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Old 01-31-2011, 10:11 PM   #1
gts
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Default Article:Lakers' struggles have Kupchak ready to make moves / Trade Rumors

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Posted Jan 31 2011 7:08PM
EL SEGUNDO, Calif. -- The Lakers officially entered crisis mode Monday, when general manager Mitch Kupchak told NBA.com that the recent poor play by the two-time defending champions may drive him to make a trade to shake up an underachieving roster.

"Regarding a trade, I may have to," Kupchak said at the team's practice facility a day after the convincing loss to their heated rivals, the Celtics. "I'm not saying that I've made calls today or I'll make them tomorrow. But I just don't think that we're playing as well as our talent level should allow us."
Even speaking in his usual measured tones, Kupchak's disappointment and frustration were obvious. More importantly, while saying he had not talked to owner Jerry Buss since being controlled by the Celtics in the fourth quarter at Staples Center, Kupchak said, "I'd be surprised if he feels any different."

The Lakers are 33-15, good for second place in the Western Conference, 7 1/2 games behind the Spurs and a game ahead of the Mavericks heading into Dallas' meeting with the Wizards on Monday night. But Los Angeles mostly built that with a good start against a soft schedule. Even the recent showing of 10 wins in 12 games did little to erase internal concerns, especially since that has been followed by home losses to the Kings and Celtics.

Most glaring of all, the Lakers have struggled to play with consistency against the best teams in the league, the clubs that will become the obstacles between a third consecutive title and a disappointing end to what Phil Jackson says is his final season as coach. Since Christmas alone, they have lost to the Heat by 16, the Spurs by 15, the Mavericks by nine and, now, the Celtics by 13, while beating the Thunder by seven.

"I try to be as objective as possible, but I'm concerned that our performance is not living up to our talent level," Kupchak said. "Our record is certainly OK. But we've lost a bunch of home games. We've lost a couple of big games at home. And to me, those are red flags.

"I'm not convinced it's lack of talent. I think it's there. Our team is very similar -- certainly our starting five is exact -- as the team last year. Yes, we're a year older. But it's not like our guys are 34, 35 or 36. They're all between 29 and 31 or 32. I think we've added a couple players that may make our roster even stronger, with Steve Blake and Matt Barnes. ... You don't age off the charts in one year when you're 30 or 31."

So, the Lakers may consider trades.

"I wasn't," Kupchak said. "But it looks as if we may have to. ... It's something I may do in the future. I just don't think that our talent level is playing as well as they can play. We have an incredibly high payroll and we do that because we have players that normally produce at a high level. And I'm not sure I see that now."

http://www.nba.com/2011/news/feature...s=iref:nbahpt1
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Old 01-31-2011, 10:19 PM   #2
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Default Re: Article:Lakers' struggles have Kupchak ready to make moves

That could be the motivation this squad needs to get going... i'd say now, they are at about rock bottom... so its going to get better from this point on.

The team has been served notice to wake up and start playing.



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Old 01-31-2011, 10:30 PM   #3
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Default Re: Article:Lakers' struggles have Kupchak ready to make moves

Looks like even Kupchak is taken aback by the Lakers performance. Surprised that these guys are nervous now? I definitely am not. I, along with few others, have been saying for WEEKS now that these guys don't look the same - I said something almost exactly what Kupchak said in that article in one of my long posts. This just shows that the troubles this season isn't on the same level as last seasons as some people were trying to make it seem like. I argued against it so much along with few other posters back over a month ago w/ people trying to argue that the problem was the same at this point as last season that I finally had to stop because it was obviously falling on deaf ears.

Not trying to turn this into a "Told you so" thread, but it just annoys me that only a few people saw the issue mounting this season. Many people were quick to say "This happens every season, this season is no diff than last and just a few fans panic'ing like usual" before being completely disregarded.

Now that guys like Phil, the "logo" and Kupchak (and Jerry Buss also agrees according to what Kupchak said) come out and say something otherwise, nobody is saying anymore "Ohh, this happens every year." That well-spread argument is pretty much gone now to "Yeah, if Kupchak comes out then this Laker team is definitely in more than just a normal slump."


