Lakers GM On Ingram, Russell, Team’s Future

Lakers GM Mitch Kupchak said he’s very excited about the future of the franchise, as he tells David Aldridge of NBA.com.

“I think we’ve got six or seven young players that I think all have a great future in front of them,” Kupchak said. “And we have a mix of older veterans that I think are going to help our young guys mature and make progress. We’re very excited about the future, and the development of the young players on this team.”

Kupchak added that he feels Brandon Ingram is making steady improvements this season. He believes the rookie can become a Giannis Antetokounmpotype player down the road but also admits that the team doesn’t know where Ingram’s greatest strengths are yet.

“I think it’s going to be a challenge to figure out where he’s most productive, whether it’s bringing the ball up the floor and facilitating, or is it catching the ball on the wing and making a play? We don’t know yet. But for the last month or so, he’s demonstrated he can bring the ball up the floor. He doesn’t lose it. I don’t think that part’s the question. I think it’s a matter of us figuring out where he can be most productive,” Kupchak said.

The GM gave a similar answer when he was asked about D’Angelo Russell. The team is still evaluating its young guys, though he believes the roster has the necessary pieces to play at a high level on both the offensive and defensive ends.

It was reported earlier in the month that Los Angeles isn’t expected to trade Ingram, Russell and Julius Randle. The team is reportedly unlikely to trade Larry Nance Jr. or Jordan Clarkson as well.

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6 thoughts on “Lakers GM On Ingram, Russell, Team’s Future

  1. Jeremy

    No reason to do trades this far in the season with Little hopes of playoffs. Just stick with things and figure things out in the off season

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    • Compton

      I would trade Clarkson and any veteran. I don’t think Clarkson will improve much more.

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      • Jeremy

        I would keep Clarkson improve shooting he could be one of the top scorer on the team

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      • Formerlyz

        Not gonna lie, I’ve been disappointed with what I’ve seen from Clarkson this year at times. I thought he’d take a bigger step forward, but part of that might be b/c of Lou Williams

        If I’m the Lakers, I’m using some different lineups for a bit, and then seeing what I can get for Clarkson, if not enough you keep him, and Deng after he shows some production at the 4, and in added offensive sets with more movement involved. Deng and Randle, and Larry Nance Jr, play the same position. I’d probably say that 1 of Luol Deng or Julius Randle will have to come off the bench. Deng struggled at the 3, here in Miami, and hasn’t looked good there so far for the Lakers. He needs to be utilized more at the 4 in the modern NBA, as he was in the 2nd half last year. The Heat added more movement to the offense, and got Deng more involved, and that’s when he put up those big numbers, and he also was able to arguably impact the game even more so than usual defensively, switching and guarding multiple spots…Randle has been a favorite of mine since I saw him play a couple of high school games in his senior year, and then actually getting me to watch some college basketball for a few games when he was at Kentucky. I think he is a beast waiting to be unleashed even more. That being said, he and Deng currently play the same position. Randle still needs to improve a lot on the defensive end, and bringing consistent effort, and making multiple efforts on that side of the floor. He also needs to continue to improve his jumpshot, including expanding his range, and though he has somewhat improved in this regard, he needs to continue to work on his right hand, both going that way and finishing with that hand. I like that he is being utilized more as a playmaker. I think that needs to continue to be developed. I think he can really give them help off the bench this year, with this roster for awhile…obviously, he’ll still play the same minutes, but maybe they can get Deng going, which I think would help their young guys. Russell, Young, Ingram, Deng, Mozgov. Randle, Clarkson, Williams, Zubac, Nance should be the primary rotation for a while…

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  2. acarneglia

    I would shop the veterans; Mozgov, World Peace, Deng, and Huertas and see if they can get any kind of assets for them

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