Lakers GM Mitch Kupchak not demoralized by free-agent misses
Los Angeles Lakers general manager Mitch Kupchak said the franchise isn't demoralized by missing out on several highly coveted players at the start of the free agency period.
Kupchak says that the team will have to do a better job with its presentations to free agents. He also said the Lakers simply ran out of time to finish their pitch to Aldridge.
“It wasn't demoralizing," Kupchak said, according to the Los Angeles Times. "It's a part of doing business. There are 30 very, very competitive NBA teams. All general managers are smart. They're armed with brilliant supporting staffs, owners that are very successful. It's unrealistic to think in this day and age that every time you go into the free-agent market you're going to get exactly who you target."
In free agency, the Lakers added guard Lou Williams, the NBA's sixth man of the year last season with the Toronto Raptors, and forward Brandon Bass. The team also traded for center Roy Hibbert and sent a future second-round draft pick to the Indiana Pacers.
The Lakers lost a franchise-worst 61 games during the 2014-15 season and missed the playoffs for the second straight season. Los Angeles has only missed the postseason seven times in its 67-year history.
But Kupchak says the team’s off-season moves are enough to compete for a playoff spot in the Western Conference. Every Western Conference playoff team won at last 45 games last season.
"It's a little early, but I would say yes," Kupchak said, according to the Los Angeles Times. "I don't see why we don't contend for a playoff spot, but our young players have to grow beyond their years and we have to stay healthy."
- Scooby Axson