As for the move, I don't even know what Kupchak can do that is enough to make a change but not significant enough to hurt the team ultimately. Don't have a lot of easy to move contracts.. especially with the CBA set to expire, I don't even know who to get or what kind of deal to go for in the trade.. I honestly don't feel like Kupchak is going to make any halfway decent acquisition before off season. Maybe with an early round playoff exit, Kupchak might be forced to do something then since there will be more playing money and full MLE (while dumping off couple contracts if necessary).
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Old 01-31-2011, 10:33 PM   #4
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Default Re: Article:Lakers' struggles have Kupchak ready to make moves

Well, personally, I think its a matter of effort, not talent that is the problem with this team... so that is what needs to be "fixed." This team is unstoppable when their backs are against the wall so perhaps this is one way to push them up against the wall for a while. This is rock bottom for them, so they have only room to go up!

Enjoy the journey.... (well at least try) haha




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Old 01-31-2011, 11:04 PM   #5
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Default Re: Article:Lakers' struggles have Kupchak ready to make moves

so what's the over under on the first insider dropping hints a melo to LA trade is in the works?

not some guy on a message board or fly by night blog but a known sports writer from a legit source like yahoo espn or newspaper
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Old 01-31-2011, 11:18 PM   #6
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Default Re: Article:Lakers' struggles have Kupchak ready to make moves

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Originally Posted by gts
so what's the over under on the first insider dropping hints a melo to LA trade is in the works?

not some guy on a message board or fly by night blog but a known sports writer from a legit source like yahoo espn or newspaper

true that... that kind of talk is already on the sports talk radio circuit...




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Old 01-31-2011, 11:30 PM   #7
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Default Re: Article:Lakers' struggles have Kupchak ready to make moves

SoCal that's why the Lakers need someone to play with effort. Why have the talent if u can't get an effort out of them.I would rather have hungry role players instead of lazy talent.

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Old 01-31-2011, 11:48 PM   #8
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Default Re: Article:Lakers' struggles have Kupchak ready to make moves

Kupchak could be trying to light a fire under these guys' asses. Telling the media that he may have to make a trade isn't all that smart if you are really trying to make a deal. You lose leverage when you do that. And its not normal for the Lakers to come out and say things like that.

As Socal has said, I hope this provides motivation for the squad.

Not trying to say he is a huge difference maker, but Matt Barnes was the one guy we could always count on to bring the effort and grit to the team this year. His departure from the bench has hurt us.

In regards to trades, I dont think we have the pieces to make a deal. I would've liked to see Sasha and Brown for Hinrich, but not happening now for sure.
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Old 01-31-2011, 11:57 PM   #9
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Default Re: Article:Lakers' struggles have Kupchak ready to make moves

Oh now, insert ESPN Trade machine posts there... LOL

let the games begin!

i have no clue who could be available and who could actually be an impact player that the lakers could get.... i hope folks dont start throwing out every name possible just because it "works" in the trade machine.

Lakers have a trade exception and not much else to trade....




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Old 02-01-2011, 12:05 AM   #10
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Default Re: Article:Lakers' struggles have Kupchak ready to make moves

There really is no deal out there. The tradable assets are not being dealt and the guys who would be on the block wont bring better value back.
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Old 02-01-2011, 12:07 AM   #11
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Default Re: Article:Lakers' struggles have Kupchak ready to make moves

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Originally Posted by ihatetimthomas
There really is no deal out there. The tradable assets are not being dealt and the guys who would be on the block wont bring better value back.

i think i agree with you... i cant think of any team that would want to help the lakers at this point in the season.

i think the point that kupchak made was to wake up this laker team and remind them to shape up or ship out.



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Old 02-01-2011, 12:14 AM   #12
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Default Re: Article:Lakers' struggles have Kupchak ready to make moves

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Originally Posted by SoCalMike
i think i agree with you... i cant think of any team that would want to help the lakers at this point in the season.

i think the point that kupchak made was to wake up this laker team and remind them to shape up or ship out.




