Magic Trick Surprised Kupchak

HANG TIME, Texas — When the deal finally went down and Superman tied on his cape to fly cross country and join the Lakers, a lot of folks just nodded their heads and figured that’s what was expected all along.

Mitch Kupchak wasn’t one of them. The Lakers general manager tells our man Kevin Ding of the Orange County Register that he had all but given up hope of dressing Dwight Howard up in the purple and gold:

“I just never felt that there was a deal that they thought that they would do,” Kupchak said. “Without going into great detail, I just felt the Magic were just canvassing the league, which is the job. … I didn’t think there would be a deal. It got really quiet a couple weeks ago. Before that, it was very crazy – and then it just died. So we had kind of moved on.

“We had signed Jordan Hill. We had signed Antawn Jamison. And we thought it was over.”

Kupchak gives credit to Magic GM Rob Hennigan for Howard being in Lakerland. Hennigan was barely weeks on the job in Orlando, yet he developed a plan, was persistent and followed through to the point where he expanded a possible three-team trade that included Philadelphia into a four-team deal that sent Andre Iguodala to Denver to get it all done.

“Looking back on it, he did exactly what he was supposed to do,” Kupchak said. “He took his time. He looked at every opportunity, narrowed it down, negotiated, went back to a different team, negotiated some more, kept on coming back to you.

“I never thought it would be a four-team deal; I thought it might be a three-team deal. So even when I thought there might be a deal there, he went out and found a fourth team to make it a better deal.”

Count Kupchak as surprised. And satisfied.


  1. pokie says:

    Wow. Howard ends up right where the league front office wanted him in the first place. What a mystery.

  2. The Heat Won't ever win a title playing 82 games with Wade, James, Bosh says:

    Who cares anymore? Dwight wins a championship this year he will resign with the Lakers. How many franchise/all star players leave a championship team after winning one; usually the role players/bench guys leave after winning a title for bigger money and more playing time.

  3. just sayin says:

    Jsut sayin whith all the primadonnas on the team I think there will be problems. jus tsayin

  4. Rafael says:


  5. Utah Jazzman says:

    The Laker now have a great team, Looking forward seeing Kobe get sixth ring, Nash and Dwight getting first ring, and Paul Gasol and Metta World Peace getting third ring.

  6. bobby z says:

    Laker nation will be sorry. Their future is finished.

  7. iivviiccaa79 says:

    he praises Orlando’s GM Rob, hahaaha…I would also, he delivered Dwight Howard to me:))

  8. hawks fan says:

    dwight isnt going to sign the extension with LA… he is going to test free agency and he is going to end up going to ATLANTA!!! his home town. lmao…. (wishful thinking)

  9. Magic, why oh why says:

    Surely there is one way the magic can improve for next to nothing and replace some of what Dwight left.

    GREG ODEN – i know, i know, its a risk, but they can sign him for one year, test his knees and if they break down again, so what, they’re headed for the lottery anyway.
    BUT what if he stays healthy, then they have a top tier centre to work with, certianly he would be at least competitive against both Hibbert and Bynum the only two ALL STAR centres in the east.

  10. Rookie98 says:

    It is not hard to believe, I was her when they got Wilt (very young but) I was here when they got Kareem (home UCLA product ) so I was joy filled when the captain arrived. . I had a feeling that Shaq knew the Magic were not going to win anytime soon so he came West. Not a great surprise especially when the press leak Shaq respect for then gm Jerry West. Howard knows he as a chance for Basketball immortality with this franchise and the people that they received. It is a different team with out Andrew but how much for how long. God speed to Andrew and his new team. Mr Buss said there would be a lot of new faces and I guess he new what he was talking about. I more or less will see. But win lose or draw the Lakers engineering / Rebuilding of a team that could not have taken place with out mangement (Mr Buss and Kupcek ) the playes(Nash Jamieson) r and just working together to build something. Amazing this coulld be done in this day and age with all the restrictions
    put on both player and management. This will go down as one of the biggest team turnover equal to the Miami Wade and LaBaron summer. . Well done Lakers lets hope for the best . Nobody is going to afraid of us or gives us nothing we still have to go out and play hard and not take any team for granted . Every team improved and is coming after us as usual to
    put hey we beat the Lakers in there cap.
    Good Luck to everyone


  11. lbj MONGOLOID says:

    Dwight Howard will sign with the heat next year, we will stay under the cap by paying him in KOKO Crunch.

    startling lineup 2013-3015

    pg: Rose
    sg: spiderman
    sf: lebron
    pf: Wolverine
    c: dwighthoward

    backup sg: ray allen, Hulk, Captain America, Batman, Aquaman, Flash..

