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Lakers GM says expect more Pau Gasol… and eventually Kobe

Sep 25, 2013, 4:34 PM EDT

Pau Gasol Kobe Bryant Getty Images

Kobe Bryant will be back when he’s back, and when he is you can expect him to play like Kobe Bryant — he’s not changing.

But what else can you expect from the Lakers this season? What about next summer?

Lakers GM Mitch Kupchak met with the media on Wednesday and basically reiterated previous answers in new words. For example, he said once again they franchise is “100 percent” behind Mike D’Antoni as coach. Of course, what else is he going to say?

In the short term, Kupchak said to expect a lot more of Pau Gasol down on the block (via reporters Kevin Ding of Bleacher Report and Mike Trudell of Lakers.com):

Gasol is incredibly skilled as a scorer and passer on the block and for the past couple of seasons (due to Andrew Bynum and Dwight Howard) he has been pushed into more of a power forward role. This season he goes back to his strengths, so long as Mike D’Antoni lets him.

As for Kobe, Kupchak said there is no timetable and again said he is not even running at 100 percent yet. Kupchak didn’t sound like a guy who expects Kobe to be in uniform opening night.

Most Lakers fans are not focused on this season but the next summer — that is when a lot of Lakers salary comes off the books (including Gasol and Kobe) and the franchise can rebuild with free agents. Kupchak said the Lakers plan to bring back Kobe Bryant, but they have not discussed a price with him yet.

But Kupchak is realistic about getting the big names (LeBron James, Carmelo Anthony and others) to come to L.A. next summer. Kupchak has said before the plan is less for the summer of 2014 and more about 2015 and beyond and he echoed those thoughts again.

As for Shaq as co-owner of the Sacramento Kings….

  1. antistratfordian - Sep 25, 2013 at 4:48 PM

    Are we supposed to buy this hullabaloo? They just spent the last few years trying to get rid of Gasol.

    • imakcds - Sep 25, 2013 at 4:54 PM

      all the so called fans were trying to get rid of Gasol…you, perhaps??

      • antistratfordian - Sep 25, 2013 at 5:08 PM

        Fans? Gasol was actually traded, if you remember. He’s been on the block for at least the last two seasons.

        Every year he’s been starting with the same comments about understanding that its a business and not worrying about things he can’t control, etc.

    • casualcommenter - Sep 25, 2013 at 5:50 PM

      “Are we supposed to buy this hullabaloo?”

      …Yes. I’m not a Lakers fan, but the thinking here is obvious.
      Kobe is likely out or at least very limited by his Achilles at the start of next season.
      Nash is likely going to be limited due to his age and worsening durability at the start of next season.
      Nick Young and Chris Kaman are likely going to be limited by being Nick Young and Chris Kaman next season.

      So when it comes to who is going to be the focal point of the offense early in the season, the obvious answer is Gasol. He’ll be their most effective option early on, and getting Gasol to put up better numbers makes him a more appealing trade target if they decide to go that route.

      • antistratfordian - Sep 25, 2013 at 6:41 PM

        Your commentary is too casual for me, casualcommenter.

        I am aware of the Lakers personnel issues. But you are not reading between the lines. No one is going to buy their newfound desire to keep Gasol a Laker for life. They put a disingenuous comment like that out there for calculated reasons.

      • antistratfordian - Sep 25, 2013 at 6:43 PM

        Oh nvm.

  2. program33 - Sep 26, 2013 at 2:58 AM

    Right now the problem with the Lakers is they have the wrong coach. Get a new coach and things will begin to look up.

  3. omniusprime - Sep 26, 2013 at 8:56 AM

    Kupcake is such a moron, Gasol is all that’s left on the block. This will be a sorry season thanks to that dimwitted Jerky Jimmy boy and his clueless approach to basketball. Plus never believe the line that a team is 100% behind a coach, yeah they’re always 100% behind a coach until they fire him and Dumbtoni will be run out of LA just like Clueless Clown Brown was last year.

    If Kobe’s smart he pulls a Derrick Rose, wimps out recovering from his injury the whole year then he bails from the Lakers to go enjoy playing somewhere else. Perhaps Kobe should go play in the Italian League and just enjoy the game. I’m not going to bother watching any NBA this year, I’ve only watched Laker games for a long time and now the Lakers aren’t worth a pile of poo and neither is the degenerate NBA with Stern ruining the whole show.

    Fire Dumbtoni!!! Trade Trash Nash and Steve Flake!!!

  4. jimsjam33 - Sep 26, 2013 at 4:05 PM

    Which ” Block ” are we talking about ? Trading or Low Post ? Gasol is going to New York soon for Amare Stoudamire and Raymond Felton .

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