Could Lakers Mitch Kupchak be next GM in Portland for Trailblazers?

The Portland Trailblazers have essentially fired everybody over last twelve months. Their General Manager was pink-slipped last May, their Coach was axed in March, and they even cut the last player they picked number one overall this season too. All this in addition to Brandon Roy being forced to retire, Raymond Felton playing horribly, and Marcus Camby being dealt along with Gerald Wallace.

Los Angeles Lakers general manager Mitch Kupchak speaks during a news conference in El Segundo, Calif. , Thursday, March 15, 2012. The Lakers got younger and faster with two deadline trades that essentially exchanged Derek Fisher for Ramon Sessions.

So what I’m saying is, the Blazers are in all-out rebuild mode right now. Besides that, however, they are also looking for a new guy to orchestrate said rebuild too. According to conflicting reports, that person could be Lakers General Manager Mitch Kupchak. Or maybe it isn’t. 

According to first an ESPN report from Marc Stein and Chris Broussard, that answer might be yes:

The Portland Trail Blazers have strong interest in interviewing Los Angeles Lakers general manager Mitch Kupchak for their GM vacancy, according to sources familiar with Portland’s thinking.

Kupchak is one of the Blazers’ top targets in their quest to land an executive with experience running a franchise’s basketball operations, sources told ESPN.com.

It remains to be seen, however, whether the Lakers would be willing to grant Portland permission to speak to Kupchak, who has spent more than 25 years in L.A.’s front office.

Although according to an AP report that answer could also to lean towards no too:

Portland Trail Blazers President Larry Miller says the team has not reached out to the Los Angeles Lakers for permission to talk to general manager Mitch Kupchak.

Miller would not comment specifically on an ESPN report Thursday that the Blazers are interested in interviewing Kupchak about the general manager’s job in Portland. The team does not want to name potential candidates.

But he did say that that the Blazers had not taken the step of asking the Lakers for permission to talk with Kupchak, who has been the head of basketball operations for the Lakers for 12 years.

What is very possible is that Kupchak could want out of LA. While he used to have full reign under owner Jerry Buss, apparently Jerry’s son Jim is more the meddling type who likes to have his opinion mean more than that of Kupchak’s. I guess he hired Mike Brown over Rick Adleman, supposedly, as an example.  

If Portland was able to make this move though, it would be huge for them. Kupchak’s solid at what he does, and the Blazers are a disaster right now. Things could only improve for them if Larry Miller was able to bring Mitch on board.

Brendan Bowers

About Brendan Bowers

I am the founding editor of StepienRules.com. I am also a content strategist and social media manager with Electronic Merchant Systems in Cleveland. My work has been published in SLAM Magazine, KICKS Magazine, The Locker Room Magazine, Cleveland.com, BleacherReport.com, InsideFacebook.com and elsewhere. I've also written a lot of articles that have been published here.

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