    HEAT 2013-3015 CHAMPS!!!!@@@

  12. The_IN_Team says:

    Its funny how alot of people view the magic side of the trade bad (its not great) its has everything the mangement wanted young players that have maturity and are WANTING to play, magic have young players under long contracts and some who only have a year left .Now the drafts picks could have better options..Every team involved got what they wanted

    • Disappointed says:

      Dont forget possibly the biggest trade exception in nba history, they have an 18 mill trade exception which is great.

  13. susie says:

    Kupchak is a big effin LIAR! He expected this all along, a lot of people expected this all along, I expected this to happen back in June! I made a comment on one of these NBA Hangtime BLOGS exactly about this but guess what? NBA DIDN’T ALLOWED IT TO BE POSTED!!! NO MATTER HOW MUCH I TRY TO SUBMIT, IT NEVER WAS POSTED. HELL I’M WONDERING IF THIS COMMENT WOULD EVEN BE POSTED. I knew Howard would be a Laker all along. All that drama that he wanted only either Dallas or Nets was pure BS! That’s all Hollywood for ya! The powers that be in the NBA wanted this, the Laker management and the NBA management wanted this. This is all for the reason of continuing to make the Lakers at least a relevant team in the NBA, after all, LA is one of the biggest markets with the biggest celebrities and of course Hollywood baby! It’s all about the money, people and even LA fans are losing faith in Kobe alone taking the Lakers to the Western Conf Finals, much less about making it to the championship. You’re a businessman and your patrons’ interests in your team are waning, what would you do? What you’ve always done! WHICH IS TO ROB BIG TALENTS FROM OTHER TEAMS FOR ALMOST NOTHING AT ALL!!! NBA is a conspiracy and the LA LAKERS is the biggest proof of how corporate america works!

  14. HHHP says:

    Right, LA needs to address the SF position so take a reserve guard or two and make Denver an offer for Cory Brewer. With the addition of A.I. Denver has too many at SF and the Lakers too many at G.

    • The_IN_Team says:

      I agree completly D.Ebanks was a good resign but isnt proven corey brewer is athletic and can score or wilson chandler would work.. I say steve blake for chandler or corey brewer straight up

      • MHM 35 says:

        Dude I watch Corey Brewer every night here in Denver. He’s not what the Lakers need. I like what LAL has right now.

      • Disappointed says:

        Wilson chandler is wayyyyy to good for Blake, chandler is a 15-20 point scorer, 5-8 rebounds, whereas Blake is like 8-10 pts max -.-

      • The_IN_Team says:

        Why is corey not who the LAKERS could use athletic can score and plays defense and only makes 3+ mill a year who else is better W.Chandler was a thought jus to get a forward in exchange for a guard the y need

  15. lbj says:

    what’s going to be more surpising is when howard skips town
    and joins the miami heat mid season

    heat 2013-2060 CHAMPIONS!!!@@@#

    • MHM 35 says:

      Dude SHUT UP! You leave your imbecile mark on every page.

    • Disappointed says:

      obvious troll is obvious, your comments are kinda lacking now though since he was traded already, should D12 not sign an extension you should come back in free agency and make your scenarios.

  16. Maldit0 says:

    –does anyone know what happened to matt barnes???did he retire already??? He can be a good scorer coming from the bench though!

  17. Choi Hyun says:

    Bad deal for the Magic..
    The draft picks are lottery protected as well as it came from playoff teams..

  18. LakerFan says:

    The last thing that the Lakers need is someone who can take/ or back up, MWP’s place at SF
    A guy who can shoot and defend well , like Tyshaun Prince (DET) or T.Ariza , if the lakers can have one on these guys they will be a dangerous contender !!

