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L.A. GM Kupchak reiterates Lakers will not be making trade

Feb 4, 2013, 12:50 PM EDT

Mitch Kupchak AP

You can’t completely trust what a general manager says this time of year, because even if they mean it when they say “we’re not making a trade” things could change in a couple of weeks. An offer they cannot refuse could fall in their laps.

But I believe Lakers GM Mitch Kupchak when he says the Lakers are not going to make a trade.

Kupchak (a Long Island native) spoke to Newsday and really couldn’t have been clearer about his intentions.

“We will not make a trade. We will not trade Dwight Howard. We have no intention of making a trade. It’s unlikely that we’ll make any trade with any of our principal players. To make another change at this time of the year being behind the eight-ball like we are, I think that would just make it more difficult. The talent is there. We have to find our way.”

Kupchak is right — after a season of changes the Lakers are just now starting to figure out how to get their stars to play together and make it work. Whether they can maintain it and whether they figured it out in time remain to be seen, but the last thing the team needs now is some sort of major shakeup.

And the Lakers are not trading Howard. Under no circumstances. They want to re-sign him this summer as the player who will anchor the team after Kobe leaves. Any talk of trading him has been wishful thinking and speculation from other teams. And the teams that did call the Lakers to inquire about Howard pretty much were hung up on. Kupchak is too polite to do that directly, but it’s pretty much it.

Don’t be shocked if the Lakers make a move or three this summer, including possibly a Pau Gasol trade (although that is complex and the Lakers will not want to take long-term money back). They Lakers need more athletes for the D’Antoni system but they need stability more. But for now, what you see is what the Lakers will have to try and make a push to the playoffs.

  1. manchestermiracle - Feb 4, 2013 at 12:56 PM

    Don’t rule out Kupchak finding a way to get what his team needs, but he’s also got to be a bit gun-shy because of Stern’s penchant of sticking his nose in where it doesn’t belong (Chris Paul fiasco).

    • paleihe - Feb 4, 2013 at 2:17 PM

      Holy Christ, people gotta let that go!

      Stern was the acting owner of the Hornets and decided he didn’t want that trade. It’s that damn simple.

      • jedifriedchicken - Feb 4, 2013 at 2:50 PM

        No.

      • aboogy123456 - Feb 4, 2013 at 2:59 PM

        Stern changed history with that fiasco. I’m convinced with paul they would have won the championship last year and would be contending again this year.

      • k3nn3k - Feb 4, 2013 at 4:02 PM

        @aboogy, I’m pretty sure you thought that too when the Lakers picked up d12 and Nash. “What ifs” can’t save your season now.

      • paleihe - Feb 4, 2013 at 4:27 PM

        I’m a Laker and Clipper fan. I’ve heard all the Laker sob stories about the Chris Paul trade.

        It’s unfounded. As the acting owner of the team, he had the right (at the time) to deny the trade. He did. And NO is better off for it.

      • aboogy123456 - Feb 4, 2013 at 5:39 PM

        @k3nn3k

        What is your point? The lakers would have undoubtedly been a better team, so I have to live with the “what if” because Stern screwed the lakers. Also, you forget that lakers would have actually saved money by doing the deal.

  2. tannethrill - Feb 4, 2013 at 12:59 PM

    He’s banking on the max. They’re then only ones that can offer it but when pish comes to shove in the off season the sign and trade is always the better option for the previous team. Just ask the Cavs owner.

    • crtzinc - Feb 4, 2013 at 1:34 PM

      This is not like LeBron. With the new CBA you can’t do a sign and trade with Dwight to get Max money with any team anymore. Dwight can only get max money with the Lakers, which he will take.

      • shanelsweet - Feb 4, 2013 at 6:56 PM

        Maybe he’ll take it, or maybe he’ll listen to Lebron and take a little bit less to work with folks he likes.. He’s clearly not having fun in LA, and he’s a guy that like to have fun. A move to Brooklyn with his friends might still happen. Won’t that be a kick in the teeth for the Lakers that will keep all the lakerhaters happy for quite some time?

  3. fanofevilempire - Feb 4, 2013 at 2:16 PM

    Dwight doesn’t look like a max guy right now, what’s up with the shoulder.

    • eventhorizon04 - Feb 4, 2013 at 6:08 PM

      To completely heal his shoulder injury (torn labrum), Howard either needs prolonged rest/rehab or surgery.

      Both of those options require him to be shut-down for the rest of the season, since the shoulder surgery would definitely end his season, and he can’t realistically get rest/rehab while playing 40+ games as the Lakers fight to get an 8th seed. He gets beat up every game because of the position he plays and the fact he can’t hit free throws.

      So he’s stuck playing the rest of the season with a vulnerable shoulder.

