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Lakers GM Mitch Kupchak: Kobe Bryant (still) likely to retire in 2016

Generalissimo Francisco Franco is still dead.

Like the old "Saturday Night Live" joke, recent reports indicating Lakers star guard Kobe Bryant is expected to retire after next season are a bit of a rehash.

"He has indicated to me that this is it," said Lakers General Manager Mitch Kupchak on Thursday on "Sirius XM NBA Radio" with Rick Fox and Jared Greenberg.

"There have been no discussions about anything going forward and I don't think there will be," he continued.

This isn't the first time Kupchak, or even Bryant himself, has said that the All-Star is likely to call it a career after the 2015-16 season.

Kupchak did note that if there are any free agents who don't want to play with Bryant, the Lakers don't need them.

"If somebody doesn't want to play with Kobe, whether it's this year or he decides to come back another year .... If there is a player out there like that, that won't come here for that reason, then we don't want him," said Kupchak.

The Lakers could have in the neighborhood...

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Lakers GM Mitch Kupchak: No. 2 pick won't lead to immediate NBA title

The Lakers are ecstatic they won the second overall pick in the 2015 NBA draft in Tuesday's draft lottery, but the team's general manager, Mitch Kupchak, on Thursday tried to dampen expectations that a championship is imminent.

"I do think that there are four or five players that are very, very good," Kupchak said on "SiriusXM NBA Radio" with Rick Fox and Jared Greenberg. "But I don't think there's anybody that, next year, will lead a team to champagne in June.

Age is Kupchak's primary concern.

"Basically we're talking about the top five or six picks in the draft being very, very young. Mock drafts put the two big guys at the top, and they're 19 [years old]," he said.

Duke's Jahlil Okafor and Kentucky's Karl-Anthony Towns are considered the top two prospects in the draft. Ohio State's D'Angelo Russell and Emmanuel Mudiay, who played in China, are heralded guards. Duke's Justise Winslow may be the top small forward.

Regardless, Kupchak said he knows he will need to improve the roster beyond...

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Jeff Van Gundy: 'It's a great day for the Lakers and their fans'

That the Lakers won the second overall pick in the 2015 NBA draft, instead of losing their pick to the Philadelphia 76ers, was a significant victory for the franchise.

"It's a great day for the Lakers and their fans," said ESPN NBA analyst Jeff Van Gundy on a Wednesday conference call.

On Tuesday, the Lakers jumped from fourth in the draft lottery to second.  Had the team finished sixth or seventh, their selection would have gone to 76ers, via the Phoenix Suns, to complete the Steve Nash trade.

Now the Lakers have the chance to add an important young piece to their core, like Duke's Jahlil Okafor or Kentucky's Karl-Anthony Towns.

"You've got to have hall of fame players to have the chance to be a great team for multiple years and that's why these draft choices are so important," said Van Gundy.  "Both of them, obviously different players but both have talent. Now, what you really want to delve into is do they have an absolute love of the game, do they have that fire to work through adversity,...

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No. 2 draft pick could mean end of Jordan Hill's run with Lakers

With the Lakers winning the second overall pick in the 2015 NBA draft, Jordan Hill's time with the team could be nearing an end.

The team has an option on Hill's contract next year with the decision due before July. The Lakers can either pay him $9 million for the 2015-16 season, or render him an unrestricted free agent.

The top two prospects in the draft, Duke's Jahlil Okafor and Kentucky's Karl-Anthony Towns, both play the same position as Hill.

Okafor is more of a true center, while Towns (like Hill) can also play power forward. The Lakers could also look at a guard like Ohio State's D'Angelo Russell, perhaps making Hill more of a viable fit on the roster.

The Lakers also have power forward Julius Randle back from a leg injury, along with Tarik Black and Ryan Kelly. The team can also choose to keep center Robert Sacre at just under $1 million for next season.

Ed Davis will opt out the second year on his contract to become an unrestricted free agent.

The Lakers clearly have options at...

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Kevin Durant, LaMarcus Aldridge best No. 2 picks of last 15 years

The Lakers won the second overall pick in the 2015 NBA draft in Tuesday's lottery, behind the Minnesota Timberwolves.

Since 2000, a number of elite players were selected second -- along with many who never lived up to their potential.

Kevin Durant of the Oklahoma City Thunder (formerly the Seattle SuperSonics) is the best two-pick of the millennium thus far, winning the NBA's most valuable player award for the 2013-14 season.

Portland Trail Blazers All-Star LaMarcus Aldridge is second only to Durant, and could be a free agent target of the Lakers this summer. Durant is certainly on the team's radar when his contract expires after the 2015-16 season.

The Milwaukee Bucks selected Jabari Parker in June. After a strong start to the season, he suffered a knee injury. Through 25 appearances, Parker averaged 12.3 points and 5.5 rebounds a game.

Tyson Chandler, who started with the Chicago Bulls, helped the Dallas Mavericks win a title in 2011.

Others haven't fared as well, including Darko Milicic...

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Karl-Anthony Towns is odds-on favorite to be top NBA draft pick

The Lakers lucked into the second overall pick in the NBA draft with a strong showing in Tuesday's draft lottery.

The Minnesota Timberwolves will make the first selection.

According to gambling website Bovada, Kentucky forward/center Karl-Anthony Towns is most likely, at 1-2 odds, to be the top pick in the draft.

Duke center Jahlil Okafor is at 7-4 odds to go No. 1, while the other leading prospects are at 5-1.

If Towns goes to Minnesota, the Lakers would presumably take Okafor. If the Duke champion is selected by the Wolves, Towns would most likely fall into the Lakers' lap.

However, either team could look beyond the two big men.

Other high-level prospects include Ohio State's D'Angelo Russell and Emanuel Mudiay, who played in China instead of pursuing college ball.

Latvian power forward Kristaps Porzingis is also an intriguing prospect, along with Kentucky's defensive center Willie Cauley-Stein.

Leading up to the June 25 draft, the Lakers will be doing their due diligence, meeting with...

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