  19. Bok says:

    It might be a gamble on Magic’s part, but I’m pretty sure their talent scouts have done their homework, they already have a forecast of upcoming players on the draft picks they received from this trade. Diving down the first season or two only increase their chances of getting the number 1 pick overall or the next higher. Plus unloading Howard’s & Richardson’s contracts are a huge relief, I just hope they get rid of Turk as well. A trade from Nets is just mediocre at best & Bynum’s erratic behaviour & knees’ not worth the risk. I’m a fan of the Lakers & to the majority it looks like a lopsided deal, but it’s the best move for the Magic.

  20. LakerNation says:

    dwight is 6’11 maybe 6’9 at most with shoes off…

  21. Knives says:

    So 55,thompson must be wearing a shoe with a 3 inch height when he was measured cause you said that he is just 6’7 yet the nba says that he is 6’10? Cmon man!

  22. Prime says:

    The hole point was to take the worst deal. If they took the Nets deal they would be a avg/bad team but not top 5 lotto team for the next 5yrs. The deal with the Lakers lets them hit rock bottom so they will at least get a top 10 plus the picks they got from all the other teams. So over the next 5yrs they will have around 20 daft picks from 1st 2nd round.

  23. Blessed says:

    Everyone forgetting what happened with the CP3 trade? It’s a conspiracy I tell ya!

    • Poor Magic fans :( says:

      Nobody forgot, just moved on.

    • Disappointed says:

      The only reason Stern vetoed the trade was because the league owned the hornets, therefore making him the GM. He could not do that to the lakers trade, all 4 teams involved are privately owned and the salaries all agreed to the cap space regulations. Meaning no veto possible.

  24. W/E says:

    guys dont forget that dwight had a back surgery, i guess he lost 1-2 inches from that

  25. 55 says:

    Dwight is 6’8″ you idiots, Mitch is 6’9″ NBA players are measured with shoes on so really the NBA has mostly under 7ft centers.
    Same thing this draft with Thompson coming in at 6’7″ but the NBA has him as 6’10″…. don’t we all know this already.

    And Dwight is no way 6’10” or more

    • Disappointed says:

      umm… YOU are the idiot… Dwight is not 6’8.. he is EASILY 6’10… 6’11” and 7’0″ is a bit of a stretch tho

  26. socalskurrupted says:

    I can’t wait to see the Lakers in action. It’s going to be a great year.

  27. LaLaMan says:

    “Jealous Jealous Jealous” that all for the rest of the NBA team can say

  28. Isaac says:

    @JD Jordan is going to be playing the backup center and jamison will be play PF. There are not many teams with 7 foot backup center so Jordan at 6’10 will be fine. He is very athletic so he makes up for it. As long as Hill plays the way he did in the playoffs throughout the reg. season and playoffs again he will be solid. He was getting 10+ boards a game when he started to play for a bench guy getting 10+ boards is great. Jamison wil be working the PF spot. They just now have to choose wether Ebanks or Clark will play the backup SF both are not that great but Clark is more athletic than Ebanks but it would help if they could sign some1 else for that role.

  29. JD says:

    Hey Travis, Hey Alessio – go back and check the stat sheets: Mitch Kupchak played at 6′ 11″ and is STILL 6′ 11″ Dwight Howard is 6′ 11″ as well. God knows what you saw, but you can always blame it on bad posture. As far as what the Lakers need…they’ve improved their bench immensely over last year already, but with trading Josh McRoberts (6’10”) away, not knowing if Troy Murphy (6’11”) or Earl Clark (6’10”) are going to still be Lakers opening day, the Lakers could really use some more size at backup power forward. You can’t rely on just Jordan Hill (6’10”).

  30. Zac says:

    Actually there are things that can prevent Lakers from winning a championship team, like:

    Adding the worst free throw shooter in the league to their team
    Steve “gone Hollywood” Nash loosing his track
    Old players getting injured
    big players walking the Path of Yao Ming
    Lakers Hating Referees

    • Poor Magic fans :( says:

      1. Shaq was also a horrible freethrow shooter, won 4 titles
      2. Nash is gonna be Nash
      3. Injuries occur on every team
      4. Even without DH the Lakers are formiddable
      5. Refs don’t dictate entire 7 game series.

      The Lakers biggest obstacles are the Miami Heat and OKC. Other than that, I’ll like their chances.