  4. edwardsro - Feb 4, 2013 at 2:46 PM

    The hornets GM was given all authority to make trades and he made one with the Lakers than stern cancelled the trade to the lakers. It destroyed our team for years. So I am not going to just get over it

    • dr227 - Feb 4, 2013 at 3:51 PM

      it must weird to be rooting for the 2nd best team in LA

      • k3nn3k - Feb 4, 2013 at 4:04 PM

        Don’t forget to mention the 12th best team in the west!

    • k3nn3k - Feb 4, 2013 at 4:14 PM

      How did this trade not happening ruin the Lakers for years? The deal didn’t go through so everyone was left the players they already had. You must be implying that the Lakers sucked even before the cp3 trade was even available. Because cp3 wasn’t picked up the Lakers were able to afford d12 and nash and jamison…how is that a bad situation? Your problem lies with the interior fighting of the buss family once daddy buss left the post. And let’s be real here, Phil Jackson could have made something with this talent, but bc jim buss didn’t want him around or him hooking up with his sister Jeanie the lakers are suffering.

      • zacksdad - Feb 4, 2013 at 4:43 PM

        No, they lost Odom after he cried in his Wheaties cereal. They finally were able to use his trade exception to get Nash, but it still hurt the Mojo of the team.

        Stern only vetoed the trade because other owners complained. The GM of the Hornets believed he had the best trade possible. What did the Hornets get from the Clippers, is it only Eric Gordon, Al-Farouq Aminu, and drafted Austin Rivers. The lost Kaman for nothing. But the Hornets also gave up two future 2nd draft picks. Gordon does not like playing there. Aminu is a big 7.5 PPG. Rivers is 6.1 PPG on 34.1% shooting.

        Phil Jackson predicted it way before it ever happened. He stated the league should not own a team, there is a conflict of interest. The Zen Master sees all.

  5. michaeljordanseviltwin - Feb 4, 2013 at 3:28 PM

    Kupchek says a trade would be too difficult to overcome “behind the eightball” as they are; except they have zero chance at a championship this year. There’s nothing to salvage in 2013 unless he’s thinking of the next couple years. I just want to see Pau return to his natural position.

  6. zacksdad - Feb 4, 2013 at 4:21 PM

    I like Mitch, but lately he is only a puppet for Jimmie. Sad such a great basketball mind and GM wasted on the childish whims of Jimmie.

    • Foul Dwimmerlaik - Feb 4, 2013 at 9:52 PM

      Right between the eyes…

  7. fanz928 - Feb 4, 2013 at 6:01 PM

    Trade gasol and Nash for Irving and zeller

    • eventhorizon04 - Feb 4, 2013 at 6:16 PM

      Nash is at most 2 years away from retirement. Gasol is on the decline and getting paid $19 million per year. The Cavaliers have no reason to trade away a young future star in Irving on his rookie deal for those guys.

      If you’re going to propose trades that are unrealistic and wildly skewed in favor of the Lakers, why “settle” for Irving and Zeller when you could demand the Lakers trade Gasol, Jamison, and Nash for Durant and Westbrook?

    • bougin89 - Feb 5, 2013 at 9:51 AM

      Why wouldn’t this 3-team trade work:

      Lakers get:
      Kevin Durant
      Kyrie Irving
      Serge Ibaka

      Cavaliers get:
      Steve Blake

      Thunder Get:
      Metta World Peave
      Antwuan Jamison

      Some Laker fans are so delusional it’s sick…

  8. lakerfan4life - Feb 4, 2013 at 8:58 PM

    Here’s hoping that the Lakers management see that the only “trade” that needs to happen at the end of the season, is to “trade” out No-D’Antoni for Phil Jackson! Then Howard will surely re-sign, and Kobe’s last year will be a bonafide chance to win another Championship!

  9. ghelton03 - Feb 5, 2013 at 2:07 AM

    Kupchack has to be worried if Howard is the guy I want to build my future around. I wouldn’t. He is too risky and is more likely to fail than succeed.

  10. ghelton03 - Feb 5, 2013 at 2:11 AM

    I think the guy that is hurting the Lakers the most right now is Metta. He is is getting wide open looks at the basket, jacking up 20 shots a game and making very few. He is just standing around on the perimeter and not playing much D.

  11. omniusprime - Feb 5, 2013 at 8:51 AM

    Kurt you’re a fool if you think the Dumbtoni system is worth squat. What the Lakers need to do is trade away Trash Nash and Steve Flake for a great young point guard like Kyrie Irving. That was the whole idea behind trading Fisher, get younger at PG and now we’re older.

    Pau Gasol might not be in his prime any longer but he’s still a great player and when Howard is injured he’s the only one capable of being the big man inside.

    The smartest thing the Lakers can do is get rid of the dumbest coach in Laker history and find a good coach. A shame the little idiot buss boy didn’t have the patience and intelligence to interview Phil Jackson a second time. If we had Phil Jackson the Lakers would be a cinch for the playoffs.

    Fire Dumbtoni!!! Trade Trash Nash!!! Trade Steve Flake!!! We Want Gasol!!!

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