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Thursday, February 18, 2010
Mitch Kupchak and Phil Jackson on the trade deadline

By Brian Kamenetzky

That the Lakers didn't actually make a trade doesn't mean there isn't post-NBA trade deadline chatter. Here's a roundup, starting with GM Mitch Kupchak, who joined 710 ESPN's Mason and Ireland Show. Click here for the audio, and look below for a few excerpts.

On how active the team was Thursday and through the week:
"I think we came relatively close in terms of having conversations that you get a feeling could lead somewhere. A lot of it is just touching base with other GMs and trying to get a feel for what they're thinking, and although you're very busy and there's a lot of phone calls going back and forth, you kind of have a feeling it's not going to lead to anything."

On how motivated the team was to make a deal:
"We felt very comfortable with the group. We didn't think it was necessary to break up the core of the group. But we did want to look at managing our roster as well as possible and trying to keep an eye out to the future. We weren't looking to do anything drastic."

On the most impactful deals of the trading season:
"It remains to be seen, but I will say that I think the two teams -- of the contending teams -- that helped themselves going into the playoffs, I think one of them was Cleveland, and of course the other one was Dallas. Most of the other moves I think were looking towards the summer. I think it's going to be a very interesting summer to see how all these teams deal with all this financial freedom that they've created for themselves. ... There aren't enough high-profile free agents to go around."

Phil Jackson, during Thursday's pregame media confab:

On Boston's acquisition of Nate Robinson:
"I really don't know about that. I have a great respect for [Eddie] House's game. I just don't know what you can improve on that incredible shooting skill that he has. Nate's got a full range of penetration and screen-and-roll ability, but House has a strike factor in his game that can really disturb a team."

On whether Robinson, rumored by some to be on L.A.'s radar, could have fit in here:
"No."

On the Jamison-to-Cleveland deal:
"I don't know what that does to them, to tell you the truth. They're going to get [Zydrunas] Ilgauskas back, and this is going to be one of those scenarios that we see in the NBA where you ship a player out, you get another player, then your player retires and they pay him off and then he comes back in thirty days. I don't know what that does for the league. I think that's kind of a weird situation. Jamison is a scorer. I think they'll start him. That's the kind of guy that needs to start probably to be effective in that lineup, and then that makes them rather small if he does start at the four."

On whether it's easier to screw up an elite team with a late deal than improve it:
"The team that valued the most out of something like this was Detroit in (2004). They got [Rasheed Wallace]. That was the one that kind of changed the hopes of a team and made them a champion. It hasn't happened that well for other teams."