      • dirk45 says:

        > 2. Nash is gonna be Nash
        You mean like JKidd (’10/’11) was JKidd (’11/’12)?
        >5. Refs don’t dictate entire 7 game series.
        Watch the MIA-DAL series 2006.

  31. kokobean says:

    I think in 3 years when Nash’s contract is up they go for someone like Lin, who hopefully proves that he is the big ticket player that houston may portray him as.

    Next step is for the lakers to arrange a re-work to Kobe’s contract, stating that he re-signs a 1 year contract that is guarnteed, they are going to pay him 30 mil in the last year of his contract or something ridiculous like that, so re-work the contract to say that he makes 15 mil and his 1 year extension is 15 mil and guaranteed if he retires or not. IF the lakers are already willing to spend teh money they should do that, that way Kobe still gets his money and the lakers can use that extra 15 mil to sign a young player that will be able to match with howard.. they need a Penny Hardaway type player to do the shaq/penny combo of back in the day lol..

    Just my thoughts… I know someone will bash my thoughts. all good freedom of speech.

    Meeks is a good pick up as he is a young player, they just should have picked up Beasely I think when all the trade specs were roaming around. Now with Nash being on the team and Kobe and Howard, Bease will get the mentoring that he lacked in Minnesota and he is allowed to blossom with now expectations since he will be playing with those big names… too bad we missed out tho.

    Oh wells

    • Bret says:

      One thing you can be sure of is that no matter what, the Lakers will continue to retool, just as they always have, including this year. With their winning tradition and big market status, they will always be a desirable location for players, especially vets, hoping to win a championship. The first order of business going forward is signing Howard to an extension. Whether that happens during the season, or if it waits until the offseason, I think the Lakers are in good shape to keep him long-term, especially if this year leads to an NBA championship. Gasol and Kobe both have two-years left on their deals. You’ll have to wait and see if Kobe still wants to play at the end of his deal or if he’s ready for retirement. Gasol’s future will probably depend on Kobe as well, if Kobe stays, Gasol could be brought back as well. Nash will likely be done after this deal, especially if he gets his championship, and they’ll be looking for a new PG to pair with Howard. Lin could be an option, since his currently deal is the same length as Nash’s. However, the Lakers will have the luxury of seeing how he develops, so depending on how he develops, and how aggressive Houston is at keeping him, and building around him. I agree that Meeks was a good signing, great bench buy and solid back-up for Kobe. And yes, Beasley could’ve been an upgrade over MWP at the 3, and as a Wolves fan, I would’ve liked to have seen them trade him for something rather than just letting him walk for nothing. But I don’t know how well he would’ve fit in with the Lakers, he’s never shown the ability to be a complimentary scorer and he doesn’t do much else except score. When he came to MN, he was motivated to prove himself, but that motivation waned as his first year dragged on and, whether it was the losing or injuries, his production dropped over the course of the year. And his second season with MN was a disaster, he was a distraction in the locker, wasn’t motivated to do much at all. The Wolves started Wes Johnson over him, hoping he could lead the second unit and provide a scoring punch off the bench, but his lack of discipline and focus prevented him from being effective in that role. I think he’s got a lot to prove and Phoenix will give him the best opportunity to do just that. I think the Lakers are better off without Beasley and will move forward with MWP as the starting 3 and Jamison splitting minutes off the bench between the 3 and 4 spots. But you can bet that if the 3 is a problem spot, the Lakers will make a move before the trade deadline to address it. I’m not a Lakers fan by any stretch of the imagination, but they look really good on paper. But can Brown balance the egos as Phil Jackson was so adept at doing? This remains to be seen. And Howard is really the big question mark after everything that’s happened over the last year. They certainly have an opportunity to compete for the title, but there’s a lot of basketball to be played before we’ll find out if it works!

    • BUNBURY says:

      do you think kobe’s 30 mil is ridiculous? How much money do you think he has made for the lakers. this guy is a true professional and a celebrity. He sells tons of jerseys and ticket sales (not just for the lakers, but for all the other teams as well) and when he plays me and you and millions of others are watching him on TV. remember his first contract? the guy was making like 4M and averaging 27PPG.

