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Lakers Mitch Kupchak About to Commit a Double Dribble?


“The Sound of Silence,” the Simon and Garfunkel hit of several decades ago would make a perfect theme song for Mitch Kupchak, the Lakers General Manager. So far, this off-season, Kupchak and the Lakers have been absolutely mum.

Could it be the wheels are spinning, and this is merely the silence before the storm? Or will Kupchak’s venture into the thick of NBA wheeling and dealing amount to nothing more than a drizzle?

One thing is for certain, if Kupchak brings back Kwame Brown, he will definitely rain on the Lakers parade. At least from the fans perspective. No matter what the front office thinks of Brown’s defense, the fans know what they see. Fans don’t think about would’a, could’a, should’a. Fans rely on two things – Scoreboard and Box Score.

While Brown may be able to make his presence known defending in the paint, what Lakers fans remember most is the way he made his presence known on offense by letting pass after pass slip through his hands.

And those easy turn-around dunks? The only thing easy about them was the way defenders got the rebounds when Brown’s dunk hit the rim or the backboard instead of the net.

So, bringing Kwame Brown back to the Lakers from Memphis, even it for the veteran’s minimum, is not so much a turnaround as it is a turnover. And chalk this one up to Kupchak.

Meanwhile, there is a perfect turnaround for the Lakers, compliments of their archrivals in the division, the Golden State Warriors.

Erroneously reported earlier today on Bleacher Report as well as the Riverside Press Enterprise, the Golden State Warriors did not sign Orlando’s Maurice Evans to a three-year, $6.4-million contract. They were thinking about it. But instead, the Warriors decided to match the three-year $9-million offer that the Clippers made to Kelenna Azubuike. Since Azubuike was a restricted free agent, he will remain with the Warriors.

At the same time, the Warriors re-signed another restricted free agent, Monta Ellis, to a $66-million, six-year deal. The Warriors hope to convert the 22 year-old Ellis, who averaged 20.2 points, 5 rebounds and 3.4 assists, into a point guard to replace Baron Davis, who signed with the Clippers.

Next on the docket for the Warriors is to re-sign their young center, Andris Biedrins. After signing former Lakers backup center, Rony Turiaf, to a $17-million contract, the Warriors will need to conserve cash to lock in Biedrins, who is looking at offers from Europe. That means they most likely won’t try to sign Maurice Evans.

The Lakers traded Evans early last year along with Brian Cook to Orlando for Trevor Ariza. Instead of being held hostage by Sasha Vujacic and his agent, Rob Pelinka, (also Kobe Bryant’s agent), Kupchak should immediately go after Evans with the Lakers mid-level exemption.

Evans averaged 9.3 points and 3.1 rebounds in 68 games for the Magic compared to Vujacic’s 8.8 points and 2.1 rebounds. Their three-point percentage is also very close. Evans averaged 40 percent while Vujacic averaged 43.7 percent.

Although it would seem like an even exchange, Evans is a much better defender than Vujacic. The Lakers have offered Vujacic $2.6-million. Evans could be had for the same figure or possibly less.

If Kupchak could land Evans, it would essentially mean that the Lakers obtained Trevor Ariza for Brian Cook. But, as usual, I expect Kupchak to sit and wait silently on Vujacic and Pelinka and drop the ball on bringing Maurice Evans back into the Lakers fold.

And no one dare Disturb the sound of silence.”