The future remains uncertain for the Los Angeles Lakers as they will face a lot of tough decisions once this season comes to an end after the final four games.
With no clear indication on what will happen in the off-season, USA Today’s Sam Amick sat down with GM Mitch Kupchak on Tuesday night to talk about the immediate future. Amick asked the most pressing question in regards to head coach Mike D’Antoni’s fate and Kupchak said the following in response:
Q: Do you have clarity on that (D’Antoni) decision yet?
A: No. No. In fact, I told Jimmy let’s get to the end season, take some time off…then review the season. Look at our roster. I mean we have a plan. We’ve aligned our contracts in such a way where we’re at a position where we’re not financially stuck. But there’s a lot we don’t know. We don’t know where we’re going to get our pick. Are we going to be sixth, are we going to be eighth, are we going to be two or three? We don’t know. We know who may be a free agent, but we don’t know for sure until June 30.
Before the matchup against the Houston Rockets on Tuesday at the Staples Center, conflicting reports surfaced about D’Antoni’s immediate future. One report has the Lakers leaning toward parting ways with D’Antoni and the other says the organization wants to keep him for the final guaranteed year of his deal.
Needless to say, it appears no decision has been made at this point in time. Kupchak suggests that time off is needed for both Kupchak and Jim Buss to process the season and make a decision moving forward.
Kupchak also admits that although the franchise wants to contend for a championship next year, it may not be realistic, but there are plenty of options to take advantage of via Amick:
So we know a lot, and 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. 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?
So although Amick was searching for clarity of the D’Antoni situation, none was given and it will apparently stay in-house until after the season is officially over, a common course of action for a franchise constantly surrounded by speculation.
Despite the uncertainty surrounding D’Antoni’s future, the Lakers did make sure Kupchak isn’t hanging in limbo heading into next season, agreeing to a multi-year deal with arguably the best GM in the NBA.
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