  32. @Gerald the lakers do not need to be spending any more $$ on old/useless players. Allen iverson is not the answer for the lakers bench because

    1: adds another old guy
    2: creates conflict in the locker room
    3: adds more huge fines with luxury tax
    4: takes playing time away from younger players that we are going to need for the future

    • tyrone says:

      The answer is past his prime and he’s too short he just hurts team chemistry cause he gambles too much and raps too much as well I heard worser than Shaq rapping

      • Otis Daniels III says:

        I agree with you. Iverson seems to be a cancer for any team, & the lakers do not need him. Kobe & Pau do not have the time to babysit. I enjoyed Bynum when he was with us but not the BS that went with it, (sitting on the bench refusing to play – ring any bells ???? HINT). So after Bynum was traded away, the Lakers may not even seem like a contender in the eyes of some, but at least they do not have any cry babies to deal with while they make their run towards a championship.

      • Dieter says:

        “but at least they do not have any cry babies to deal with while they make their run towards a championship.”
        Yeah right… Dwight isn’t a cry baby… but Bynum is, lol
        And yes they’re a contender again, but that’s because of Nash and not because of this trade. I guess there was only 1 winner in this trade and that was Denver, they got Iggy for almost nothing.

  33. Alessio says:


    Are you blind or something??

    Dwight is 6’11 not 6’8!!!

    Mitch is 6’9.

  34. macp86 says:

    Hmph! I still want Andrew Bynum, but nothing can done about it now. I’ll be watching the sixers this upcoming season. The Lakers may have some very good pieces, but this is a two year run at best.

  35. BBall Fan says:

    Glad Magic got rid of Superbaby, now Magic can start to rebuild as planned and at the end of the year the Dwama will leave the Lakers and go to the Nets like he always wanted to. Time to look at the future not the present,
    He was to injured to go to his own camp and see the kids but yet he could attend scrimmages in LA? Sad but typical of him, he doesn’t even want to see his own kids except for one. Watch is “loyalty” when is comes to it, he has his own definition for it.

    • dumbhole says:

      holy….lakers will kick every other teams tiny butts

    • Oblivious says:

      Dwight Can’t go to the Nets, they wont have enough cap space for him. He’s looking for an extension, and a max contract would put them over the salary cap and have them paying luxury tax if they want to have Howard. There is almost no chance as the Nets re-signed key players to decent contracts.

      • Plays for the Game not the $$ says:

        You really think that the Russian billionaire Mikhail cares about taxes, he is like Mark Cuban, money is no object, Dwight has already been promised so many things by him at their meeting that ” never happened”, Dwight has said that he will not sign and extension anywhere except with the Nets, of course, he his Dwight and he changes his mind more than a high school girl picking out a dress for the prom.
        I think the only one that is oblivious is Dwight himself, but the season hasn’t even started yet, maybe he will change his mind again and stay in LA and make Lakers fans happy for years, or maybe he just might continue to be Dwight.

  36. gerald says:


    • tyrone says:

      Iverson was actually interested in going to New York and second of all he was out of the league for at least two years. He can hurt the team’s chemistry

    • Dave says:

      How is Iverson going ot increase ticket sales? Dwight Howard, Pau Gasol, MWP, Kobe Bryant, Steve Nash… they only have so many seats and I’m sure they will be selling out every single game. I don’t really see what Iverson could bring besides like someone else mentioned bad chemistry. And since you can’t sell out beyond 100% capacity, I don’t think increasing ticket sales is going to be a goal.

    • BUNBURY says:

      the lakers dont need a player like iverson. They need 2 THINGS: 3 point Shooting and Defense. Iverson doesnt bring none of these two to the table. a guy like stevenson, battier, (players like Bruce Bowen and Radja Bell). Artest brings defense but he cant shoot. Korver can shoot but he cant guard. if the lakers can get player who can bring these two attributes, then and only then, they will beat the Heat.

      • W/E says:

        the lakers should sign Chuck Norris as well,the guy would be great on the defensive end even though he would foul alot i guess

      • Poor Magic fans :( says:

        The Heat have zero size, they can definitely be beaten.

      • Eli says:

        First off Bruce Bowen has been out of the league for years!! LOL
        And the Heat will get beat with or without extra 3 point shooters.

