Kupchak: Lakers More Active In Trade Talks This Year

Although the Lakers’ recent hiring of Magic Johnson as an advisor appears to have complicated their front office structure, that hasn’t stopped the club from being actively involved in trade discussions this month, according to general manager Mitch Kupchak. Kupchak tells Tania Ganguli of The Los Angeles Times that the Lakers are always active, but that their growing number of trade assets has created more opportunities this year.

“Quite frankly, compared to the last three or four years, we have a lot of talent on this roster that I think a lot of people have interest in — varying levels of interest,” Kupchak said. “I would think there’s more meaningful discussions this year than there have been the last two or three years.”

While Kupchak and Jim Buss have made the roster decisions for the Lakers in recent years, Johnson’s presence figures to shake things up. The Hall-of-Famer hasn’t been shy about voicing his desire to “call the shots” for the franchise, and has spoken to reporters about what he’d do if he were in that position, including offering Kobe Bryant a job. Johnson is scheduled to meet with Kupchak and Buss on Monday, at which point the Lakers’ decision-makers figure to discuss their approach to the deadline.

As Kupchak, Buss, and Johnson mull potential options for the Lakers, they’ll have to consider how any deals will affect the team’s performance on the court. The Lakers have plenty of incentive to remain near the bottom of the standings, since they’ll send their 2017 first-round pick to Philadelphia if it falls outside of the top three. Currently, L.A. has the league’s third-worst record, as our 2016/17 Reverse Standings show. A desire to remain in the bottom three in the standings may push the club to move someone like Lou Williams, who has been the Lakers’ leading scorer this season.

[RELATED: Lakers shopping Lou Williams]

Although Kupchak suggested there have been more “meaningful” trade talks to this season, he reiterated a point he made earlier in this season, telling Ganguli that he’d be perfectly happy to stand pat as well.

“I really like this group,” Kupchak said. “They get along really well together, the guys that are here as mentors and leaders are doing a great job. The young players are showing growth. So it’s all good.”

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49 thoughts on “Kupchak: Lakers More Active In Trade Talks This Year

  1. Dionis
    Dionis

    Whatever Kupchak does DO NOT trade Russell, he will have the Lakers regretting it for the next 12 years. Ingram will progress with time and so will Randle. What they need to do is either move Clarkson for Noel now or just wait till the summer to sign Noel. They can go for Monk in the draft and they will be absolutely set for next year.

    Russell-Monk-Ingram-Randle-Noel

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    • Montanski

      He is BUST! A big f*****g BUST. Do you watch Lakers’ games?

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      • Haha ya Clarkson sucks.. should have sold high this past offseason.. decent backup pg I guess tho.. def not starting quality tho

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        • Montanski

          Clarkson is rotation player. The Snitch is BUST! If we don’t trade him soon we will regret. It has a reason why second coach don’t want to play him. Last night he took 20 shots. 20!

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      • Dionis
        Dionis

        Yes I do watch Laker games man, Russell is still learning the pace of the game. He is super young and averaging decent numbers, give the kid some time to learn Walton’s system.

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        • Montanski

          The coach don’t want to play him. Lakers don’t need boxcore guys like Westbrook. Russell shot 20 times the ball for 21 points last night. He is slow, lazy and horrible on D. And noone of the team wants to play with him. All of the fans want him play 30-35 min, but he can’t because lack of condition. His value on trade market will tell how other teames look his ceiling.

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          • Dionis
            Dionis

            Go ahead and trade him then and watch him destroy the opposition in another year. He’s 6-5 and can post up and shoot and pass you trippin bruh.

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            • Montanski

              If I was the GM I will, but Mitch knows that he has no current value on the market and if he trades him that will be only proof that Magic is right and he and Jimbo must go.

