Kupchak indicates door to Dwight Howard is still open
July, 25, 2012
By Brian Kamenetzky
After providing fans and media with the momentary distraction of Antawn Jamison's introduction to the city, Lakers general manager Mitch Kupchak once again fielded questions about the possibilities of a Dwight Howard deal, the status of extension talks with Andrew Bynum, and where else the team might try to improve before the start of the season.
The big takeaways:
The big takeaways:
- While Kupchak didn't specifically address Howard (he can't talk about players on other teams, and wouldn't even if he could), asked if the door was closed now on an impact trade, he replied, "Typically [action] slows down in August, but the brakes are never on."
- He has spoken to Bynum's agent David Lee, conversations he categorized as "positive and productive" but said no extension for Bynum was imminent. Lee told ESPNLA's Ramona Shelburne he and the team haven't discussed "anything of substance" regarding his client. Ultimately, it's more likely Bynum enters free agency next summer because he can get a longer, more lucrative deal by doing so. Yes, there's a risk of injury, but I think even if he gets hurt and misses games this year, he's still a max player on the market.
- The Lakers are still poking around for more help, probably on the wing or another backcourt player, but aren't likely to use their mini-mid level exception unless they see a true value on the market. Based on the names still out there, I suspect there's a good chance nobody meets that standard. At least not at a full MML. Then again, publicly Kupchak always says "probably not" when it comes to signings and trades, and then stuff happens, so you never know.
- He called Jamison's decision to join the Lakers "unusual," in that he passed up multiple offers for more money to do it. "We didn't recruit him all that much because I didn't think it was a possibility he'd come for the minimum, but after several conversations with his representative I started to say to myself, "I think this guy will do it" and from there it happened quickly," Kupchak said.