        Lakers dominate the Heat in every position, other then SF.. Get over it.. the officials can’t win every game for them

    • Poor Magic fans :( says:

      Iverson, you’re out of your mind.

    • Carl says:

      Absolutely NOT. The man doesn’t deserve to play in the NBA anymore. He’s done it to himself. He thinks he’s too good to practice, and no one would want him here.

  37. Ramos says:

    Mitch, now please get Leandro Barbosa!!

  38. MVP says:

    Rob made a bad trade. He knows it. Mitch knows it. The world knows it.

    Dude you are already the worst GM in the history of the NBA.

    Someone please explain to me why he wouldn’t trade for Bynum? Injury problems? Atleast he would give the city some hope.

    Starting from scratch is very hard! Many *rebuilding* teams never quiet find their way….Golden state, Charlotte, Milwaukee? Toronto. Minnesota etc. Toronto and the Wolves however could contend for a playoff spot this year so I am looking for forward for this season.

    Point is….Rob knows he messed up. A *Real* man would admit to it and try and build a contender in the next couple of year ala OKC thunder!

    • You need to be worst to be better. If they took the nets offer they will just be mediocre, if they took bynum he’ll just leave after his contract.

    • Maciej says:

      Or maybe he knows something the rest of us don’t know… in which case it would make sense. But for now, it doesn’t make any sense at all.

    • BUNBURY says:

      MVP- are you in high school? Orlando did not wanted Bynum BECAUSE he wouldn’t resign with them. Phili was willing to take the risk, it’s a bigger city and above all is 1 hour away from Bynums hometown.

      • FLY- Guy says:

        EXACTLY @ BUNBERRY….Everybody keeps talking about Orlando should have gotten Bynum. READ MY LIPS!!!! BYNUM WASNT GONNA RE-SIGN WITH ORLANDO!!! HELLO!

        They did what they had to do….and if they make the trade with Brookyn they empower a team in their conference! What All-NBA player do you know of thats been traded to the same conference???

    • Poor Magic fans :( says:

      San Antonio drafted it’s team, as did OKC. San Antonio has won what, 3 or 4 title since then and battled OKC in the Western finals recently. Great teams can be drafted.

  39. kamote says:

    yeah… like getting Shaq… and getting Gasol…

  40. scott the magician says:

    never know what goes on behind the scenes, some of the best business men in the world making the decisions. impressive

  41. steven says:

    Yeah. Better for the lakers. Magic just got robbed. Well in a way that they left their house wide open.

    • tyrone says:

      They want to start a rebuilding process which in other words like the sonics get another star and only to lose that star the magic are forever cursed like Cleveland except worser

    • Eli says:

      Magic are doomed to only make it to the NBA finals and nothing more!
      Sorry to burst your bubble..

  42. QuestionMark says:

    Magic GM took his time, yet the Magic came out of the deal with practically nothing but role players aside from Afflalo, and it was win-win for every other team.

    • JeffX says:

      Not sure Denver got a great deal!!! Time will tell.

    • Poor Magic fans :( says:

      They got what they wanted, which was mostly to unload payroll. They knew they couldn’t get anything equal to Howard, so they decided to get really bad really fast and have a itty bitty salary at the same time. Not everyone can reload for a title hunt as fast as the Lakers.

  43. Travis says:

    I thought Mitch Kupchak was 6 foot 9 he looks taller than Dwight Howard by at least an Inch I guess Dwight is 6 foot 8

  44. David says:

    I was surprised that the Magic took this deal being that it is less in terms of talent; but the Nets deal would have made the Magic average at best for many years to come. Looking at it carefully I realize the Magic wanted to hit bottom quickly and pick up a top three pick for the next couple of years to go with all the other teams draft picks in the approved deals. If they draft intelligently then they could build for the future, similar to what the Thunder had done.

    • I agree man…even if they Trade Kris Humphries…they still have a decent PF in Mirza Teletovic there in Brooklyn…and the lakers are SERIOUSLY powerful right now…they’ve got Jamison, Jodie Meeks, Hill, Blake as their reserves? that isnt even bad for a starting line up…that line up may even beat the bobcats lol

    • Eli says:

      Yea so wouldn’t it make sense to go for TOP draft picks and rebuild to possibly be playoff contenders down the road.

      Then to be average for many years, like you stated?