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        • Dretorade

          Mike Conley took years to get going. All these kids are 21 or younger and if they dong play at the level of LeBron right now then it’s they suck, trade them, blow it up. Relax…. deep breath. They will figure it out

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      • Don’t think Russell is a bust yet he is still young and has lots of pressure to have run Lakers but as a whole Lakers made huge mistake signing Deng and mozgov both are huge disappointments don’t get nothing from either one .

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    • The Sixers would laugh us off the phone if we offered JC for him at this point, and I also don’t see the Sixers letting Noel walk in restricted free agency. They can just match any offer and trade him as soon as December, and even if they get less than his true value, it’s still better than just letting a guy walk. And with Embiid not the biggest picture of health and with them likely trading Okafor, it’s not the dumbest thing in the world to keep Noel around, even if he’s high-priced.

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    • Ralph LA

      Interesting, I like Malik he is a scoring machine but I were thinking about Jackson playing SG in NBA. Good defender, good physical, bimproving his outside shooting.

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    • I honestly believe Russell is more of a two guard than a one. He has great vision don’t get me wrong, but he lacks the burst to get by Point guards and cannot defend them. That’s why I’m thinking Lonzo Ball or Dennis smith would be good fits. Dennis Smith especially because he has great athleticism and can space the floor. But Russell kind of reminds me of harden and Manu Ginoboli. I feel he would be better as two guard and you can see he’s more of a scorer than a passer. He’s a great passer but he looks for shot more at least from the games I’ve watched.

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    • GuruGray

      Russell is 20 years old. If you aren’t All NBA by 20 you are clearly a bust…

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    • Patrick

      Ask this question of every player on your roster. Is their value going up, staying the same, or going down. The majority of the Lakers roster is going up. The vets, Williams, Young, Deng, Mozgov are staying the same. Double down on the current strategy and get more draft picks for them. The team will get better every year for the next 5 years. Add a star free agent where you need it and there will be long playoff runs.

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  2. acarneglia

    The Lakers need to trade their vets for anything whether it be draft picks or young cheap players. Calderon is on an expiring contract, Mozgov has been a waste of money, Deng has been ok, and Lou Williams can absolutely get them a first.

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    • Both of MozDeng have been awful, especially Deng statistically. His true shooting % is .474, for goodness sake.

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    • Ya I agree Lou Williams is their only real trade asset without backtracking… mid-20s pick and a replacement nba guard would be an acceptable package.

      Not much else the lakers can do without making a boneheaded trade.

      Prob do Lou Williams to the Pacers for a 1st and cj miles or monte ellis etc

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      • CJ Miles actually in this market is worth quite a bit if Kyle Korver can get a first rounder. Miles is very good role player and shooter.

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        • Agreed. And CJ Miles has proven that he can play at both wings and spot minutes at the 4.

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      • Dretorade

        I could see if they got a late 1st for lou trying to give that pick away for someone to take moz or deng Hahahaha. still probably wouldn’t be enough.

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  3. NinerDave

    I agree russel is 21 and will be a proven 20 Ppg 6 assists and 5 boards in a year or two. He will be an all star people need to give him time. I’m very strong on randle as a poor mans draymond green. I agree move clarkson, nance, Williams, mozgov, and deng. I actually think zubac might have the most talent of all. Don’t bring in a center over him. Get a first for Williams. Package mozgov w nance or clarkson for Noel. If melo had any heart now would be the time to buy low but no he would hurt us. Celtics have some young guys like Marcus smart and jaylon brown I would buy low on.

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    • Montanski

      Green is great defender and Randle can’t guard a chair. Green has 3 point shot and Randle doesn’t have a jumpshot. The have nothing in common. Randle is rotation player at best. Russel needs 15-20 shots and min 8-10 TO for this numbers. We have no franchise player in this team. That’s the reality.

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      • aarongill

        You aren’t a Lakers fan at Montanaki. No way near a fan of them. You’re a guy who hates them but hopes to cover it up by saying you’re a “Lakers fan.”