Pretty much this. Lakers rarely leak things to the media when they are looking to deal. So there must be an another motive. And that is to get these guys motivated.
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Old 02-01-2011, 12:34 AM   #13
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Default Re: Article:Lakers' struggles have Kupchak ready to make moves

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Originally Posted by ihatetimthomas
Pretty much this. Lakers rarely leak things to the media when they are looking to deal. So there must be an another motive. And that is to get these guys motivated.
i agree, i do think this is a stir the locker room pot move by mitch but like you said the lakers never talk about dealings they also never talk about internal dealings/problems so i wonder if this is the laker way of putting the other teams on notice someone is available..
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Old 02-01-2011, 12:35 AM   #14
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Default Re: Article:Lakers' struggles have Kupchak ready to make moves

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Originally Posted by SoCalMike
Well, personally, I think its a matter of effort, not talent that is the problem with this team... so that is what needs to be "fixed." This team is unstoppable when their backs are against the wall so perhaps this is one way to push them up against the wall for a while. This is rock bottom for them, so they have only room to go up!

Enjoy the journey.... (well at least try) haha




They are still on West top 8 so I don't think the team think sees themselves at rock bottom yet... They are playing like average team and looking listless, bored...no longer "defending champions" level type. They probably think they can push a button and voila it'll be back.

From the way they play, I don't think it's the same like last year. The top teams have made adjustment and catching up. Lakers, defending champions, have tried their best and still lost. Lakers have lost to all the teams that matter i.e. Boston, Heat, Dallas, San Antonio...and even Clippers. There's no such thing as "defending champions", every year is a new reset. They have to earn it. It's not automatic. It's not only a litmus test for the non-defending champions to play with the Lakers, but for Lakers themselves as well.

Rock bottom? See whatever Minnesota or Sacramento are doing...o wait...they beat us once...this must be "fallen defending champion" journey. What to do when the drivers of the tour are no longer enthusiastic as other tour drivers? Trade deadline is approaching. O well...if only Kobe willing to take paycut by alot so they can bring someone "big" to have true Big 3. IDK. They are probably in sahara quicksand thinking they are still champions and can beat any team at will. It does not look good.

Last edited by kobesabi : 02-01-2011 at 12:39 AM.
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Old 02-01-2011, 01:00 AM   #15
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Default Re: Article:Lakers' struggles have Kupchak ready to make moves

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Originally Posted by kobesabi
They are still on West top 8 so I don't think the team think sees themselves at rock bottom yet... They are playing like average team and looking listless, bored...no longer "defending champions" level type. They probably think they can push a button and voila it'll be back.

From the way they play, I don't think it's the same like last year. The top teams have made adjustment and catching up. Lakers, defending champions, have tried their best and still lost. Lakers have lost to all the teams that matter i.e. Boston, Heat, Dallas, San Antonio...and even Clippers. There's no such thing as "defending champions", every year is a new reset. They have to earn it. It's not automatic. It's not only a litmus test for the non-defending champions to play with the Lakers, but for Lakers themselves as well.

Rock bottom? See whatever Minnesota or Sacramento are doing...o wait...they beat us once...this must be "fallen defending champion" journey. What to do when the drivers of the tour are no longer enthusiastic as other tour drivers? Trade deadline is approaching. O well...if only Kobe willing to take paycut by alot so they can bring someone "big" to have true Big 3. IDK. They are probably in sahara quicksand thinking they are still champions and can beat any team at will. It does not look good.

sorry, i dont think you know what i really meant by "rock bottom." for the last couple of months, i have been saying it would get worse before it got better... well, they lost to the celtics on home court and their GM called them out with trade talk.

so that is what i meant by rock bottom.... on laker terms... for pretty much any other team in the league, they would not be complaining nearly as much. but as laker fans, we expect titles or nothing.

hopefully that makes sense to you....

the "journey" requires a path in which adversity is overcome and the byproduct is that the team comes together with greater unity which results in more trust and better overall play. that is what the lakers need.




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