Lakers General Manager Mitch Kupchak will have the opportunity to rebuild the Lakers (25-53) after agreeing to a multiyear contract extension.
Kupchak has served as the team’s general manager since 2001, winning four titles on his watch. Now the Lakers are almost done with their worst season since moving to Los Angeles.
His contract was originally set to expire after the 2014-15 season. With the extension announced Tuesday, he will have more time to reshape the team after the moves to acquire Dwight Howard, Steve Nash and Coach Mike D’Antoni didn’t put the Lakers into contention.
Injuries have been the major roadblock, but the Lakers should have a top-10 draft pick for their trouble.
The Lakers also are projected to have significant cap space, starting this summer.
Kupchak inherited Kobe Bryant and Shaquille O’Neal from Jerry West’s run as general manager. After trading O’Neal, Kupchak helped guide the Lakers back to two titles after acquiring Pau Gasol from the Memphis Grizzlies.
The challenge ahead for Kupchak is rebuilding the Lakers over what’s believed to be Bryant’s final two seasons and beyond.