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Lakers GM said he hopes to bring back Kobe and Gasol next summer

Aug 16, 2013, 12:31 PM EDT

San Antonio Spurs v Los Angeles Lakers - Game Four Getty Images

This is not what Lakers fans generally envision.

The idea is that after this season the Lakers only have Steve Nash, Robert Sacre and maybe Nick Young (player option but for only $1.2 million) on the books. Fans expect a radical overhaul of the roster and one that takes big steps back toward contending.

Kobe will be back (and the Lakers need to get a deal with him quickly because of his $32 million cap hold) but it was thought this is the end of the Pau Gasol era in Los Angeles.

Except that’s not what general manager Mitch Kupchak told the ESPNLosAngeles.com.

“We’re in a cycle,” Kupchak said. “We’re hopeful that within a year from now, we’ll have enough flexibility. We’re hopeful that Pau and Kobe can continue to play and we’ll have options to rebuild the team.”

The reality is things are fluid during the rebuild — if the Lakers can trade Gasol during this season to get a player or other asset they really want in return, they will do it. You can expect Gasol trade rumors to fly this season. The Lakers will listen to offers for Steve Nash (although it is unlikely the Lakers could get any value for him) and everyone on the roster not named Kobe.

But if there are not other options out there and Gasol will take a pay cut, the Lakers could bring him back.

Unless you are a die hard that thinks LeBron James really is going to bolt Miami for Los Angeles — which is about as likely as Kanye West covering “Billy Don’t Be a Hero” — this rebuild is really going to be a process, one that takes a couple seasons to come together. The realities of the new CBA and the NBA focus on pairing young stars is going to make this Lakers rebuild more challenging than ones in the past. It’s going to require a savvy and patient fan base.

And it could mean a couple more years of Kobe and Gasol together.

  1. boltsup - Aug 16, 2013 at 12:45 PM

    With no Pau , the Kobe doesn’t see #4 or #5… He deserves to retire a Laker, let him take the pay cut… The 2014 free agent class will be shrunken by time most of the restricted free agents lock into new deals… No1 is leaving money on the table in this new cheap NBA so let it go… Pau is a Laker, and maybe deserves his name in the rafters 1 day with the great Lakers all time.

  2. dirtydavis - Aug 16, 2013 at 12:59 PM

    That would be great if the lakers were to sign Kobe and Gasol at a discount…. Better yet trade Pau gasol to the T’wolves for Kevin Love

    • bucrightoff - Aug 16, 2013 at 1:49 PM

      Yeah! And while they’re at it trade Jordan Farmar for Kyrie Irving and Jodie Meeks for LeBron, since we’re doing stupid nonsensical trades that will never happen/

    • muhangis - Aug 16, 2013 at 1:58 PM

      HAHAHA not getting Love for Gasol……… HAHA

      • dirtydavis - Aug 16, 2013 at 2:06 PM

        Well— Kevin Love has expressed is frustration about the T’wolves organization. Pau Gasol and Rick Rubio are no strangers to one another. It’s a good fit for Twolves IMO.

      • adamsjohn714 - Aug 16, 2013 at 4:25 PM

        Wow Davis….. Losing a fantastic player for an older, worse player. Actually, that does sound like something the Timberwolves would do. However, they wouldn’t do it because he’s a good fit, but because their management often makes tremendously stupid moves.

      • casualcommenter - Aug 16, 2013 at 6:23 PM

        If Minnnesota were interested in trading Kevin Love, they could get better assets in return than a 34 year old Pau Gasol, so even if keeping Love is impossible, a Love for Gasol trade is unlikely.

      • kb2408 - Aug 16, 2013 at 7:36 PM

        No need to trade for Love…just wait until he’s an unrestricted free agent. Minny not giving him a five year deal just might come back to bite them on the bum bum.

  3. themars211 - Aug 16, 2013 at 1:14 PM

    If both can be signed at a lower rate that would be great. Gasol gets a lot of grief but where are we going to get another big with his skill set and size? With D. Howard gone his value is that much more enhanced. In my opinion getting Nash off the books earlier would be ideal. At this point in his career he is much more of wildcard as far as health and the production we will get from him.

    • dirtydavis - Aug 16, 2013 at 4:18 PM

      Agreed. Nash is good and all but Lakers already have a player who dominates the ball. Trade Nash next offseason

      • adamsjohn714 - Aug 16, 2013 at 4:26 PM

        The guy is 40. He has almost no trade value.

      • kb2408 - Aug 16, 2013 at 4:51 PM

        I can’t believe I’m agreeing with aj714!

  4. denverdougz - Aug 16, 2013 at 1:38 PM

    Davis that is the most ridiculous trade I have ever seen. Only lakers fans think that pau is anywhere close to as good as love

  5. 00maltliquor - Aug 16, 2013 at 1:39 PM

    I’m cool with that.

    Plus what themars211^ said.

  6. kb2408 - Aug 16, 2013 at 1:53 PM

    Look, all this is speculation. No one knows how the LAKERS will look at this time next year, not even Mitch. Honestly, I expect Pau to have a very good year this upcoming season. He and D12 couldn’t play effectively together last season and that was evident. If he stays healthy I bet we will see the Pau that’s good for 18 & 10 a night.

