is great news because the alarm bells have been sounding off all season long for me! I not too sure who they can trade or which team is foolish enough to give them the missing piece they need to win for a few more years. Memphis made that mistake and look what happened! Maybe it’s me but I just don’t see it happening. If it does though I hope Odom goes because he is a lazy goat! Artest too! Champions!?! If they don’t start playing like one they’ll be golfing come june!
    Side note:
    Does anyone know what’s going on with Fisher? He has been nonexistent this season!

  • dako24

    Trade Artest and another piece for Rudy Gay. Or try to bring back Ariza. That was a mistake letting him go.

  • http://slamonline.com Kap

    Odom has been the Lakers second best player this year. Please don’t comment on the Lakers if you haven’t seen more than 5 games this year. Kobe, Fisher, and Bynum are probaly the only untouchables and Shannon has a no trade clause since he has his bird rights.

  • http://slamonline.com Kap

    Gasol for Wade…

  • http://shinefluid@aol.com just bcuz

    LOL damn the lakers season over already?? they wanna blow up the team already?? no more 3-peat talk huh? i guess reality or should i say AGE finally set in

  • http://www.twitter.com/JoshElam JE

    Four-way trade scenario:

    Pistons, Lakers, Knicks, Nuggets.

    Detroit gets: Andrew Bynum, Eddy Curry, Steve Blake.

    LA gets: Rip Hamilton, Rodney Stuckey, Chris Wilcox.

    New York gets: Carmelo Anthony.

    Denver gets: Ron Artest, Tayshaun Prince, T. Mozgov.

    Detroit Starting five: Steve Blake (pg), Ben Gordon (sg), Tracy McGrady (sf), Greg Monroe (pf), Bynum (c).

    LA: Fisher (pg), Rip (sg), Kobe (sf), Odom(pf/6)/Wilcox(pf/c), Pau (f/c).

    NY: Felton (pg), Gallinari (g/f), Melo (g/f), Stoudemire (pf), Who Cares (c).

    Denver: Lawson/Billups (pg), Smith/Artest/Afflalo (sg), Artest/Prince (sf), Prince/Kmart (pf) Nene/Mozgov (c). Clearly, Denver still has some trade options.

  • http://www.twitter.com/JoshElam JE

    It’s annoying when you forget to make the commands to leave the spaces between the stuff you write. Oh well, it’s a fake trade anyway.

  • elmaar

    clearly see them trading Bynum(who has an injury on the come up all the time) + somebody(probably artest) for melo(if he agrees to sign an extension) and a center
    la gets a superstar who will trive in the right environment and a chance to remain title contenders for many years to come
    denver gets an injury prone but still a very promising and tradeable asset in bynum

  • http://slamonline.com kap

    Why in the world would LA take Stuckey and Hamilton for Bynum and Artest. Lakers get screwed in that weird scenario.

  • flipnoyce

    Panic in planet Hollywood, wow I didn’t see this happening. LA is worried about CELTICS-noooooooo, they’re the champs. They have the best player in the universe they don’t have to worry about a thing! JUST give the ball to KOBE and he’ll EASILY drop 40 and then LOSE!!! Get rid of ARTEST and who’ll cover my man THE TRUTH, get rid of Gasoft and replace him with who? Replace Bynum, who wants to get an overpaid injury prone? Why is the Lake show worry about the EAST, contain SAN ANTONIO first! Just a reminder the Spurs has won in odd years and this year are starting to look a bit odd!

  • http://www.slamonline.com The Ambassador

    Whose thinking O.J. Mayo for Artest lol jk.
    Lakers need Artest,Fisher,Blake,and Brown to step up NOW!!! I dont know why people are saying trade Odom,he has been the second or third consisntent Laker so far this season. Who Lakers need to get rid of is LUKE WALTON HAS ANYONE SEEN HIS SHOT? I think the whole trade thing is just to make the Laker players play better and make them more aware that noone of the Laker management is happy with there way there playing. If a trade does go on I think the Lakers would try to get rid of WALTON,BLAKE,AND ARTEST.

