Lakers GM Mitch Kupchak insists the team won’t make building a team to win in the short-term around Kobe Bryant a priority at the expense of the future, and Bryant is on board with that, as the Lakers star told Mark Medina of the Los Angeles Daily News.
“It’s a balance of both,” Bryant said. “You always want to set the franchise up for the long term. Mitch and I are on the same page. What he said in the interview is not something that we haven’t talked about before. It’s nothing different. You don’t want to compromise the future of the franchise for one season. You try to balance that.”
There’s more on the Lakers amid the latest from around the Pacific Division:
- Teams around the league are making plans to try to trade for DeMarcus Cousins in case he and George Karl don’t get along, as Brian Windhorst of ESPN.com said on ESPN radio Sunday and as ESPN colleague Marc Stein notes within his weekly power rankings. Cousins and Karl have nonetheless been complimentary of one another since the Kings put them together last month. Still, a source familiar with Karl’s thinking recently told Bleacher Report’s Howard Beck that Sacramento wouldn’t rule out trading Cousins.
- Lakers co-owner executive vice president of basketball operations Jim Buss is believed to be among those who like Rajon Rondo, as Bleacher Report’s Kevin Ding writes as he argues that the Lakers and other teams shouldn’t pay a premium for the point guard.
- The Lakers chose to sign Wayne Ellington instead of Hassan Whiteside after the big man auditioned for the team this past summer, Whiteside said to TNT’s David Aldridge, who writes in his Morning Tip column for NBA.com.
- Warriors coach Steve Kerr has learned how better to navigate leadership boundaries since Mike D’Antoni‘s belief that Kerr wanted his job helped prompt D’Antoni to leave the Suns during Kerr’s tenure as GM in Phoenix, observes Paul Coro of the Arizona Republic.