    • asimonetti88 - Aug 16, 2013 at 3:00 PM

      Pau should be able to play the center role in D’Antoni’s offense just fine. Although he typically favors undersized centers, Pau has many of the skills D’Antoni seeks from those centers, and his passing ability is much better than Dwight’s was. I think Pau will have a fine year if he can stay healthy, which was part of his issue last season.

  7. vi3tguy415 - Aug 16, 2013 at 3:05 PM

    we don’t want your boy LeBron to come. stay away. how can these idiots, including u kurt, love him so much? remember his quote 2 yrs ago? ” at the end of the day, you guys will all go back to your miserable life.” yea. take that from him.

  8. sportsfan18 - Aug 16, 2013 at 3:30 PM

    So many Laker fans talk about all the money they’ll have to rebuild with in 2014. They talk of only Nash and now Sacre at just under a million.

    It doesn’t work that way. There are minimum cap holds of over $500K plus the amount for their #1 draft pick in 2014 which depends on where they draft so this will be a good million.

    Kobe, let’s say he resigns for $10 million. Now, if they resign Gasol, I’m guessing now, maybe $8 million (he makes $19 million this yr and he’ll have to take less than Kobe).

    So with about a $62 million dollar salary cap next yr (give or take), they’ll only have around $28 million to spend (after the cap holds of $500K). Young has a player option for $1.2 million as well. If he plays well he’ll leave for more money. But if he stinks it up, he’ll accept his option for $1.2 million in 2014 which would reduce their available cap money to only $26 something million or so.

    Don’t get me wrong as this is a good bit of money but it isn’t simply the cap number of $62 million less Nash’s salary and Sacre.

    I mean the LeBron’s cost like $20 million a season which would eat a lot of there $26 something million in cap space.

    No, LeBron isn’t going there anyway but they’ll have a very hard time landing 2 so called stars in the summer of 14.

    Oh yeah, Melo made just under $20 million last season so if the Lakers somehow get him next summer, they’ll have about $6 million left to sign others but please keep in mind that all their players won’t be at the minimum cap hold of just over $500K that I used above so all players signed above that eat away at what’s left of this $6 million meaning it’s much less (again, if they sign Melo).

    Now they won’t sign LeBron and I don’t think Melo leaves NYC either.

    L.A.’s rebuild in 14 that everyone says will happen because they are the Lakers and will have so much money… well I can’t wait to see it.

    • kb2408 - Aug 16, 2013 at 4:18 PM

      Thanks for sharing. My only question to you is why aren’t you an NBA G.M.? Because it’s “obvious” you’re the most knowledgeable smartphone G.M. on here!!

      • sportsfan18 - Aug 17, 2013 at 1:58 PM

        Read up. Here is where I got the info from because I’m NOT a G.M.

        http://probasketballtalk.nbcsports.com/2013/07/23/lakers-will-not-have-quite-as-much-2014-cap-space-as-some-think/

        So many Laker fans spout about all the cap space they’ll have in 2014 but they are speaking without knowing the facts…

    • adamsjohn714 - Aug 16, 2013 at 4:30 PM

      It’s strange to see people assuming that lots of cap room automatically turns into a great roster. The Lakers DO have a lot of money to spend that summer, but they aren’t exactly a premier destination right now, and it remains to be seen whether they can spend it wisely.

    • asimonetti88 - Aug 16, 2013 at 4:59 PM

      Your numbers are off. You should look at the article Kurt wrote on this topic on this very blog a couple weeks ago. They will have room to add several players, but they will have to fill in the rest with garbage if they do. Similar to what Miami did in 2010.

    • casualcommenter - Aug 16, 2013 at 6:25 PM

      Basically, if the Lakers truly do bring back Kobe and Gasol, they’re (at best) adding 1 max level player to the roster.

    • dirtydavis - Aug 16, 2013 at 6:26 PM

      Sports fan is a wanna be poor man Bill Simmons… Get that junk outta here man.

      • adamsjohn714 - Aug 16, 2013 at 7:54 PM

        Bill Simmons is kind of a dunce. He’s got some pretty silly notions. He proclaims that totaling a players PPG, APG, and RPG shows you who the best guys are.

      • sportsfan18 - Aug 17, 2013 at 2:04 PM

        dirtydavis

        The info I spoke about was from another article on this site last month. Can’t believe none of you are able to remember just one month ago.

        What I said wasn’t from my mind. Too many Laker fans tell us on this site and others about ALL the cap space they’ll have in 2014.

        Funny how facts get in the way of what they spew out to the rest of us though.

        Then, they always talk about how the Lakers have been such a great franchise rebuild and reload and that part HAS been true.

        Sadly, Dr. Buss is no longer running the team. While not a Laker fan, I give them much respect for what they’ve done for the past 30 yrs or so.

        But current fans tell us that the Lakers are guaranteed to rebuild and reload because they have for so long.

