Maybe someone should buy Mitch Kupchak a global navigatin..."/> Maybe someone should buy Mitch Kupchak a global navigatin..."/>

Lakers Kupchak: All Over the Map…


Maybe someone should buy Mitch Kupchak a global navigating system. They are a little cheaper than they used to be and much more effective. Perhaps, Jerry Buss should give his GM one as a bonus for the Lakers winning the Western Division title. If Buss has contacts at the State Department maybe he could get them to revoke Kupchak’s passport. It seems that every time, Kupchak goes abroad, he either throws money or a draft pick away on some would-be Manu Ginobili.

His latest debacle is signing Yi Li to the Lakers Summer League squad. Of course, it is no big monetary loss to assign him to summer league, and it will give Kupchak a chance to see him play against some formidable if not wholly NBA-ready competition.

But the lingering question about Yi Li is why wasn’t he invited to try out for China’s national team. Not make the team, mind you, just try out for it. If there are that many great players ahead of him in China, then why didn’t Kupchak go after a few of them.

Of course, he did draft one a couple of years ago. Sun Yue, who sometimes plays with Yi LI, is the same height, 6-9, but Yue is a guard and a great ball handler for a man his size. Yi Li, on the other hand, is a lanky forward, who looks like a strong wind or a stiff bounce from a true NBA forward could blow him away.

Maybe even a stiff bounce from a Lakers Girl would send him sprawling. I mean this kid is really lanky. How lanky? Well, I don’t want to mention the word noodle as some might take it as an ethnic slur.

Actually there is some good news and, of course, bad news, The good news: in a scrimmage last night against a Clippers squad, Li played six minutes and managed to hold Eric Gordon (this year’s #7 draft pick) scoreless. The bad news: Li, himself, was scoreless and dribbled the ball off his chest and out of bounds twice in a row. Ugh!

Now, the other part of the Chinese connection, Sun Yue, is a different story. Kupchak, drafted him but was unable to get Yue to sign on the dotted line. Instead, the point guard returned to China to play in the CBA. Kupchak may try again to convince Yue to join the squad.

That should be Kupchak’s priority since the Lakers hold the rights to Yue. Instead, Kupchak is now trying to sign one-time Toronto Raptor and Borat look-alike. Jorge Garbajosa. Garbajosa spent most of his professional career in the Spanish league. His NBA career more or less ended two years ago against the Celtics.

Garbajosa suffered a broken fibula, displaced ankle and ligament damage. If that sounds serious, it was. The 30 year-old forward tried to come back this year but had to have further surgery. Toronto bought out the remainder of his contract in June.

Garbajosa plans to play for the Spanish National team and return to Spanish league if nothing else turns up in the NBA.

Meanwhile, each day this week, healthy and productive NBA free agents are being signed by other teams while Kupchak searches infirmaries and cut lists of foreign national teams for that diamond in the rough. Key word: rough.

Maybe someone could turn Kupchak around and point: “Hey, Mitch, NBA Free Agency is this way!”