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        • Montanski

          So you think all Lakers fans must have same opinion? I am fan of the team and don’t hate the players. Just think that Randle and Russel will not bring bright future for the team. I am more optimistic for Ingram.

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        • I don’t think him believing that nobody on the team is a franchise player makes him less of a fan. He has the right to his opinion as a fan. He has a valid point, nobody has shown any transcendent talent on this team. Ingram still needs more time, Randle and Russell are very inconsistent and have glaring weaknesses, Clarkson is approaching his ceiling, and Zubac is still an unknown. You have the right to be concerned if Lou Williams is the best player on the team. But I still feel the future is bright and at least one of them will step up.

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    • No heart? Gotta figure he’s got heart if he’s sticking in the mess that is the Knicks. And in regards to Smart and Brown, neither are playing at a level that is buy low value. Both of them could be packaged (along with the Brooklyn picks) for a star, how are the Lakers going to buy low on them?

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    • I totally agree with that! I’ve identified 5 teams that a trade for Lou Williams makes the most sense, the Wizards, Raptors, Jazz, Thunder, and Pacers. All need scoring help off the bench, all have 1st round picks expect to be in the 20 to 30 range. Most of them will probably try to attach a contract to that pick, depending the fit the Lakers might bite.

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  4. SlyBly

    Wow… Slow down people. These kids are 19-21 years old. Kobe wasn’t even starting when he was that young. Read the articles over the last few days on Russell’s analytics and where they compare to CP3 and Kyrie Irving. All three of these guys (Russ, Randle and Ingram) have a chance to be all stars. Give them some time to grow. Mozgov and Deng were bad signings. If you can attach them with Lou Will or use the two second rounders we got with Calderon to get rid of them, do it. Hang tight with all of these young guys though and let them all play big minutes for the rest of this season. We need that top 3 pick!

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  5. Ralph LA

    Hi friends, sorry for my english.

    If I were Lakers GM I would try something for Nerlens Noel or a first round pick next year (10/23 or higher of course).

    About Noel, he wants a team he can be a starter. Not Embiid’s backup. In addition, Embiid has restricted minutes, when they put to play more than thirty minutes, little time will be left for the backup.

    It is more than proven that the scheme with Embiid and Okafor / Noel does not work. That’s why Daric and Ilyasova play with the Cameroon. The victories appeared when they stopped putting centers to play in power foward position.

    Noel is restricted FA next year and considering the amounts paid for medium or even poor pivots in this FA he should not ask for less than 18 M. The market dictates the rules.

    Do you think Sixers will shell out this amount for one player to play 16/18 minutes per game and be Embiid’s backup? I do not think so. That would be a bad planning error.

    Colangelo wants money in the CAP to seek backcourt players in the FA. Just be aware that the rumors involving the Sixers (Jrue Holiday and Kyle Lowry) are for guard players.

    Add to that the fact that they have Holmes who may well be the replacement for the Embiid. Medium player to play a few minutes for a low salary. If they do not trade Noel now they will lose him for free in the summer.

    I would trade.

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    • rgreen

      Who are the 6ers paying that would make them let Noel walk for nothing rather than match an offer?

      And if you consider Embiid didnt make it to the all star break,with minute restrictions and no back to backs,why wouldnt we pay to keep him from walking for nothing? Because of Richaun Holmes,please.

      These past few years,including this one,we’ve paid players who never even suited up for us.we’re gonna pay to keep 1 of our more valuable players,unless somebody offers something worth us letting him go.

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      • Ralph LA

        Will you pay 18 / 20M to one player to play 16 minutes per game and be a backup for Embiid ?

        Will you pay a player who wants to be a STARTER and who will never get it at Sixers while Embiid is there ??

        Will you insist on putting him to play in 4 even with the negative results ??

        Will you spend a fortune with Noel to play backup instead of going after a backcourt player?

        Would you rather keep an unsatisfied player from trying a trade ???

        Good luck with that, my friend.

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        • reggie green

          I get it,you’re a Laker fan and you wanna be hopeful to get him for nothing…..well,good luck with that.

