Lakers GM Mitch Kupchak agrees to contract extension
The Lakers announced Tuesday that GM Mitch Kupchak has agreed to a multi-year contract extension.
Kupchak, 59, has held his position since 2000, when he succeeded Hall of Famer Jerry West. During that time, he has overseen four championship teams.
The 1976 first-round pick played for the Lakers from 1981 until 1986, winning a title in 1985. Upon his retirement in 1986, Kupchak transitioned into a front-office role, and he has been with the Lakers organization ever since.
The Associated Press reports that Kupchak's current contract ran through the 2014-15 season, and the extension will prevent him from entering next season as a lame duck.
With a 145-130 loss to the Rockets on Tuesday, the Lakers fell to 25-53 on the season, marking the team's worst record since 1960, when the franchise was still located in Minneapolis. The Lakers are set to miss the playoffs for the first time since 2005 and just the third time since 1976.
Although Kupchak inked All-Star guard Kobe Bryant to a lucrative extension back in November, he will have plenty of work to do this summer. The Lakers are on track to have a top lottery pick, questions are swirling about coach Mike D'Antoni's future, Pau Gasol is set to be a free agent, and L.A. will have numerous roster holes to fill, as a vast majority of the contracts on its books are set to expire.
"We're set up to take advantage of the situations — whether it's to make a trade, take back a player, get a good draft choice, pursue free agency," Kupchak told USA Today Sports on Tuesday. "But once again, it's a different world than it was 20 years ago. And as much as we'd like to be very competitive and competing for a championship next year, it may or may not happen, OK?" Kupchak's extension agreement was first reported by ESPNLA.com.