Lakers GM Mitch Kupchak: ‘There Will be Some Change’

by May 24, 2012

It promises to be a busy summer for the front-office of the Los Angeles Lakers, and even though he wouldn’t go into any great detail, Mitch Kupchak did promise change in personnel for the team. From the LA Times: “There will be some change,’ said Lakers General Manager Mitch Kupchak, the sting still fresh from another ouster in the Western Conference semifinals. ‘When you lose before you think you should have lost, you have to open up all opportunities. ‘We get graded on the success of the team. That’s how it is in this franchise‚Ķ.We’re disappointed. We thought going into the season, and even up until a week ago, that we were one of three or four or five teams that could contend for a championship.’ Instead, the Lakers failed to get out of the month of May, again. On the same day Kupchak reaffirmed the Lakers would pick up a $16.1-million team option on Andrew Bynum next season, it became more obvious that Pau Gasol would be the team’s main trade chip. He underperformed this season, averaging only 12.5 points in the playoffs, and couldn’t get any firm answers from Kupchak in his exit meeting. ‘I wish I could have clarification, but they can’t give it to me right now,’ said Gasol, who has two years and $38.3 million left on his contract. ‘I think management still has to talk to ownership to see what direction this thing will be going next year.’ The Lakers have a host of players who will become free agents July 1. Point guard Ramon Sessions is also expected to become one by declining a one-year, $4.55-million player option next month. Matt Barnes is not expected back. Jordan Hill and Devin Ebanks probably will find only limited interest in the free-agent market. Despite saying the Lakers would pursue trades more aggressively, Kupchak added that the team could be successful if it didn’t pull off anything.”