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          • Ralph LA

            Not for nothing man. For something.

            Bryan Colangelo would look at the Lakers squad and see if there’s someone interesting.

            If there is someone interesting, great we do business, if there is not that do not. Lakers will wait to the summer and see what Bryan will do.

            I’m not saying that the Lakers should offer Mozgov, Calderón or Huertas to the Sixers, nor that the Sixers should ask for Randle, Ingram or Russell, but there must be an agreement point that pleases both of them.

            Lou Williams has been making a great season and certainly would be a good name for Detroit, Wizards, OKC, Hornets, Magic and even Sixers.

            If I were the GM of Sixers it would not take much money to make a player dissatisfied in the backup. You already have a potential superstar for the position and Okafor for a backup with 1 year more in the contract. I use Holmes as an example, it can be any player for a backup that plays 14/16 minutes without complaining. The player has to know whats his role.

            I would go after backcourt players like Jrue Holiday or the good Caldwell Pope next year and for that I would need to be with the CAP space wide open.

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            • reggie green

              My point is we’re not letting him walk for nothing.with the current roster we only have about 46mil on the books next year for 11 players.that includes Okafor,plus Hendersons 9m team option.we have more than enough cap space.

              And as good as Embiid has looked,he has played 59 games the last 4 years,including college.31 out of 56 this year,despite limited minutes.insurance will be necessary moving forward.

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  6. Edward Czaczkes

    How many playoff teams do you see with three starters that are 19 ,20 and 22 years old? Give these Lakers some time.Realistically we are playing with a starters who should be a sophomore in college, a junior in college and maybe a senior in college. They will get better and in three or four years of playing together they may be like the Lakers of old. Magic says we need a superstar, but would a superstar be doing as well as sweet Lou, maybe
    but Lou is cheaper. We have to play the Zub because in three or four years hes going to be great.The Lakers need defense and getting Noel for Clarkson would be fantastic. Lets let the kids play and see what happens in three or four years. Mitch Kupchak has done a great job evaluating talent and drafting he doesn’t deserve this Magic grief. also Laker management realized the NBA had changed when brought in Mike D to coach. He just didn’t have the players.
    .

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  7. Z-A

    They’ll give you Lou but you have to take Deng or Mozgov, and they’ll take any 1 year contract you have back.

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  8. Z-A

    Anthony & Noah for Deng & Mozgov good deal for both teams.

    Mozgov
    Prozingas
    Deng
    Lee
    Rose?

    Small Lineup with Randle, swap for Noah for a ‘big’ lineup.
    Randle
    Anthony
    Ingram
    Clarkson
    Russell

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    • Lmao what? How is that deal good for the Knicks? Knicks wanted Love for Melo, they’re not settling on Mozgov and Deng.

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    • BSPORT

      Lakers would be crazy to do that trade. Would rather have a bag of new basketballs than Noah.

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  9. Deng, D’Lo for Wiggins
    Mozgov, Randle for Anthony Davis
    Clarkson either stays or gets traded for a late 1’st/early 2’nd rounder
    Draft or trade for a PF

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    • Hahaha why would Minnesota swap a productive 20 year old for an unproductive 20 year old? Deng just makes that deal even worse for the wolves. SMH.

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    • Dretorade

      these type of lakers fan are delusional. Moz and Julius for AD???? on what planet. Russell and Deng for Wiggins crazy as well. Those trade won’t even be accepted on 2k or NBA live let alone real life Hahahaha

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      • reggie green

        To me,theres no way theyre serious,for the exact reason you say,theres no way those deals would make any sense.

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  10. Harold Coleman Sr

    The Lakers need to go back to their roots and build around a great center if not no return to glory!!!!

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    • BSPORT

      Problem is finding a great center. Was easier to find in old school basketball. All the big guys aren’t tough enough to play a true center and all want to shoot jump shots or 3 pointers.

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