Lakers GM: Team Still Pursuing ‘Big Deals’

While explaining the head-scratching Lamar Odom trade to Dallas, Lakers GM Mitch Kupchak told the assembled media that the team hasn’t given up on making a splash with a big trade. Per the OC Register: “We are pursuing big deals right now,’ Kupchak said. But Kupchak said he didn’t know if anything could come to fruition and therefore ‘we expect to have them (Kobe Bryant, Pau Gasol and Andrew Bynum) all season, yes.’ Kupchak said that was the only way he could look at it given the uncertainty. It was clear that no one but Bryant, who has a no-trade clause in his contract, can be assured of staying on the Lakers’ roster. ‘There are no guarantees going forward,’ Kupchak said. Regardless, armed with the trade exception acquired in the Lamar Odom deal from Dallas, Kupchak said he does intend to ‘add to the mix’ on the roster with one player or two before the start of the season. He recognized the shortcomings currently in the frontcourt. Kupchak said Odom would not have been traded if he hadn’t asked for a trade. He also said the Lakers acted quickly in part because ‘it’s very rare to be able to move a player of that salary size ($8.9 million).’ Lamar is probably more sensitive and more emotional than most people,’ said Kupchak, noting that it is a positive for Odom more than a negative. But Kupchak said Odom ‘couldn’t get over’ the Lakers having tried to trade him for Paul before that deal was blocked by the NBA, owners of the New Orleans Hornets. ‘It’s all tied into what took place last week (with the aborted Paul trade),’ Kupchak said about Odom.”