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Kupchak says Lakers are “pursuing big deals right now”

Dec 12, 2011, 5:40 PM EDT

Mitch Kupchak AP

Mitch Kupchak is not a self promoter, not a guy who likes to see his name in the papers, not a guy who boasts (except about North Carolina hoops now and again). If he says something, he means it. Just like Jerry West, who he learned under (although West was more talkative than Kupchak).

So when Kupchak told Lakers reporters today that the team was still looking to make a big splash, know that he means it. Here are his quotes, via Kevin Ding of the Orange County 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.”

The Lakers had a deal in principle to land Chris Paul until David Stern blew it up. They are in on the Dwight Howard sweepstakes, but that is a slow moving process. The Lakers reportedly do not want to send both Andrew Bynum and Pau Gasol to Orlando, but that may be the price.

Which is why having Lamar Odom around would have helped. That Lakers trade is confusing, sending Odom to the Dallas Mavericks for a trade exception ($8.9 million) and heavily-restricted first-round pick. However, Odom was troubled that he was almost traded for Paul and asked to be traded, Kupchak said.

Kupchak said the Lakers were more interested in the trade exception from Dallas than the risks and limitations of taking on other players, citing “flexibility going forward” now. He said the Lakers did not want to “wait two or three weeks” to see if Odom’s mood changed, saying Odom would’ve “sucked energy” from the team and “we might not have had a better opportunity” than Dallas’ trade exception and first-round pick.

Kupchak did not shy away from the Lakers looking for a big deal, however.

Asked specifically about hope of getting Paul still with him not having moved to the Clippers or anywhere else, Kupchak answered: “There’s several big deals out there that we’re still pursuing.” He also said they weren’t limited to “the two” that people are thinking about, meaning Paul and Dwight Howard.

  1. doctorfootball - Dec 12, 2011 at 5:47 PM

    It’s going to be really great to have one season where the lakers aren’t contenders. There is a God.

  2. king7key - Dec 12, 2011 at 6:05 PM

    Better hit a Homerun with this next one…being that you just gave odom away for a six pack of beer and a pack of peanuts.

    • florida727 - Dec 12, 2011 at 6:13 PM

      Salted peanuts? The beer was at least cold, right?

      • king7key - Dec 12, 2011 at 6:20 PM

        It was a hot six pack of natural light…Lmao

  3. bigtganks - Dec 12, 2011 at 6:13 PM

    Why’s Kobe mad? He should be mad at Odom. It’s clear he wanted out after being trade bait and was willfully sucking life from the team. Doesn’t sound like a team player to me. If I were Kobe, I’d be the one driving Lamar to the airport for sabatoging the team with his selfish antics.

  4. richfactor - Dec 12, 2011 at 6:31 PM

    (insert team name here) is looking for big name players.

  5. thevza - Dec 12, 2011 at 6:38 PM

    “ ‘We are pursuing big deals right now,’ Kupchak said.”
    He then pulled the minivan over into the Best Buy parking lot, newsletter in hand.

  6. bobthis - Dec 12, 2011 at 8:06 PM

    I think Bill Russel is available. Pretty sure Stern would void that deal too. When he nixed the Paul deal it just seems like the Lakers didn’t stand up for themselves and wimped out.

  7. rferrel - Dec 12, 2011 at 9:37 PM

    The Lakers “did not want to wait two or three weeks” to see if Odom’s mood changed had nothing to do with it. Odom told the Lakers (Kupchak) to piss off. Nothing more to it.

    • bobthis - Dec 13, 2011 at 9:34 AM

      I didn’t realize you were actually in the room when Kupchak and Odim had the meeting.

  8. chargerdillon - Dec 12, 2011 at 9:42 PM

    Remember the last offseason Kobe was pissed? That’s when we got Pau…

    3 finals appearences and 2 rings later, Kobe is pissed again….

    Mitch! release the hounds!

    • rferrel - Dec 12, 2011 at 9:50 PM

      That was due to Jerry West giving him to the Lakers.

      • mytthor - Dec 13, 2011 at 12:09 AM

        except for the part where Marc Gasol also became an all-star and Jerry West wasn’t working for the Grizzlies at the time.

      • bozosforall - Dec 13, 2011 at 9:49 AM

        rferrel…mytthor just OWNED you.

      • loungefly74 - Dec 13, 2011 at 12:34 PM

        rferrel just got pwned by mytthor!

        yeah…people have this revisionist history about that whole situation. rferrel, you comment was weak and silly

      • bozosforall - Dec 13, 2011 at 1:34 PM

        Of course, now if rferrel wants to rail on a GM giving a player to his former team, he can always take legitimate shots at Kevin McHale and the garbage that he took in exchange for Kevin Garnett.

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