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View Full Version : Could Mitch Kupchak succeed without the base West gave him?



JasonJohnHorn
05-09-2015, 09:31 AM
I know a lot of people have been impressed with Kupchak's ability to made big trades that bring in big names, but in my eyes, without the dynasty that Jerry West built, and the advantages of working for a team that is willing to go over the cap and is a landing-destination for free agents, Kupchak simply wouldn't have been able to build a title contender.


In terms of drafting players, the Lakers went from picking up guys like Derek Fisher, Eddie Jones, Nick Van Exel, George Lynch, Elden Campbell and Vlade Divac in the late first and second rounds, to picking guys like Robert Scarce, Javaris Crittenton and Ronnie Turiaf. In Kupchak's defense, he did draft Marc Gasol and Patrick Beverly, but Gasol was likely picked based on name recognition and he traded away a key piece that would have extended Bryant's window when he likely could have retained that piece, and also traded Beverly away before he even played a game for the Lakers. The only other notable pick was Bynum, but that was ownership's pick as Bus had wanted Bynum for a while. Hindsight in the draft is always 20/20, but he's passed up on a lot of talented players, like Varejao, Monta Ellis, Lou Williams. He was seldom in a position to draft a real impact player, but for an elite GM you expect them to at least occasionally draft one of the best players available.


In terms of trades, while the Pau Gasol trade was huge, he also gave up Marc Gasol when a good negotiator wouldn't have to. He managed to dump Bynum before he imploded, but he gave up a great trade piece for a player (Howard) who had already made it clear he didn't really want to go to LAL, and then failed to take Howard's ideas into consideration when hiring a coach. He also mortgaged LAL's future in the form of THREE first-round picks to bring in a 38-year-old point guard.

He signings have been unimpressive at best. Malone, Payton and Artest all came to the Lakers as ring chasers, not because Kupchak was great a recruiting. And other guys he signed didn't fit in with the coaches he brought in (Chris Kaman, Antwan Jamison).

People seem to be critical of guys like Joe Dumars, who had to work with an owner that didn't want to hit the luxury tax and struggle to bring free agents in because, hey, who wants to live in Detroit? I live across the river from Detroit and I love the city myself, but I understand the national perception of the city and the reluctance of people who can live in NY or Chicago, or Miami or LA to skip out on Detroit. It seems that Mitch Kupchak had a LOT more advantages than a guy like Dumars has had, but few people are critical of him when, in reality, he was handed the keys to a dynasty and failed to maintain it, and only managed a second run because the Grizzlies were having a fire sale. He hasn't made the most of the assets he's had, his free agent signings have been more about what ring-chasers are calling him than on bringing in talent that compliments his roster, and his drafting has easily been among the worst in the league since he took over for West.


So the question is, would he have succeeded had he not been given a dynasty to start with? Where would he be as a GM is he hadn't followed West?

Ty22Mitchell
05-10-2015, 02:20 PM
I don't want to be a jerk, but to me there isn't any point to these hypothetical questions. The answer is, who knows.

Side bar: life is about being successful and winning (w/e those terms mean to you).. I don't care if he inherited a dynasty or not, he's been successful and won championships. Am I supposed to say Joe Dummars is a better GMbecause he won his championship by building from the ground up? Mitch has 4 rings, period.

mrblisterdundee
05-10-2015, 03:44 PM
You could just as easily ask whether Jerry West could have succeeded without the base Bill Sharman provided him.
When Jerry West took over as general manager prior to the 1982-83 season, the Lakers were already in "Showtime" mode, with Kareem Abdul Jabbar, Magic Johnson and Eddie Jordan. Sharman had already overseen two other championship teams.
You could ask whether the anyone working with the Lakers could have succeeded without the advantages the Lakers consistently provides its employees.

Kevj77
05-10-2015, 04:44 PM
You could just as easily ask whether Jerry West could have succeeded without the base Bill Sharman provided him.
When Jerry West took over as general manager prior to the 1982-83 season, the Lakers were already in "Showtime" mode, with Kareem Abdul Jabbar, Magic Johnson and Eddie Jordan. Sharman had already overseen two other championship teams.
You could ask whether the anyone working with the Lakers could have succeeded without the advantages the Lakers consistently provides its employees.That is true West took over a championship team that just happened to have the top overall pick in the draft, which netted Worthy. Building the Shaq/Kobe Lakers was Jerry Wests greatest accomplishment as a GM. Post Shaq Kupchak put together a team that won back to back titles with a roster he built minus Kobe. You can't really fairly talk about Mitch without bringing up the Chris Paul trade veto. Howard stays if CP3 is there and he looks like a genius.

JEDean89
05-10-2015, 05:13 PM
RC Buford >>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>> Kupchack