Lakers general manager Mitch Kupchak told reporters on Wednesday that the Lakers plan to pick up center Andrew Bynum's team option for next season. This move would not have an impact on the much-speculated swap of Bynum for Dwight Howard, as they would have to pick up his option before making the move. Kupchak's statement was part of the Lakers' 2012 exit interview process today, as documented by Mike Trudell on Lakers.com. Many players brought up the much talked about issue of the offense stalling when Kobe goes into "one-on-one" mode, while others discussed their future with the team:
- Pau Gasol said that he met with Kupchak and Mike Brown and they didn't offer him any insight as to the organizations' plans for Gasol this offseason. Gasol reiterated that the trade rumors shouldn't alter a player's game, but admitted that his change in role, many times deferring to Andrew Bynum as the second option, may have affected his production.
- Metta World Peace doesn't think the Lakers need radical change, even stating that they should be up 3 games to 2 on the Thunder right now, says Andy Kamenetzky of ESPN LA. Artest extolled Mitch Kupchak and says it is up to the players to pick up their game to help Kobe Bryant. Kamenetzky adds that there is speculation that Artest or Steve Blake could be trade candidates, but Artest said he loves it in Los Angeles.
- Kupchak offered information beyond their intentions for Bynum. In his talk with media, Kupchak discussed the failed preseason trade for Chris Paul, Gasol's resulting play, the looming opt-out decision of Ramon Sessions and more.