Mitch Kupchak’s Initial Draft Reactions

A quick transcription of Mitch Kupchak’s initial reactions after L.A. traded its first pick (29) and took Patrick Beverley*** (who played in Ukraine this past season) with its second (42). Kupchak talked about why L.A. traded the pick (for cash and a future second rounder) and addressed the move in relation to L.A.’s unrestricted free agents.
***UPDATE: The Lakers traded Beverley’s rights to the Heat for a future second round pick.

- “We think we did the right thing. As I’ve indicated, there’s a chance if we can keep our team together that we really wouldn’t have roster space for draft picks. This year’s draft we felt was not as strong down in the 29 range. We had made provisions that if a player had dropped … We could have gotten that player. We didn’t feel that would happen, and it didn’t happen. We didn’t want to committ to a player for two years if there was a chance he wouldn’t make the team. The best deal ended up being (with New York).

- On if it helps retain Trevor Ariza, Lamar Odom and Shannon Brown: “I don’t know what the market’s going to be. After tonight, the draft is behind us and we start to focus on July 1. I don’t know what the free agent market is going to hold for us. If a competing team makes an offer that we don’t think is a good basketball decision, we won’t try to match that offer. We’ve done that in the past. The fact that you sell a pick and get a future pick doesn’t mean it’s going to translate into a player on July 1, but it certainly won’t hurt.”

- On Patrick Beverley: “He played overseas last year, it’s something that remains possible (leaving him overseas). At the 42nd pick there may or may not be guaranteed money and we’ll see if he can make the team.”