Lakers GM Option Bynum
Lakers GM Option Bynum, The formula stays pretty simple. If the Lakers don’t win a championship, the team’s front office becomes busier. Oh, off-season changes still take place after the Lakers host a championship parade in downtown Los Angeles. After all, the only calm off-season General Manager Mitch Kupchak said he felt happened in 2002, when the Lakers won their third consecutive NBA title and the reserve Devean George marked the team’s lone free agent.
Still, on the heels of the Lakers losing in the Western Conference semifinals for the second consecutive season, Kupchak made one thing abundantly clear.
“There will be some change,” he said.
Here are a few glimpses of what that might entail.
1. Pau Gasol was given no assurances about his future. After playing through most of the 2011-12 season unsure if the Lakers would trade him, it looks like the Lakers forward has returned to Square One. Kupchak hasn’t given Gasol any clarity regarding his future, partly because Kupchak hasn’t met with owner Jerry Buss and executive Jim Buss, but it’s also because Gasol is the team’s most tradeable asset because of his talent and two-year, $38 million contract.
“He and I are on the same page,” Kupchak said of Gasol, after praising him for how he handled the ongoing trade speculation with professionalism. “I have not met with ownership. I do not know what direction the team is going to go, what the parameters are going to be going forward, so there wasn’t really anything additional to share with Pau.”
2. The Lakers plan to exercise Andrew Bynum’s $16.1-million player option, but then what? The Lakers have until June 30 to make that official, but Kupchak said at Wednesday’s exit interview that it’s a foregone conclusion. As far as Bynum’s long-term future, it’s uncertain whether he will mature as the Lakers hope. Bynum said he’s open for his agent, David Lee, to start negotiations for a long-term deal, but Kupchak said the front office isn’t ready to do that yet.
“That’s Step One,” Kupchak said of exercising Bynum’s option. “Anything beyond that we’ll discuss internally and precede if that’s the course that we’re going to take.” (Los Angeles Times)
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