During a press conference held today at the Lakers practice facility in El Segundo, Lakers general manager Mitch Kupchak and new head coach Mike Brown discussed the end of the lockout, the upcoming season, and some of the roster changes that are bound to take place.
Since the lockout isn’t officially over until late next week, Brown and Kupchak were limited in terms of what they could officially speak about.
The most intriguing news came from Kupchak when discussing potential roster changes between now and the beginning of the new season, which is set to tip-off Dec. 25 at 2:00 PST against the Chicago Bulls.
Kupchak stated that Theo Ratliff and Joe Smith will not be returning to the team this season. He also spoke about the Lakers’ biggest free agent player, Shannon Brown. Kupchak stated that he is assuming Brown will get a better offer from another team, and therefore will not return to the Lakers this season.
The other story taken from the press conference was when Brown was asked about point guard Derek Fisher. When asked whether or not Fisher would still be the starting point guard next season Brown simply said, “possibly.” The other option currently on the roster is Steve Blake, who is also a veteran player.
When asked about the upcoming free agency period and what moves the team might be looking at Kupchak was quick to point out the financial limitations facing the team. But, he also stated that he will be looking to improve the team however he can.
“We believe the way the team’s structured can compete,” said Kupchak. “On the flip side we will continue to look for opportunities to improve it.”