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Mitch Kupchak On: Russell, Hibbert, Upshaw

The Lakers held a press conference earlier today where the team officially introduced offseason acquisitions Lou Williams, Brandon Bass, and Roy Hibbert to members to the Los Angeles media. GM Mitch Kupchak answered a number of questions regarding the franchise, hat tip to, and shown below are some of the highlights:

When asked what impact Bass, Williams, and Hibbert can have on the team, Kupchak said:

It’s a tough league. It’s a tough conference. We’ve tried to do our best to identify and create a young core, and also bring some veteran players around a young group. Not only can those veteran players hopefully contribute, but they have solid character, and they can be mentors for our young players. We’re gonna do our best to win as many games as possible, and it’s very difficult to do that with all young players. So part of what we tried to do was surround our young players with some veteran players that would be good mentors and also give us a chance to win a bunch of games.”

Discussing the performance of No. 2 overall pick D’Angelo Russell in Summer League play, Kupchak said:

“I think he learned a lot. I met with him once or twice since Summer League ended, and he knows that to make the next jump in this league he’s going to have to work awfully hard and get in the gym every day, work on his body. I think they all understand that what happened in college is now behind them. This is the real deal. It’s great to get drafted in the first round. It’s great to get drafted [in round] two. But that’s over now. Now it’s time to put that behind you and prove yourself in this league. There’s no other way to prove yourself now other than to perform.”

On undrafted big man Robert Upshaw’s future with the team, the GM said:

It’s unlikely that Robert will contribute to the team next year to win games. I think you know Robert and how he’s bounced around at the college level. He’s a player that we looked at in Summer League, and we’re continuing to have conversations with his representative. If we did something with Robert, it would be based on potential going forward. … We’ve made commitments to some rookies because they got drafted very high. But to look at a guy that wasn’t drafted and say, “This is a guy that’s gonna be in the rotation.” That’s not realistic at all.

When addressing the Lakers’ depth at guard, Kupchak said:

We’re talking about it internally right now. If you look at Nick Young and Kobe Bryant as backcourt players, then we have six. But we may look at those guys at the three spot, and then you only have four. And one of those four would be Jabari Brown, so now you’re really down to three: D’Angelo, Jordan Clarkson and Lou. So, depending on how you look at it, we may look to bring another guard on board. We may not.

On the team’s overall size in the frontcourt, Kupchak said:

“We’re not a big team. We have Roy, clearly who’s big. Then we have Robert [Upshaw], who’s 7-foot, and our next-tallest player is Ryan Kelly, who really at 6’10” or 6’11” is a stretch four. You wouldn’t expect him to block shots and get 15 rebounds and patrol the paint. So really, if you look at our team, you can make an argument that we don’t have big players.

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3 thoughts on “Mitch Kupchak On: Russell, Hibbert, Upshaw

  1. Jeremy

    Yup lakers do lack size. But the league starting to love the small line ups so having size not to big of a deal now days.

    • Arthur Hill

      Do you believe Roy Hibbert can be a long-term solution? Do you think the Lakers will try to re-sign him next summer or pursue someone else?

  2. dipstick

    Since he mentioned that Upshaw probably won’t figure into the rotation, I think the Robert he was talking about was Sacre.

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