Mitch Kupchak says plan has always been to keep Pau Gasol all season

What? You don't believe this face? - Jayne Kamin-Oncea-US PRESSWIRE

Mitch Kupchak sat down for a Q & A session with Mark Medina of L.A. Daily News and revealed his thoughts on the season thus far, the upcoming December 15th player trade restriction lift, and says the plan has always been to keep Pau Gasol.

Mark Medina of L.A. Daily News recently sat down with Los Angeles Lakers general manager Mitch Kupchak for a Q & A session and discussed, what else, but the struggling Lakers squad. With the 9-12 record above their head, and the first major date in NBA trades coming (December 15th), a glimpse into the mentality of Kupchak is certainly of interest. A few highlights here...

What mindset do you currently have?

I can’t answer the question. I can’t sit here and say I’m happy with our record. I don’t think that’s a stretch for me or any Laker fan to say that. But that’s just stating the obvious. Getting back to the original question, I’m not sure how you assess this team until you get key players back. I hope they’ll be back soon.

Of course, this was just after...

Dec. 15 marks the first day teams can trade players they signed in the offseason. Once that date happens, what course of action, if any, do you plan to take?

It’s one of several dates that general managers are aware of. It depends on your mindset. If you’re happy with your team, then the date doesn’t mean much although you will probably get calls anyway. If you’re not happy with your team, you’ll make calls. It’s one of several dates that we’re aware of. You have to the cutdown date in early January and the trade deadline date [on Feb. 21]. So it’s the first of a series of dates you’re aware of.

Make of that what you will, though it's nothing unexpected, nor is the following quote.

Will Gasol stay the entire season?

That has always been the plan. Nothing has happened to change the plan.

Check out the full Q & A session here, which is well worth the time as he discusses the Lakers season thus far in full and reiterates the importance of getting the group of players healthy at the same time. Steve Nash being out at least another two weeks, Pau Gasol being day-to-day with knee tendinitis, and Steve Blake missing 2-3 months hasn't helped the Lakers adjust to Mike D'Antoni. At some point, they'll all be playing together.

- Drew

- Follow this author on Twitter @BallReasons

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