        Well, the one running the team isn’t Dr. Buss anymore and the most recent CBA agreement has changed the landscape so it won’t be as easy.

        And, well this isn’t just me talking about this. There was an article about just this topic on this site a few days ago…

    • kinggw - Aug 16, 2013 at 8:19 PM

      The Laker faithful don’t like the truth.

  9. emdawt - Aug 16, 2013 at 4:12 PM

    I’m okay with the Lakers bring back Kobe and Pau for 2014. As long as it prevents them from doing something stupid next summer (signing Rudy Gay).

    Wait until 2015 and make a run at Kevin Love, Rondo, Marc Gasol or Hibbert.

  10. chargerdillon - Aug 16, 2013 at 5:21 PM

    I’d love to have Gasol back, Kobe I’m not so sure on. If we get the Kobe of last year, I’d just as soon hope he retires THIS YEAR.

    Despite the fact he still gives more effort than Dwight ever would, Kobe didn’t take enough ownership for his poor shooting, way too much ball hogging and putting up bad shots, and most importantly of all put Dwight in a position to feel like it wasn’t ever going to be his team.

    I’m happy Dwight isn’t the man we’re leaning on, but I’m equally puzzled the Lakers are leaning on Kobe 2 years too long already

    I’m a Kobe diehard, but time goes on, and players move on. We’ve reached the end of Kobe’s run and i’d rather not see him go out like a punch drunk boxer afraid to accept his own diminishing returns

  11. vi3tguy415 - Aug 16, 2013 at 7:06 PM

    we don’t want your boy LeBron to come. stay away. how can these idiots, including u kurt, love him so much? remember his quote 2 yrs ago? ” at the end of the day, you guys will all go back to your miserable life.” yea. take that from him.

  12. sfsugator - Aug 16, 2013 at 7:52 PM

    Kobe, Pau, Lebron, Melo, Nash
    yup bout to get that 6th ring for kobe, LeBron will be working on number 4 or 3 if they don’t win this year. Dwight Howard leaving is the best thing to happen to laker nation since shaq signed back in the day. Get ready haters.

    • jimeejohnson - Aug 16, 2013 at 10:08 PM

      Lakers have no nucleus for the future. They’re not built to win now. Basically, things are not looking good for this proud franchise. They cyclical nature of history says the Lakers will be back, but until another Shaq or Kobe walks thru the door, the Lakers are not competing for a championship.

      • kb2408 - Aug 16, 2013 at 10:36 PM

        I’m sure you said the same thing when Shaq left….or, another way to put it, two championships ago.

      • sportsfan18 - Aug 17, 2013 at 3:10 PM

        kb2408

        I give much credit to Dr. Buss and what the Lakers were able to accomplish over the last 30 yrs or so.

        Sadly, Dr. Buss is no longer running the team and the most recent CBA has altered the landscape in a way that didn’t exist during the past 30 yrs or so.

        Just because the Lakers rebuilt and reloaded after Shaq and still won championships doesn’t guarantee them they will in the coming few yrs the way they did before because things HAVE changed, notably no Dr. Buss and the new CBA.

    • sportsfan18 - Aug 17, 2013 at 3:13 PM

      sfsugator

      Please enlighten us as to HOW the Lakers could afford Kobe, Pau, LeBron, Melo and Nash?

      Look at the info and stats in this article, which was on this site last month, and then tell us how the math works to back your statement up about the Lakers having these players.

      http://probasketballtalk.nbcsports.com/2013/07/23/lakers-will-not-have-quite-as-much-2014-cap-space-as-some-think/

  13. onlyavoice - Aug 16, 2013 at 11:19 PM

    Kobe Is Not Intending On Coming Back By The Opener.
    He Doesn’t Want To Play For D’Antoni, Look Where It Got Him.
    He Had To Have Nash Moved To The 2 Because He Couldn’t Adjust To Playing With A True Center (Howard- Same As Shaq In Pheonix) Or Pau. (Pau Was D’Antoni’s Bench Boy Remember)
    It Was Kobe Who Had Pau Back In The Lineup, Not D’Antoni. It was Kobe Who Had Both Pau & Howard Playing Well Together.
    Expect D’Antoni To Be Fired Early. No Big Name Free Agent Will Sign With D’Antoni & Overrated & Over The Hill Nash There.
    Kobe Wants To Win, The D’Antoni/Nash System Does Not Win Championships.
    (Remember, Pau Was D’Antoni’s Bench Boy. Without Kobe, Pau Will Be Back On The Pine)

    • sportsfan18 - Aug 17, 2013 at 3:18 PM

      Pretty good points overall… I actually agree with them…

      Sadly, it took the disaster last season to happen for Kobe to learn.

      D’Antoni was only in L.A. last yr because Kobe wanted him, liked him. He even called him a genius before the season last yr in an interview. Kobe and D’Antoni’s relationship goes way back to Italy when D’Antoni played there and Kobe was a child while his dad played there too.

      If Kobe DIDN’T want D’Antoni in L..A. last yr he wouldn’t have been there.

      So what Kobe thought and wanted didn’t work out and the disaster last yr ensued afterwards…

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