Lakers GM Mitch Kupchak spoke to L.A. reporters today at a preseason conference, fielding questions on a number of topics related to the club's offseason and upcoming camp. A handful of Lakers scribes, including Dave McMenamin of ESPNLosAngeles.com, Eric Pincus of the Los Angeles Times, Mike Bresnahan of the L.A. Times, and Mike Trudell of Lakers.com, passed along highlights from the presser on Twitter, so let's dive in and round them up….
- As we heard over the weekend, there have been no extension talks yet between Kobe Bryant and the Lakers, though Kupchak expects to sit down and discuss it at some point during the season.
- Even if the Lakers star hits free agency in 2014, he has made it clear he intends to retire with the team, and Kupchak says the club reciprocates that desire.
- Taking into account the league's new CBA, Kupchak anticipates it will be difficult to get free agents to move next summer. However, the GM reiterated that the club is looking ahead not just to the 2014 offseason, but also to 2015 and beyond.
- Lakers ownership may be more open to the idea of carrying 14 or 15 players than it has been in the last few years, according to Kupchak.
- Asked about the reluctance from Lakers fans to accept Mike D'Antoni as head coach, Kupchak replied, "We try to give him all the support we can…. He has to realize, and I'm sure he does, that we back him 100%."
- With so many players on one-year contracts this year, there will be plenty of incentive for them to play their well into long-term deals, says Kupchak.
- The Lakers GM added that 2014 should be a good year to have a first-round draft pick, which is something the team hasn't held in several years.