  • Coggie

    @Alvin Whitaker: To say he does not shoot well when it counts is harsh, considering he was the best Laker in Game 7 of the NBA finals.

  • Heals

    As a C’s fan I must say this is funny, good ol’ bandwagon riders here in LA freaking out about a team that has won 2 straight. Just foolish, it’s as if they didn’t even win last year with how fans and media are reacting. Don’t be fooled the big game between BOS and LA was last June not this past Sunday, try not to forget that folks (lord knows C’s fans can’t)….

  • http://sdfklf.com Jukai

    How about Kobe to the Heat for Eric Dampier and Mario Chalmers?

  • http://Www.slamonline.com Negetivekreep

    Haha Jukai wins.

  • http://slamonline.com Caboose

    Jameer Nelson, Brandon Bass, a first rounder, and Quentin Richardson for Pau Gasol, Matt Barnes, and a second rounder.

  • Brian

    just wait til the playoffs. Lakers win when it really counts. All this talk is going to subside.

  • LakeShow

    no caboose ya idiot. no wonder your the last train to station. ba dum chaaaah

  • Omar

    Kap is right about Odom, he’s been AT LEAST as good as Gasol this season. It’s too bad Jerry West isn’t Nuggets GM or they would have Melo already for Luke Walton and Derrick Caracter.

  • Justin L.
  • Justin L.

    So I just put together a trade that would be able to make the Lakers the team to beat in the West.

    It is a three-team deal, but would benefit 2/3 teams right away. The three teams included would be the Lakers, Hornets and Nuggets.

    In this trade the Lakers would get (hear me out):
    PG Chris Paul
    SF Carmelo Anthony
    C Emeka Okafor

    Nuggets would get:
    PF Pau Gasol
    C Andrew Bynum

    Hornets would get:
    PG Steve Blake
    SF Ron Artest
    SF Al Harrington
    C Chris Anderson

    And financially this trade would go through under each teams Salary cap.

  • http://nba-point-forward.si.com/ datkid

    i wish they’d get rid of pau…but who in the l can replace him smmfh?


    i think all the fuss about a trade is to just get the lakers playing better. they have a championship caliber team but this trade talk might be the wake-up call they need to kick it into gear. they dont need a trade for a 3peat

  • http://nba.com EJ

    TRADE KOBE!!! …I’m going to hell for this, Boston that is.

  • http://www.slamonline.com Cheryl

    You guys missed the point Kup was making: play better or you’re outta here! He was just taking his cue from PJ, working the players through the press. It was a wake up call to everyone not named Kobe.

  • gaber

    that happens if u give up on maschine

  • http://slamonline.com Caboose

    Justin: Soooo the Hornets would trade a top 10 player in the league AND their dystrophy center for a third string point guard, a defensive specialist who can’t defend, a David West clone with less skill, and an offensively anemic center? Sorry man, but you’re a crazy LA fan.

  • http://slamonline.com Caboose

    Justin: Soooo the Hornets would trade a top 10 player in the league AND their starting center for a third string point guard, a defensive specialist who can’t defend, a David West clone with less skill, and an offensively anemic center? Sorry man, but you’re a crazy LA fan.

  • http://www.lacuevacrosscountry.com Slick Nick Da Ruler

    If they can’t pull it together before the All-Star break: Trade Bynum & Blake & Sasha’s Trade exception to ATL for Horford & JSmoove.

  • http://www.slamonline.com/online/nba/2011/02/lakers-gm-open-to-making-trades/ Lakers19993


    Bynum,Luke plus Future picks for Dwight Howard


    Steve Blake,Theo Ratliff,Joe Smith Plush Cash for STEVE NASH


    Ron Artest Plush Pick for Andre Iguodala

    First Five

    Steve Nash
    Kobe Bryant
    Andre Iguodala
    Pau Gasol
    Dwight Howard

    Whos team can BEAT that kind of line up?
    If i were the owner of that lakers i gotta make this trade “ASAP”

  • NjLa98

    trade artest for wilson chandler from the new york knicks since everybody wants 2 play there and trade steve blake and derrick fisher for lou Williams from the 76ers and a 2nd round pick for more youth…that sounds more realistic too if you ask me